Laws Of .com

Quebec Court Upholds Websites Terms of Use Based on Implied Consent

Recently, the Quebec Superior Court, in the case of The Canadian Real Estate Association v . Sutton (Quebec) Real Estate Services Inc. , upheld the enforceability of terms and conditions of a website through implied consent without the user having expressly agreed to the terms and conditions. The case involved an application by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) for an order against Sutton ( Quebec ) Real Estate Inc. (Sutton) to stop Sutton from reposting MLS listings registered with CREA on its own website.

CREA argued that, according to contract law, the users of its website agreed to the terms and conditions of use and as such, the content of the site was protected by the copyright provisions of the terms of use. Sutton argued that it never expressly agreed to the terms of the site, by clicking on an "I agree" button. The Court rejected this argument and issued an interlocutory injunction against Sutton. This decision reinforces the principle that a user can in some cases be bound by the terms and conditions of use of a website as a result of using the website.

For a copy of the case, visit:

http://www.canlii.org/qc/jug/qccs/2003/2003qccs11838.html