I have a question about legal syntax. This is a segment from the canadian copyright act. It seems to me that a notice can be sent to a person described in (a and b) or to a person described in (a and c)

Am I correct? It can not be sent to a person described in just (a)

41.25 (1) An owner of the copyright in a work or other subject-matter may send a notice of claimed infringement to a person who provides

(a) the means, in the course of providing services related to the operation of the Internet or another digital network, of telecommunication through which the electronic location that is the subject of the claim of infringement is connected to the Internet or another digital network;

(b) for the purpose set out in subsection 31.1(4), the digital memory that is used for the electronic location to which the claim of infringement relates; or

(c) an information location tool as defined in subsection 41.27(5).

If my assumption is correct then why does this next section refer to a person described in (a) or (b). Does this mean that a notice can be sent to a person described in just (a)

41.26 (1) A person described in paragraph 41.25(1)(a) or (b) who receives a notice of claimed infringement that complies with subsection 41.25(2) shall, on being paid any fee that the person has lawfully charged for doing so,

(a) as soon as feasible forward the notice electronically to the person to whom the electronic location identified by the location data specified in the notice belongs and inform the claimant of its forwarding or, if applicable, of the reason why it was not possible to forward it; and

(b) retain records that will allow the identity of the person to whom the electronic location belongs to be determined, and do so for six months beginning on the day on which the notice of claimed infringement is received or, if the claimant commences proceedings relating to the claimed infringement and so notifies the person before the end of those six months, for one year after the day on which the person receives the notice of claimed infringement.

Here's a link to the sections I'm referencing: http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/c-42/page-22.html#h-56

1 Answer 1


The usual rule for a list of items and a single conjunction is that the conjunction applies to the entire list. If an author wants to indicate a more complex relationship between the items in the list, it's necessary to add additional conjunctions. Therefore:

A; B; or C.


A or B or C.


A; B; and C.


A and B and C.

To indicate that A must be true and one of B or C must be true, one should write

A; and either B; or C

Or, less ambiguously, put the additional conditions at a lower level in the outline

A; and either (1); or (2)

  • Ok thank you makes sense. So in this case it's "A or B or C". Is that correct? May 1, 2018 at 18:40
  • Actually your answer is perfectly clear. I didn't need to ask again. Thank you. May 1, 2018 at 18:50
  • 1
    @user9451452 Do note that I've answered the question in terms of English syntax rather than legal principles. It's always possible that a judge would rule otherwise. But the inconsistency that the A and (B or C) reading creates with the following section would certainly make it far less likely that anyone would interpret the text that way.
    – phoog
    May 1, 2018 at 18:54
  • What I found confusing was that A would include B and C. A describes almost all service providers while B and C were instead talking about more limited cases described in the sections they refer to. Also the USA DMCA version makes it clear that only stored digital memory, location tools, etc. can receive a notice. They have a clause that says simple transfer of information without any storage does not require responses to notices. If my first interpretation was correct it would be more consistent with USA laws. May 1, 2018 at 19:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .