Senate report on Copyright Board: A RATIONALE FOR URGENT REVIEW

December 1st, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Report of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce which examined the operations of the Copyright Board is now available. I reported on the hearing in a prior post. The recommendations are clear: a thorough in depth examination is needed because the Board is in need of reform.

PIPEDA privacy law given business friendly interpretation by Supreme Court: RBC v Trang

November 18th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Canada’s federal privacy law, PIPEDA, was enacted to be one of our framework laws that would underpin our digital economy. It’s goal was to recognize the privacy rights of individuals and at the same time to recognize the legitimate needs of organizations to collect, use, and disclose personal information. That balance between privacy and  uses of personal information for appropriate purposes was underscored by the Supreme Court in a decision released yesterday in Royal Bank of Canada v. Trang 2016 SCC 50.  .

Copyright Board studied by Senate Banking Committee

November 6th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Copyright Board may not be a household name, but it is a vital institution that is relied upon by tens of thousands of creators and users. But, according to witnesses who appeared before the Senate banking committee examining the operation and practices of the Copyright Board of Canada last week, there are significant problems with it that need to be addressed.

The witnesses that appeared at the two Committee meetings included Claude Majeau, Vice-Chairman and Gilles McDougall, Secretary General, of the Copyright Board, Gilles Daigle (GC SOCAN), Erin Finlay (GC Access Copyright), Graham Henderson (President Music Canada), Jason Kee (Public Policy Counsel Google Canada), Ian MacKay (President Re:Sound), Paul Daly (U of Cambridge), Jeremy de Beer and Michael Geist (U of Ottawa), Ariel Katz (U of T), and Howard Knopf (Counsel, Macera & Jarzyna).

CASL’s private right of action

August 29th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Canada has the most onerous anti-spam/anti-malware law (CASL) in the world. In less than a year, July 1, 2017, it is going to become even worse. That’s when the private right of action (PRA) comes into force.

Since its inception, the anti-spam and anti-malware portions of the Act (ss.6-9) have been enforced by the CRTC. But when the PRA becomes law organizations big and small including charities, small businesses and even children marketing their first lemonade stands – and their officers, directors and agents – could become liable for millions of dollars in penalties.

Microsoft wins big in warrant fight to protect privacy of user data

July 15th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Microsoft scored a major victory for the privacy of its cloud computing users yesterday winning a closely watched case against U.S. Government. In Microsoft Corporation v USA (2nd.Cir. Jul. 14, 2016), the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that a warrant issued under Section 2703 of the Stored Communications Act (ECA) did not have extra-territorial effect to require U.S. based Microsoft to access and provide the government with user data stored on servers operated by a subsidiary in Dublin Ireland.

Blocking orders against ISPs to combat trade-mark infringement legal says Court of Appeal in Cartier

July 12th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The English Court of Appeal released an important decision last week confirming that courts’ equitable jurisdiction to grant injunctions where “just and convenient” is broad enough to order internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block web sites from selling trade-mark infringing goods. The Court in Cartier International AG & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Ors [2016] EWCA Civ 658 (06 July 2016) confirmed the correctness of the prior comprehensive decision of Arnold J. in Cartier International AG & Ors v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd & Ors [2014] EWHC 3354 (Ch) (17 October 2014).

Why crackdown on pirate set-top boxes is good for innovation: a reply to Michael Geist

June 29th, 2016 by Barry Sookman 4 comments »

Last week the Federal Court granted an interlocutory injunction restraining ITVBOX.NET, WATCHNSAVE INC, MTLFREETV.COM and others from selling set-top boxes preloaded with software. The software was specifically adapted to enable purchasers to stream and download infringing copies of programs made available by Bell, Bell Expressvu, Rogers, and Videotron on a subscription basis. The devices were advertised and promoted by prominently emphasizing these capabilities and as a way to obtain this content without paying.

The year in review: developments in computer, internet and e-commerce law (2015-2016)

June 14th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

I gave my annual presentation today to the Toronto computer Lawyers’ Group on “The year in review in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law”. It covered the period from June 2015 to June 2016. The developments included cases from Canada, the U.S. the U.K., and other Commonwealth countries.

The developments were organized into the broad topics of: Technology Contracting, Online Agreements, Privacy, Online/Intermediary Liability/Responsibility, Copyright, and Trade-marks and Domain names.

The cases referred to are listed below. My slides can be viewed after the case listing. These and many other cases will be added to my 7 volume book on Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (1988-2015).

Reimagining the Copyright Board – my ALAI presentation

May 29th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

I had the pleasure of attending ALAI’s symposium this week on The Copyright Board of Canada: Which Way Ahead. I was on a panel titled “Reimagining the Copyright Board” along with Ariel Katz, Howard Knopf, Adriane Porcin, and Judge David Strickler of the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board.

My slides from the talk are shown below.

ALAI_2016_-_Reimagining_the_Copyright_Board

Privacy injunctions in the age of the Internet and social media: PJS v News Group Newspapers

May 24th, 2016 by Barry Sookman No comments »

You’re a celebrity and had a threesome. Your partner wasn’t one of them. You want the affair to remain private. You go to a court in England where your family resides and get an interim injunction. It prevents the English press from publishing the tawdry details to protect your privacy and the privacy of your family. The affair becomes widely known in other countries including the US, Canada, and Scotland. The English public finds out about it through foreign web sites. They also find the story when using search engines, even when not looking for it. The English public is incited to access websites where details about the encounter can be found by the tabloids which thrive on selling papers filled with salacious details of sexual encounters. The tabloids create a frenzy working up the public claiming they are being censored when their foreign counterparts are not, then move to set aside the injunction.