Website blocking proposal good policy

December 8th, 2017 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

CANADALAND recently reported (Inside Bell’s Push To End Net Neutrality In Canada) that a coalition of Canadian companies  is considering a proposal to have Canada’s telecommunications and broadcast regulator, the CRTC, establish a regime to block egregious copyright infringing websites.

The proposal is long overdue and, if adopted, would modernize Canada’s laws relating to Internet piracy and bring them into line with those of many of our trading partners. The proposal is not an attack on net neutrality; rather it is an efficient means of stopping content theft. If adopted, the proposal could stop the hemorrhaging that Canadian creators, producers, actors, broadcasters and distributors are suffering due to the scourge of illegal streaming services. The criticisms of the proposal are overblown and contain factually inaccurate statements.

US court thumbs its nose at Supreme Court of Canada: Google v Equustek

November 19th, 2017 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

A court in the Northern District of California in Google LLC v. Equustek Solutions Inc. 2017 WL 5000834 (Nov 2, 2017) issued an order earlier this month enjoining Equustek from enforcing the global de-indexing order it obtained against Google in a British Columbia court. This was an order that was given great scrutiny and which was affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., 2017 SCC 34 (summarized here).

ITCan and IIC conferences for IT and communications lawyers

October 15th, 2017 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The fall is usually accompanied by some great conferences for tech and communications lawyers. This year is no exception.

The IT.Can 21st Annual Conference will be held on October 23 and 24, 2017 at the St. Andrew’s Club and Conference Centre in Toronto. There are some terrific plenaries and break-out sessions, as usual. This is the best annual conference for Canadian tech lawyers and a great way to catch up on recent developments. The conference brochure and registration information can be found at IT.Can’s website.

Is Google a publisher according to Google? The Google v Equustek and Duffy cases

October 10th, 2017 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

Is Google, the operator of the world’s most popular search engine, a publisher entitled to the constitutional protections accorded to publishers of free speech? Or is Google a passive/neutral intermediary which has no control over what its search engine algorithms disseminate and which doesn’t publish the information in, or hyperlinked to, it’s search results? Google argues it is and is not a publisher, depending on which position will best exonerate it from legal demands including court orders that it de-index URLs and websites from which illegal content is made available.

CASL: my appearance before the INDU Committee

October 6th, 2017 by Barry Sookman No comments »

I had the privilege of appearing before the INDU Committee studying CASL yesterday. Here are my speaking notes. You can listen to the proceedings via ParlVU.

______________________

I thank the Committee for inviting me here today. What you are doing is very important. CASL is flawed and needs re-examination.

I am a senior partner with the law firm McCarthy Tetrault. I am also an Adjunct professor of intellectual property law at Osgoode Hall Law School and am on the advisory boards of the think tanks Macdonald Laurier Institute (MLI) and CIGI. I am here today in my personal capacity.

Digital Privacy Act Security Breach Regulations: my representations

October 1st, 2017 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Here are my representations sent to Jill Paterson, Senior Policy Analyst, Digital Policy Branch, Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications (SITT) Sector, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, CD Howe Building, 235 Queen Street, Room 162D, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5.

________________________________________________________

These are my representations on the draft Breach of Security Safeguards Regulations published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, August 14, 2017.

I am Barry Sookman, a senior Partner with the law firm McCarthy Tétrault. I am also an Adjunct professor of intellectual property law at Osgoode Hall law School where I teach, among other things, privacy law. My firm acts for clients that have important concerns about the draft Regulations. However, I make these representations solely on my own behalf.

Copyright Board making available right decision released  

August 25th, 2017 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Copyright Board just released its long awaited decision on the scope of the making available right under the Copyright Act. In a well reasoned and thorough decision, the Board ruled that the MAR right applies to the making available of both streams and downloads, acts that have to be exclusive rights in order for Canada to meet its international treaty obligations under the WCT and WPPT.

The Board summarized its reasons as follows:

Google v Equustek: worldwide de-indexing order against Google upheld by Supreme Court

June 28th, 2017 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Supreme Court of Canada released a landmark decision today ruling that Canadian common law courts have the jurisdiction to make global de-indexing orders against search engines like Google. In so, ordering, the Court in Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., 2017 SCC 34 underlined the breadth of courts’ jurisdiction to make orders against search engines to stem illegal activities on the Internet including the sale of products manufactured using trade secrets misappropriated from innovative companies.

The year in review: developments in computer, internet and e-commerce law (2016-2017)

June 13th, 2017 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 2016 to June 2017. The developments included cases from Canada, the U.S. the U.K., and other EU and Commonwealth countries.

The developments were organized into the broad topics of: Online Liability/Intermediary Remedies, Copyright, Trade-marks/Domain Names, Technology Contracting, e-Commerce & Online Agreements, and Canada’s (despised) anti-spam/malware law, CASL

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 (1988-2016).

Equustek decision to be released soon by Supreme Court of Canada

June 12th, 2017 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in the Equustek v Google case is likely going to be an important precedent. It will decide whether a Canadian common law court has the jurisdiction to grant de-indexing orders against search engines to aid in enforcing court injunctions, and if it does, the test to apply in making such orders.

The Supreme Court has invited counsel for the parties to make comments on a possible media lock-up immediately prior to the release of the decision by the court. The purpose of lock-ups, as explained in the court’s procedure, “is to facilitate accurate and informed reporting of the Court’s judgments”.