Archive for the ‘Copyright’ category

Fix the value gap – a reply to Michael Geist

January 9th, 2017

Here is an Op-ed of mine that ran earlier today in the Hill Times. The post below includes endnotes not in that article.

In his Hill Times Op-ed (Canadian copyright reform requires a fix on the fair dealing gap, Dec. 5, 2016) Michael Geist takes issue with the need to address the “value gap” that is hurting Canadian artists, writers, and other members of the creative class. He argues instead that Canada faces a need to address a “fair dealing gap” in our copyright laws. There is no such need and his arguments don’t withstand scrutiny.

Browsewraps, fair dealing and Blacklock’s Reporter v Canada: a critical commentary

January 2nd, 2017

Blacklock’s Reporter is a small Canadian online news agency. Like many publishers it has challenges in enforcing its copyrights against unauthorized digital copying. To protect its rights it uses a subscription model to license content. It attempts to keep materials from unauthorized access and distribution by using a paywall. Recently the Federal Court in 1395804 Ontario Ltd. (Blacklock’s Reporter) v. Canada (Attorney General), 2016 FC 1255  concluded that the copyright in Blacklock’s news articles was not infringed when copies of articles lawfully obtained under a subscription by one subscriber were emailed to the Department of Finance and were then forwarded to others within the department. The court found the copying was a fair dealing, an exception from infringement under the Copyright Act.

Google v Equustek at the Supreme Court

December 6th, 2016

The argument in the Google v Equustek Supreme Court case is about to start. An issue in the case is whether a court has a right to grant a de-listing order against a search engine to assist in enforcing a prior injunction granted by the court. The decisions of the courts appealed from are summarized here.

All of the factums  can be retrieved from the Supreme Court website. The webcast can be viewed here.

I did a presentation on the case several months ago highlighting what is in issue in the case. My slides are set out below.

Senate report on Copyright Board: A RATIONALE FOR URGENT REVIEW

December 1st, 2016

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.

Copyright Board studied by Senate Banking Committee

November 6th, 2016

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).

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

July 12th, 2016

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

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

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).

Copyright and technology: my ALAI Canada talk

January 26th, 2016

I had the pleasure of speaking earlier today at the ALAI Canada Colloque Annual on the theme of copyright and technology. The slides from my talk are below and can be downloaded here.

 

CBC v SODRAC: my talk on technological neutrality and copyright

January 22nd, 2016

I had the pleasure of speaking yesterday at the Law Society of Upper Canada 20th Annual IP Law: The Year in Review. I spoke on the topic of Copyright and Technological Neutrality: CBC v SODRAC. My slides are shown below and can be downloaded here.