Archive for the ‘Copyright’ category

Norms for copyright reform: my submission to the INDU Committee

December 11th, 2018

Here is my submission to the INDU Committee conducting the s.92 review of the Copyright Act. It is based on my remarks made to the Committee when I appeared before it on December 3, 2018. My remarks to the Committee and answers to questions can be accessed on Parvu.

_________________________

I am a Senior Partner in the technology law group of McCarthy Tétrault.  I have represented members of the creative industries, intermediaries and users. I also teach intellectual property law at Osgoode Hall Law School and have published books including on copyright and Internet law.[1] I have both a practical and theoretical understanding of copyright. This submission, like my appearance, is on my own behalf and not on behalf of any clients.

CRTC punts FairPlay site blocking proposal to Parliament

October 2nd, 2018

In a decision that can only be regarded as a major blow to Canadian creators and distributors of copyright materials, the CRTC today, in Telecom Decision CRTC 2018-384, dismissed FairPlay Canada’s application to establish a site blocking regime to combat the scourge of online piracy.

The CRTC dismissed the application on jurisdictional grounds, but not before making the express finding that the record before it “demonstrates that there is evidence that copyright piracy results in harm to the Canadian broadcasting system and to the economy in general”.

ISPs fees for complying with Norwich orders: Rogers v Voltage

September 14th, 2018

Who bears the costs of complying with Norwich orders? These orders require ISPs to disclose the identify of their subscribers to enable copyright owners to bring legal proceedings against suspected infringers. The issue was resolved earlier today by the Supreme Court in Rogers Communications Inc. v. Voltage Pictures, LLC, 2018 SCC 38.

Global Internet injunctions: my Alai talk

September 14th, 2018

I had the pleasure earlier today of speaking at the 2018 ALAI Congress in Montreal. My topic was on global internet injunctions. My slides are shown below.

ALAI_International_Injunctions_Equustek_Case

Developments in computer, Internet and e-commerce law: the year in review (2017-2018)

June 14th, 2018

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 covers the period from June 2017 to June 2018. The developments include cases from Canada, the U.S. the U.K., Singapore, Australia, and other countries.

The developments are organized into the broad topics of:

  • Jurisdiction/Online Remedies/Conflicts of Laws
  • Hyperlinks/Search Results/Computer Generated Content
  • e-Commerce & Online Agreements
  • Technology Contracting
  • Privacy
  • Copyright
  • 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 (1988-2017).

Copyright Board harmonization good policy

June 11th, 2018

The Hill Times published my Op-ed “Copyright Board harmonization good policy” earlier today. The unedited version with endnote references is below.

Everyone agrees that the Copyright Board needs fixing. A Senate Committee recommended a full review in 2016. The Government acted on the recommendation by convening a public consultation and received numerous submissions.

One of the Government’s options to make the Board more effective is to harmonize the availability of statutory damages so they are available to all creators represented by collectives and not only those represented by the performing rights societies SOCAN and Re:Sound.

Canadian government response to copyright and digital policy issues

April 24th, 2018

The Internet and other digital technologies are transforming the everyday lives of all Canadians. The pace of change requires our legislative frameworks to be continually reviewed and adapted to these changing needs. The current government is tackling these challenges on numerous fronts including most recently in respect of copyright, anti-spam law (CASL), and privacy.

Copyright

The government has now started its mandatory review of the Copyright Act. The review was proceeded by a letter from Minister Bains and Heritage Minister Joly, both of whom share the copyright file, which provided some guidance to the INDU Committee. The letter underscored the importance of copyright to all stakeholders including that:

FairPlay copyright blocking proposal: my presentation at the Fordham IP conference

April 7th, 2018

I had the pleasure to speak at the 26th Annual Fordham Intellectual Property Law & Policy Conference. In my opinion, this is the best IP conference. My topic was

Canada’s Fairplay’s Website-Blocking Plan: What is it and is it consistent with international norms and principles including requirements for proportionality, rights to freedom of expression and principles of net neutrality?

I have written extensively about the proposal including in a lengthy intervention supporting it filed with the CRTC, also available here.

My slides from the Fordham talk are below.

Sookman_Fordham_re_Fairplay_6_April_2018

 

Fact checking Michael Geist’s criticisms of the FairPlay site blocking proposal

March 29th, 2018

The FairPlay coalition comprising more than 25 organizations representing hundreds of thousands of members of Canada’s creative community made a reasonable proposal to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Canada’s telecommunications and broadcast regulator, to address the scourge of online copyright infringement.[1]  The proposal, which involves website blocking, was immediately attacked by anti-copyright activist Michael Geist (“Geist”) in a series of articles and interviews.  As I showed in a prior lengthy blog post,[2] his criticisms were unfounded and overblown.

Kodi box add-on distributor loses copyright appeal: Bell v Adam Lackman dba TVADDONS.AG

February 21st, 2018

Illegal streaming of TV and movie programming fueled by the sale of illicit streaming devices (ISDs) (such as fully loaded Kodi boxes) and websites that make available to the public software add-ons configured and marketed to facilitate receipt of pirate streams is a real problem in Canada. The most effective way of reducing this type of illegal streaming is by the use of website blocking, something the CRTC will have to consider in the FairPlay Canada website blocking application.