There was a time you could count on The Globe and Mail to support the Canadian cultural industries and to favour legal frameworks designed to strengthen them. You could also count on the Globe not to be soft on content theft by commercial pirates that harm Canadian businesses and impede their ability to innovate. Recently, however, the Globe has taken one-sided positions opposite the creative community. Worse, it has taken these positions relying on inadequate research and supporting them with inaccurate factual assertions, in some cases by relying on writings of anti-copyright activist Michael Geist.
Archive for the ‘Criminal Law’ category
Is operating a website that provides links to torrent websites which facilitates unauthorized downloading of musical works a criminal offence? If so, can the operator of such sites expect jail time as punishment for this crime? In a recent decision of the English and Wales Court of Appeal in Evans, R. v  EWCA Crim 139 (14 February 201), the accused, Mr Evans, was convicted of two offences of distributing infringing copies of musical works and was sentenced to 12 months in prison for these crimes.
Every now and again you read decisions that make you shake your head. Mine felt like a salt shaker when I read the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal last week in R. v. Cockell, 2013 ABCA 112. In this case the Court reversed the conviction of an accused on three counts of child luring using a computer system under s 172.1(1) of the Criminal Code. Why? Incredibly, because it wasn’t proved the BlacKBerry smartphone used to commit the offense was a computer system.
Charter protects employees’ privacy in data stored on employer computers rules Supreme court in R v ColeOctober 21st, 2012
The Supreme Court released its reasons in R. v. Cole, 2012 SCC 53 on Friday. It confirmed that a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy in his personal computer, even if it is owned by his or her employer. A police search of the computer without a warrant violated the accused’s rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, the evidence could nevertheless be admitted into evidence on the facts of the case.
The facts in R v Cole were summed up in the headnote of the case as follows:
The RCMP just published a report surveying the problems posed by counterfeiting and piracy in Canada. Some of the important findings of the report A National Intellectual Property Crime Threat Assessment, 2005 to 2008 are the following:
- Traditionally viewed as being victimless, Intellectual Property (IP) crime has become a source of health and safety concern in Canada. Health, safety, and economic damages from the consumption and usage of counterfeit goods are being reported on an international scale. Victims of IP crime include, among others, people suffering from life threatening diseases who unknowingly use counterfeit medicines containing little or too many active ingredients, or toxins.
Here are the slides used in my presentation to the Toronto Computer Lawyers Group earlier today, The Year in Review: Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2009-2010). It covers significant developements since my talk last spring.
The slides include a summary of the following cases and statutory references:
Tercon Contractors Ltd. v. British Columbia, 2010 SCC 4
Internet Broadcasting Corporation Ltd. v Mar LLC  EWHC 844 (Ch)
Gammasonics Institute for Medical Research Pty Ltd v Comrad Medical Sysytems Pty Ltd  NSWSC 267 (9 April 2010)
Kingsway Hall Hotel Ltd. v Red Sky IT (Hounslow) Ltd.  EWHC 965
“The Internet is an open door to knowledge, entertainment, communication — and exploitation.” This is the opening sentence in the Supreme Court’s opinion finding a 32 year old Alberta man guilty of child luring in R. v. Legare 2009 SCC 56
The Alberta man, who had claimed online to be 17, engaged inprivate online “chats” with the complainant, a 12‑year‑old Ontario girl. Both private chats were sexual in nature, and the second included words uttered indicating a desire to engage in explicit sexual activity. The accused was arrested and charged with luring a child contrary to s.172.1(1)(c) of the Criminal Code.