Archive for the ‘human rights’ category

Criminal copyright convictions of The Pirate Bay operators “necessity in democratic society” says human rights court

March 13th, 2013

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that the convictions of Fredrik NEIJ and Peter SUNDE KOLMISOPPI, operators of The Pirate Bay bittorrent site did not violate Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court found that the convictions of the defendants for criminal copyright infringement did not violate their rights to freedom of expression as the convictions and jail sentences imposed by Sweden’s Court of Appeal was “necessary in a democratic society” within the meaning of Article 10 § 2 of the Convention. The application to set aside the convictions was rejected “as manifestly ill-founded”.

Michael Geist: A question of values

March 12th, 2012

With Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, on its way to clause by clause review Canadians have a chance to think about what values they want copyright to reflect. Canadians are being bombarded with a dizzying array of information about amendments that have been proposed including amendments related to enablement, statutory damages, TPMs and fair dealing. Much of the information is inaccurate and emotionally super-charged to garner as much visceral reaction as possible. A significant portion of it originates from Internet activist Michael Geist and is repeated throughout the blogosphere and in the traditional news media, usually with no attempt at analysis.

No freedom to hack access into the Internet, says US judge

March 3rd, 2012

Information wants to be free. But, helping people to steal access to it is still a crime as an Oregon man just found out after being convicted of wire fraud for helping thousands steal internet service.

The defendant, Ryan Harris, ran a company called TCNISO. It distributed software and hardware tools that enabled customers to modify their cable modems to mask themselves as paying customers. In his defense Harris claimed assisting customers in their cable modem hacking activities was justified because it facilitated access to the internet. According to a report:

Copyright law 2011 –the year in review in Canada and around the world

January 13th, 2012

Yesterday, I gave a talk at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s 16th Annual Intellectual Property Law: The Year in Review program. My talk canvassed developments in copyright in 2011.  My slides are shown below. The associated paper prepared in collaboration with Glen Bloom, with the help of others, is available here.

My slides and/or the paper summarize the following copyright cases from Canada, the USA, UK and  Europe:

CANADA

Re: Sound v Motion Picture Theatre Association of Canada 2011 FCA 70

Reference re Broadcasting Act 2011 FCA 64

Crookes v. Newton 2011 SCC 47

France Animation v Robinson – a case comment

January 2nd, 2012

I just finished reading the fascinating reasons delivered by the Quebec Court of Appeal in the France Animation v Robinson, 2011 QCCA 1361 case. The main issue in the appeal was whether sketches and characters of the proposed TV series Robinson curiosity were infringed by the series Robinson sucro. The trial judge found infringement and the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment, in part.

UN report on internet disconnection flawed and contrary to jurisprudence

June 13th, 2011

Recently, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom  of opinion and expression released a controversial report in which he stated he was

“alarmed by proposals to disconnect users from Internet  access if they violate intellectual property rights. This also includes legislation based on the  concept of “graduated response”, which imposes a series of penalties on copyright  infringers that could lead to suspension of Internet service, such as the so-called “three strikes-law” in France  and the Digital Economy Act 2010 of the United Kingdom.”

Copyright law 2010 –the year in review in Canada and around the world

January 13th, 2011

Here is a copy of the slides I used today at the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Intellectual Property Year in Review conference. The associated paper prepared in collaboration with Glen Bloom, and with the help of others, is available here.

My slides summarize the following copyright cases from Canada, Australia, UK, Ireland, Singapore, Europe and the USA:

Canada

Alberta (Education) v Access Copyright 2010 FCA 198

Bell Canada v SOCAN (Tariff 22) 2010 FCA 220

Canadian Private Copying Collective v. J & E Media Inc., 2010 FC 102

Cheung v. Target Event Production Ltd., 2010 FCA 255

Geist: tough IP laws suppress political dissent

September 15th, 2010

In a blog post yesterday, How IP Enforcement Can Be Used To Suppress Dissent, Prof. Geist argues that “tougher enforcement measures” of IP laws are connected with civil rights abuses by governments to quell political dissent. He further claims that the USTR Special 301 report was connected to the recent Russian raids against advocacy groups and news organizations in Russia. He also postulates that enforcement of IP rights under ACTA would increase such abuses and accordingly would be “a dangerous and misguided approach that is apt to cause more problems than it solves”.

Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2009-2010)

May 26th, 2010

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 [2009] EWHC 844 (Ch)

Gammasonics Institute for Medical Research Pty Ltd v Comrad Medical Sysytems Pty Ltd [2010] NSWSC 267 (9 April 2010)

Kingsway Hall Hotel Ltd. v Red Sky IT (Hounslow) Ltd. [2010] EWHC 965

Is graduated response necessary to protect human rights from online copyright infringement?

April 19th, 2010

Last week, the Irish High Court released an important decision in the EMI Records & Ors -v- Eircom Ltd ,  [2010] IEHC 108 case. The court held that a settlement agreement between an Irish ISP, Eircom, and owners of copyright protected sound recordings and videos to implement a voluntary graduated response system was compatible with Irish data protection legislation. The ruling by Justice Charleton delivered on 16th April, 2010, is noteworthy not only because it found that collecting and using IP addresses for the purposes of sending out graduated response notices to subscribers does not violate data protection legislation. It is also noteworthy because the court recognized that the right to copyright is a human right protected by the Constitution of Ireland, 1937; and that the graduated response protocol was fully justified in light of the importance of copyright and the adverse effects of unauthorized online file sharing.