Archive for the ‘Piracy’ category

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

June 13th, 2017

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).

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).

Google must comply with EU data protection laws including the right to be forgotten: Google v AEPD

May 13th, 2014

In a bombshell opinion released earlier today, the CJEU ruled that Google Inc. is subject to EU data protection laws even where its servers are located outside of the EU. The Court ruled that when Google spiders the web and indexes the globe’s data, it is a processor with respect to personal information and a controller of such information. In the case before the Court, this meant that Google was required to de-index links to personal information, even though the information was accurate and without any showing that making the information available was prejudical to the data subject. The case is bound to lead to many further questions about the scope of the duties of search engines like Google under EU laws. I raised this issue in an interview with CTV News.

isoHunt shut down

October 17th, 2013

The file sharing website IsoHunt.com is shutting down. In a Stipulation and Proposed Judgment filed with a District Court in California it has agreed to halt all operations and to be permanently enjoined from further infringements. In addition, isoHunt and its founder Gary Fung have agreed to be jointly and severally liable for damages in the amount of US $110 million dollars.

Is unauthorized online copying theft and does it hurt creators?

October 15th, 2013

Slavish copying of a work protected by copyright without consent is sometimes called theft. There is a long history of this association in the Commonwealth and the United States. In fact, in a leading case, the Privy Council stated that the moral basis of copyright rests on the 8th Commandment “Thou shalt not steal”. Despite the long lineage between unlawful appropriation of copyright material and the concepts of “theft”, “larceny” and “steal”, there are still debates as to whether the term is accurate or appropriate to use in this context. There are also still debates as to whether online piracy hurts creators and the creative industries. The recent US case Tamburo v. Dworkin 04 C 3317 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 26, 2013)  and several recent reports including a brief by the London School of Economics sheds light on both of these debates.

C-56 Combating Counterfeit Products Act gets Second Reading in House

June 3rd, 2013

On Friday, Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture) moved that Bill C-56, The Combating Counterfeit Products Act be read the second time and referred to a committee. The Bill is a long overdue attempt to bring Canada’s laws related to combating counterfeiting to international standards.

Kellie Leitch Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour rose in the House to describe the reasons for the Bill and its scope. Here, in part, is what she said about Bill C-56.

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”.

The Combating Counterfeit Products Act

March 4th, 2013

Last week, the Government introduced Bill C-56, Combating Counterfeit Products Act. It has two main objectives. First, to protect public safety and health by enacting legislation specifically to target commercial scale trafficking in counterfeit products. Second, to make technical amendments to the Trade-marks Act such as to permit registration of non-traditional trade-marks like sounds, and to improve registration procedures. The Government backgrounder and related FAQs, and other information is available at Industry Canada’s website.

Change and the Copyright Modernization Act

November 7th, 2012

Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act, with a few exceptions, is now law with the publication of the Governor General Order in Council. The fourth attempt to amend the Copyright Act since 2005 succeeded where Bills C-60 (2005), C-61 (2008), and C-32 (2010) did not.

A lot has changed since 2005 when Bill C-60 was first introduced. That Bill would have made a limited, but important, set of amendments. Its summary reminds us that it would have amended the “Copyright Act to implement the provisions of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty, to clarify the liability of network service providers, to facilitate technology-enhanced learning and interlibrary loans, and to update certain other provisions of the Act.”  Bill C-11 addresses far more than this.

The French Hadopi law, its history, operation, and effectiveness

October 10th, 2012

The French Hadopi graduated response law was passed in October 2009. A study by Professor Bret Danaher published earlier this year titled The Effect of Graduated Response Anti-Piracy Laws on Music Sales: Evidence from an Event Study in France found that it is effective in helping to reduce online copyright infringement and spur legitimate sales of music in France. He talked about the study earlier this year while in Toronto at the Canadian Music Week, Global Forum.

Earlier today, Anne-Sylvie Vassenaix-Paxton a lawyer with Heenan Blakie in Paris gave a speech at an ALAI meeting in Toronto. She described the history, operation, and effectiveness of the Hadopi graduated response law.