Yesterday, I gave a talk at the U.S. Federal Circuit Bar Association’s IP conference in Toronto. My talk was on Significant Recent Developments: Internet and Copyright. My slides are shown below and are available here.
Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category
Last night I attended the Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Managing IP gala in Washington, DC. I was delighted to learn that my firm, McCarthy Tétrault, was honored with two of the 2013 North America Awards for excellence in intellectual property law.
McCarthy Tétrault was recognized as the top firm in Canada in the category of Patent Contentious. I won the award as Canada’s Outstanding IP Practitioner.
Other winners recognized for their excellence in IP including other Canadian winners can be found here.
Some people mistakenly think that only businesses find Canada’s anti-spam law (CASL) to be burdensome, unworkable, and counter-productive. However, this view appears to be shared by every sector that is faced with compliance including charities and not for profit organizations, universities, colleges and hospitals.
Industry Canada has now received submissions to the consultation from organizations representing the entire charitable and non-profit sectors. The submissions include calls by each of the Ontario Nonprofit Network, Imagine Canada, and the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) for a complete exemption from CASL. They, along with Canadian Bar Association, provide example after example of how CASL’s “ban all” approach to regulating electronic messages with any direct or indirect commercial content or links will have very deleterious implications, in this case for charities and not for profit organizations.
The Supreme Court released its reasons in the A.B. v. Bragg Communications Inc., 2012 SCC 46 case yesterday. The main issue in the case was whether the privacy interests of a child to keep her identity anonymous in legal proceedings outweighed the open court principle.
The case arose from a 15-year-old girl finding out that someone had posted a Facebook profile using her picture, a slightly modified version of her name, and other particulars identifying her. Accompanying the picture was some unflattering commentary about the girl’s appearance along with sexually explicit references. The page was removed by the internet provider later that month.
Was the statutory damages award of $675,000 against Joel Tenebaum for downloading and distributing 30 music files over peer-to-peer networks excessive? Did it violate US due process? According to a decision released by a U.S. District Court yesterday in the Sony BMG Music Entertainment v Tenebaum 2012 WL 3639053, (D.Mass., Aug. 23, 2012) case, the answer to both questions is no.
After a five-day jury trial, the jury found that Tenenbaum’s infringement was willful as to each of the thirty sound recordings in issue, and returned a verdict within the US statutory range of $22,500 per infringement, for a total damages award of $675,000. After an appeal of the jury verdict, the Court was charged with the duty of determining whether the award was excessive under the common law remittitur doctrine and whether it violated due process.
The Supreme Court delivered its reasons this morning affirming the decison of the Federal Court of Appeal in the Broadcasting Reference case. The Court ruled that ISPs do not carry on “broadcasting undertakings” under the Broadcasting Act when, in their role as ISPs, they provide access through the Internet to “broadcasting” requested by end-users.
The reasons for the decison were given as follows:
The Ontario Court of Appeal formally recognized today the existence of a tort for an intrusion upon seclusion. In the widely watched case of Jones v Tsige 2012 ONCA 32, the Court reviewed the prior case law from around the country, the US and the Commonwealth. After doing so, it concluded that Ontario has already accepted the existence of a tort claim for appropriation of personality and that it was appropriate for the Court to confirm the existence of a right of action for intrusion upon seclusion. “Recognition of such a cause of action would amount to an incremental step that is consistent with the role of this court to develop the common law in a manner consistent with the changing needs of society.”
Bill C-28, Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act, S.C. 2010, c. 23, received Royal Assent, December 15, 2010. The provisions come into force on a day or days to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.
Here are slides from the speech I gave earlier today at Osgoode Hall Law School’s professional development program on understanding Bill C-32. The speech focused on the proposed fair dealing exceptions including the new exception for education, exceptions for individuals including the UGC, format shifting, time shifting, and back-up copy exceptions, and the new exceptions for developing interoperable programs, encryption research, network security testing, and technological processes.