Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Privacy protects anonymity in cyberbulling case says Supreme Court

September 28th, 2012

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 $675,000 damage award against Joel Tenenbaum for file sharing excessive?

August 24th, 2012

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.

ISPs not broadcast undertakings says Supreme Court

February 9th, 2012

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:

Ontario recognizes privacy tort of intrusion upon seclusion

January 18th, 2012

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 (SPAM Bill) gets royal assent

December 16th, 2010

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.

Bill C-32’s fair dealing and other new copyright exceptions

November 17th, 2010

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.

Sookman Osgoode C-32 Speech

Bill C-32’s impacts on the IT community

October 30th, 2010

Here are the slides from my speech to the 14th Annual IT.Can Conference October 28-29, 2010 in Montreal on the topic  Bill C-32 – Impacts on the IT Community.

Sookman ITCAN October 2010 Slides

Industry Committee Amends Anti-Spam Bill (ECPA)

October 27th, 2009

By Barry Sookman and James Gannon

In May of this year, we sent an e-Alert that reviewed the concerns many Canadian businesses had expressed with the first draft of Bill C-27 – the Electronic Commerce Protection Act (ECPA). The Bill was criticized for containing overly broad anti-spam and anti-spyware provisions that would have rendered illegal many common legitimate commercial practices. It would have potentially exposed businesses to millions of dollars in fines and liabilities for activities that were unrelated to sending spam emails or installing spyware programs.