Copyright Modernization Act soon to be law in Canada

October 30th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Privy Council has released a copy of notice dated October 25, 2012 (P.C. 2012-1392) setting out when the amendments to the Copyright Act will come into force. The information in the notice, which has been published by some law libraries, provides for the amendments to come into force in three stages.

  1. Most amendments will come into force when the notice is officially published in the Canada Gazette Part II which is expected to take place soon and perhaps as early as November 7, 2012.

IPC v UFCW Charter/privacy case going to Supreme Court (updated)

October 27th, 2012 by Barry Sookman 3 comments »

If privacy legislation significantly impairs Charter rights do privacy rights or Charter rights prevail? Specifically, does an individual’s right to privacy for publically crossing a picket line under Alberta’s comprehensive privacy legislation Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) have to yield to a union’s right of free expression to film and disseminate that act under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms? This question was answered in the affirmative by the Alberta Court of Appeal in United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 v Alberta (Attorney General), 2012 ABCA 130. Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Canada granted leave to appeal the decision (now styled Inforrmation and Privacy Commissioner, et al. v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401, et al.)

Charter protects employees’ privacy in data stored on employer computers rules Supreme court in R v Cole

October 21st, 2012 by Barry Sookman 2 comments »

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:

CRTC Issues CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Law) Guidelines, background and commentary

October 16th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Last week the CRTC released its first two “information bulletins” intended to help businesses in interpreting CASL and the CRTC’s regulations under CASL. While certain of the Commission’s interpretations are helpful, some are troublesome as they would impose new requirements not contemplated either by the statute or the CRTC’s own regulations. They would necessitate costly compliance, which would particularly affect small and medium-sized businesses and mobile digital commerce.

Under the Commission’s interpretation of its regulations and the related provisions of CASL, among other things:

  • Users should be given the opportunity to unsubscribe from all messages from the sender, not merely CEMs.

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

October 10th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

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.

Copyright Board values music used in online music services

October 8th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Did you ever wonder what online music services like iTunes, Slacker, Rdio, Zik, and Songza pay for the music they use? On Friday, the Copyright Board released its decision in the SOCAN 22.A and CSI Online Music Services tariffs. The tariffs establish rates that music services must pay to music publishers for the communication to the public and reproduction rights in musical works for services that offer the following types of online music services:

  • Permanent downloads – a service that sells and distributes copies of sound recordings of musical works to a device such as a computer, cell phone, Smartphone, or iPod. The person who receives the download can listen to it indefinitely.

Upcoming IP/IT events you won’t want to miss

October 3rd, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

It’s the fall. After a long hot summer, you may be ready to attend a conference, roundtable, or panel discussion to learn about important developments or issues in IT/IP law. Here are few I am participating in that you may want to attend.

October 3-4, The 2012 Quorum Club. The Quorum Club brings together senior corporate counsel and senior private law firm practitioners in a setting where they can share ideas, opinions and network in a way that few gatherings in Canada offer. I am participating in the 2012 QC Roundtable: IP Playbook for the GC.

Privacy protects anonymity in cyberbulling case says Supreme Court

September 28th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

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.

When a tweet crosses the line

September 26th, 2012 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

I can’t figure this one out. I’m a lawyer, not a psychologist.

After the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in the Access Copyright case, two academics, Michael Geist and Ariel Katz, stepped up their attacks on Access Copyright.

Michael Geist claimed that the Supreme Court’s decision eviscerated Access Copyright’s business model. In a reply blog post I showed this claim did not stand up to scrutiny.

Even more on Access Copyright and the Supreme Court: eviscerated or not?

September 24th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

My mother warned me to be suspicious when people give gratuitous compliments. So, I read with some suspicion the recent blog post by Ariel Katz, who responded to my post Did the Supreme Court eviscerate Access Copyright’s business model? A reply to Michael Geist, generously calling me a “well experienced lawyer” and a “smart well-trained lawyer”.[[1]]

In that post I argued that Michael Geist’s claim that the Supreme Court’s decision eviscerated Access Copyright’s business model did not stand up to scrutiny. I pointed out that his assertions completely ignored the teachings of the Supreme Court that whether something is a fair dealing is a question of fact and that his claims were not based on any analysis to demonstrate why the Supreme Court decision had the effects he claimed.