Dr Ficsor on the Marrakesh Treaty

October 10th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Dr Mihály Ficsor, one of the leading experts on international copyright and the former Deputy Director General of WIPO, has published a comprehensive commentary on the Marrakesh Treaty for access to works for the visually impaired. His synopsis of the paper is as follows:

UGC under Canadian copyright law: does the exception conform to international law?

October 10th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

IP Osgoode held a symposium today on the topic of User Generated Content under Canadian Copyright Law. I had the pleasure to speak on the topic “Is the UGC exception in conformity with international treaty standards?” My slides are set out below. Videos of the presentation are available at the IPOsgoode site.

Cyber security and lawyers

October 6th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

If the past week is any indication, cybersecurity will continue to be an issue that will have to be kept top of mind for lawyers, individuals and organizations. Here are a few of the top stories:

  • Symanetc reported that cybercrime is costing Canadians $3 billion US annually.
  • Adobe reported a massive security breach affecting 2.9 million customers. Some of its confidential source code was also accessed.
  • Thirteen hackers associated with Anonymous were indicted for cyber-attacks against targets that refused to process payments for WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website founded by Julian Assange.

Using social networking in business development

October 1st, 2013 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

Yesterday, I gave a speech at the Ontario Bar Association’s TECHxpo 2013. My talk was titled Ethical and Efficient Ways to Use Social Networking in Business Development. My slides are set out below and can also be accessed on Slideshare. Note the last slide which has links to guidelines on the use of social media from law societies around the world.

Canada’s anti-spam law and universities

September 30th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Contrary to a popular misconception, Canada’s anti-spam law (CASL) will apply to Canadian universities. Unlike universities and charities in other countries like Australia that have specific exemptions,  CASL will impose significant burdens on these organizations even though they are the least likely offenders and have very constrained resources, making compliance even more difficult for them.

Internet and copyright: significant developments

September 18th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

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.

Michael Geist on CASL: flaws not Festivus grievances

September 16th, 2013 by Barry Sookman 2 comments »

Last week Michael Geist published a blog post summarizing his remarks to Industry Minister Moore as to why the almost universal criticisms of Canada’s anti-spam/malware law CASL are unfounded. He suggested it is intense lobbying by “squeaky wheels” with “knee jerk” “greatly exaggerated” and “Festivus” grievances about CASL” that has delayed bringing the law into effect”. He acknowledges that CASL creates new compliance obligations but suggests they are not onerous and even standard internationally (when referring to “opt-in” for spam) and that there is not much more to CASL than “a simple proposition – obtain customer consent and you can do pretty much whatever you like.”

U.S. Federal Circuit Bar Association IP conference coming to Toronto

September 10th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The U.S. Federal Circuit Bar Association is holding an IP conference in Toronto on September 17, 2013. The conference title is Trade, Intellectual Property and Recovering Economies: A Search for Best Practices. 

This unique event, sponsored by the Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA), has a fabulous program that includes the following topics:

  • Innovation
  • Patent, Internet and Copyright Litigation
  • International Trade
  • Views from the Courts and the Patent Offices

Some key speakers include the following:

  • Chief Judge Randall R. Rader – United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

NSA spying, cyber security and liability under Canada’s anti-spam spyware law CASL

September 9th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Last week the Guardian and New York Times ran stories claiming that NSA and its UK counterpart GCHQ have developed or employed means to crack the security being used to protect the privacy of personal data, online transactions, e-mails and other internet communications. According to the reports, the intelligence agencies have, among other things, collaborated with technology companies and ISPs to insert secret vulnerabilities – known as backdoors or trapdoors – into commercial encryption software, computer chips, and devices, covertly influenced their product designs, and introduced weaknesses into security standards. Intensive efforts have been made to crack security in widely used online protocols in Canada such as HTTPS, voice-over-IP, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), virtual private networks (VPNs), and the protection used on 4G smartphones. Reportedly, companies have collaborated voluntarily or by being legally compelled to do so.

Copyright: Cases and Commentary on the Canadian and International Law

September 5th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

978-0-7798-5535-3I am pleased to announce the publication of the second edition of my book Copyright: Cases and Commentary on the Canadian and International Law. The casebook, co-authored with Steve Mason and Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Carys Craig, is published by Carswell.

The new edition updates the text to include important developments in the law from the Supreme Court copyright pentalogy and amendments made by the Copyright Modernization Act. The text also includes other developments in the law including significant decisions from other courts in Canada, the US and Commonwealth countries.