Canada’s anti-spam law (CASL), too much of a good thing

March 1st, 2013 by Barry Sookman 4 comments »

Here is a longer version of my article published in the Financial Post this morning titled Delete this anti-spam law.

Canadians don’t like spam. They also don’t like malware. But the more they learn about Canada’s new, but not yet in force, anti-spam law commonly referred to as CASL (for “Canada’s Anti-spam Legislation”), they don’t like it much either. The root of the problem is that the law starts with the assumption that all Canadians are spammers and purveyors of malware and works back from there by banning legitimate and illegitimate activities with vague rules and incomplete exceptions.

Charities, non-profits and CASL

February 21st, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

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.

Google liability for defamation on Tamiz v Google

February 20th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Last week the UK Court of Appeal in Tamiz v Google Inc [2013] EWCA Civ 68 (14 February 2013) ruled that Google, as the host of the site, had potential liability for defamation by failing to take down or disable access to defamatory content once it receives notice that it is hosting such content.

CASL: the submissions to Industry Canada on the draft regulations

February 19th, 2013 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

The period for filing submissions to the Industry Canada consultation on the draft Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations has closed.

Industry Canada received numerous submissions from organizations representing all sectors of the Canadian public including charities, not-for profit and educational institutions, private individuals, small, medium and large businesses, retailers, publishers, financial institutions, technology and telecommunications companies, vehicle manufacturers and others. The organizations that filed submissions include the Ontario Nonprofit Network, Imagine Canada, the AUCC, AccessPrivacy, Canadian Bar Association, Magazines Canada, The Canadian Marketing Association, Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada, a Coalition of Business and Technology Associations, The Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Information Technology Association of Canada, and CWTA . Phil Palmer, a specialist practitioner at Industry Canada Legal Services who oversaw the development of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation and the development of its regulations also filed a submission. I also personally filed a submission.

Has the CRTC compromised its judicial independence on CASL?

February 18th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Philip Palmer, a former specialist practitioner at Industry Canada Legal Services and the person who oversaw the development of CASL and its regulations, just published an important blog post, CRTC CASL Guidelines: Do they Compromise Adjudicative Independence? In the post, he questions whether the CRTC should be publishing enforcement guidelines in the name of the Commission in view of the important adjudicative role that the Commission also has in enforcing CASL.

In part, he says the following:

Supreme Court hears oral argument in Cinar/Robinson copyright cases (Updated)

February 13th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Earlier today, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in four copyright cases arising from the decision of the Quebec Court of Appeal in the France Animation v Robinson, 2011 QCCA 1361 case. The main issue in the appeal was whether sketches and characters of the proposed TV series Robinson curiosity were infringed by the series Robinson sucro. The trial judge found infringement and the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment, in part. The webcast from the argument is being archived and will be available here.

Google wins sponsored links case in Australia

February 6th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Google won an important case earlier today in the High Court of Australia  In Google Inc v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [2013] HCA 1 (6 February 2013), Australia’s highest court unanimously allowed an appeal from a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia which had found that Google had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct contrary to s 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 by publishing and displaying sponsored links. The High Court ruled that Google did not create the sponsored links that it published or displayed. Rather, the advertiser was considered to be the publisher of the sponsored links.

Evaluating the Industry Canada CASL regulations: my submission to the consultation

February 5th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Will CASL Hurt Charities? Let Us Count The Ways

February 4th, 2013 by Lorne Salzman No comments »

Charities, including hospitals, universities, orchestras and other similar not-for-profit organizations will be hard hit by Canada’s new anti-spam legislation, known as CASL, when it comes into effect later in 2013. They will face a diminished ability to communicate with their supporters including donors, patients, volunteers, alumni and other beneficiaries thereby leading, inevitably, to reduced funding and support even as administrative burdens and costs go up.

Evaluating the Industry Canada CASL regulations: countering cyber-security threats

February 1st, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

In a previous post, Evaluating the Industry Canada CASL regulations: why they are needed, I suggested that close scrutiny needs to be given to Industry Canada’s new draft Electronic Commerce Protection Regulations. CASL’s “ban all” structure makes it imperative that generous regulations be adopted to ensure that the goal’s of Canada’s new anti-spam/anti-malware law (CASL) are met. In another post, Evaluating the Industry Canada CASL regulations: how to assess them, I proposed a framework for assessing the regulations.