Retirement of Mario Bouchard from Copyright Board

June 17th, 2013 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

Claude Majeau, Vice-Chairman & CEO of the Copyright Board just announded the retirement of Mario Bouchard, General Counsel of the Board. Here is a copy of the announcement:

Retirement of Mario Bouchard / Retraite de Mario Bouchard

After a fruitful career, including the last 23 years at the Copyright Board, Mr. Mario Bouchard, General Counsel of the Board, informed me of his decision to retire from the Federal public service, effective Monday, August 26, 2013.

Mr. Bouchard will cease to act as the Board’s General Counsel as of Monday, June 24, 2013, and will be assigned to specific duties until his retirement.

Internet pharmacies selling drugs to Americans illegal: Ontario College of Pharmacists v Global Pharmacy Canada

June 12th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed in a decision released earlier this week that it is illegal to sell prescription drugs over the Internet to Americans where a substantial portion of the sales operations take place in Ontario when the seller is not licensed to operate a pharmacy in Ontario and otherwise does not comply with the laws and regulations governing pharmacies. In Ontario College of Pharmacists v. 1724665 Ontario Inc. (Global Pharmacy Canada), 2013 ONCA 381 the Court affirmed the decision of Justice Janet Wilson of the Superior Court of Justice who in Ontario College of Pharmacists v. 1724665 Ontario Inc., 2012 ONSC 5804 concluded that the appellants were selling prescription drugs, by retail, in Ontario; and were subject to the jurisdiction of the Ontario college of Pharmacists.

Challenges of Cloud Computing

June 7th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Yesterday, I gave a talk at the The Six‐Minute Business Lawyer 2013, conference organized by The Law Society of Upper Canada. Here are my slides from the talk.

C-56 Combating Counterfeit Products Act gets Second Reading in House

June 3rd, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

On Friday, Christian Paradis Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture) moved that Bill C-56, The Combating Counterfeit Products Act be read the second time and referred to a committee. The Bill is a long overdue attempt to bring Canada’s laws related to combating counterfeiting to international standards.

Kellie Leitch Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour rose in the House to describe the reasons for the Bill and its scope. Here, in part, is what she said about Bill C-56.

Making social networks remediate defamation enabled by their platforms: McKeogh v Facebook

May 28th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

A recent Irish case illustrates the difficulties an innocent person who is defamed on social media can face in trying to get the material removed, particularly where the Internet intermediaries who may have the ability to help refuse to cooperate. In McKeogh v Facebook Ireland Limited et al, Record No. 2012/254P, High Court Ireland, May 16 2013, the Irish High Court came up with a novel solution – require the Internet intermediaries, in this case Google and Facebook, to order their experts to meet with the defamed person’s expert to come up with a solution that can be incorporated into a mandatory injunction.

Liability of ex-employees for breach of confidence: Vestergaard Frandsen v Bestnet Europe

May 27th, 2013 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

The UK Supreme Court just released a decision examining the scope of the common law (or equitable) duty of confidence. One of the main issues in the case was whether a person can be liable for breach of confidence by acting in common design with others who are in breach of confidence when the person is not aware that trade secrets are being used in violation of the duty of confidence. The Court in Vestergaard Frandsen A/S & Ors v Bestnet Europe Ltd & Ors [2013] UKSC 31 (22 May 2013) ruled that liability cannot be imposed in these circumstances.

Are smartphones computer systems under the Criminal Code? R v Cockell

May 21st, 2013 by Barry Sookman 2 comments »

Every now and again you read decisions that make you shake your head. Mine felt like a salt shaker when I read the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal last week in R. v. Cockell, 2013 ABCA 112. In this case the Court reversed the conviction of an accused on three counts of child luring using a computer system under s 172.1(1) of the Criminal Code. Why? Incredibly, because it wasn’t proved the BlacKBerry smartphone used to commit the offense was a computer system.

Privacy Commissioners speak about Getting Accountability Right at CLHIA Conference

May 14th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Last week I had the pleasure of listening to a great talk titled “Privacy: Getting Accountability Right” at the 2013 Compliance and Consumer Complaints Annual Conference organized by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Asscoiation Inc. Taking place in sunny Vancouver (see below), the speakers were Barbara Bucknell of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jill Clayton, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Alberta, and Elizabeth Denham, Information and Privacy Commissioner, British Columba.


Vancouver Harbor


Here is a summary of their remarks.

The first question addressed to each panelist was the trends they were seeing in relation to privacy in the insurance industry.

Problems with copyright assignments: Righthaven, Tremblay and POPS

May 10th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Copyright assignments. There are a myriad of ways for them to be challenged or be ineffective. Three recent cases illustrate their potential frailties; one from the US and two from Canada.

Yesterday’s decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Righthaven LLC v Hoehn 2013 WL 1908876 (9th.Cir.May 9, 2013) spells the end of the copyright troll Righthaven. It gained substantial notoriety by commencing lawsuits alleging copyright infringement in articles published in the Las Vegas Review-Journal reproduced online by websites without permission.

Fair use for Australia? A report from the Kernochan Centre

May 6th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

During the copyright reform process leading up Bill C-32 (the Copyright Modernization Act), some proponents of reform had advocated broadening the Copyright Act’s fair dealing exception to a US style fair use regime. This was opposed by a wide spectrum of the Canadian creative community. Eventually the proposal was not adopted when Bill C-11 was finally proclaimed into force. See, Barry Sookman and Dan Glover, Why Canada Should Not Adopt Fair Use: A joint submission to the Copyright Consultation