The Supreme Court decided yesterday that police are required to comply with Part VI of the Criminal Code if they want to secure the prospective and continuous production of text messages from a mobile carrier like TELUS. In R. v. TELUS Communications Co., 2013 SCC 16, the Court ruled that police cannot merely obtain a general warrant. Rather to obtain copies of text messages in these circumstances, they must obtain an intercept order and comply with the conditions needed to intercept voice communications.
Last week was a very eventful one in copyright law with three significant copyright rulings from US courts. The US Supreme Court ruled that importing genuine grey market works into the US does not infringe copyright. The Ninth Circuit affirmed a ruling that the Canadian bitTorrent site isoHunt is liable for contributory copyright infringement. Last, a US District Court ruled that Meltwater’s controversial electronic news clipping service is liable for copyright infringement and is not protected by fair use doctrine.
Last night I attended the Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Managing IP gala in Washington, DC. I was delighted to learn that my firm, McCarthy Tétrault, was honored with two of the 2013 North America Awards for excellence in intellectual property law.
McCarthy Tétrault was recognized as the top firm in Canada in the category of Patent Contentious. I won the award as Canada’s Outstanding IP Practitioner.
Other winners recognized for their excellence in IP including other Canadian winners can be found here.
Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals released a revised opinion in the Veoh Networks case, UMG Recordings v Shelter Capital Partners No. 09—55902 (9th.Cir. Marc. 14, 2013), superseding the earlier opinion, UMG Recordings v Shelter Capital Partners LLC, 101 U.S.P.Q.2d 1001 (9th.Cir. 2011). The decision reviewed the scope of the DMCA hosting safe harbor finding it applicable on the facts of the case to the Veoh Networks video sharing site.
In the original decision the Ninth Circuit made three important rulings with respect to the scope of the DMCA hosting safe harbor:
Criminal copyright convictions of The Pirate Bay operators “necessity in democratic society” says human rights courtMarch 13th, 2013 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that the convictions of Fredrik NEIJ and Peter SUNDE KOLMISOPPI, operators of The Pirate Bay bittorrent site did not violate Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Court found that the convictions of the defendants for criminal copyright infringement did not violate their rights to freedom of expression as the convictions and jail sentences imposed by Sweden’s Court of Appeal was “necessary in a democratic society” within the meaning of Article 10 § 2 of the Convention. The application to set aside the convictions was rejected “as manifestly ill-founded”.
Want to avoid making misleading disclosures in online advertising? Then the FTC’s new staff guidance document, .com Disclosures, How to Make effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising, is a must read. It provides information businesses should consider as they develop ads for online media to ensure that they comply with US law.
The overview summarizes the general principles as follows:
- The same consumer protection laws that apply to commercial activities in other media apply online, including activities in the mobile marketplace. The FTC Act’s prohibition on “unfair or deceptive acts or practices” encompasses online advertising, marketing, and sales. In addition, many Commission rules and guides are not limited to any particular medium used to disseminate claims or advertising, and therefore, apply to the wide spectrum of online activities.
The European Court of Justice ruled yesterday that retransmitting broadcasts over the internet infringes the communication to the public right, if done without authorization. The case involved TV Catchup Limited which operated an internet based live streaming service of broadcast television programmes.
The UK High Court in ITV Broadcasting Ltd & Ors v TV Catchup Ltd  EWHC 1874 (Pat) (18 July 2011) referred the case to the EU Court of Justice (the CJEU). The case involved answering two questions. First, whether grabbing the over the air broadcasts and retransmitting them over the Internet was a communication. Secondly, whether the transmissions were “to the public”. The court in Case C‑607/11 found both requirements were met.
Last week, the Government introduced Bill C-56, Combating Counterfeit Products Act. It has two main objectives. First, to protect public safety and health by enacting legislation specifically to target commercial scale trafficking in counterfeit products. Second, to make technical amendments to the Trade-marks Act such as to permit registration of non-traditional trade-marks like sounds, and to improve registration procedures. The Government backgrounder and related FAQs, and other information is available at Industry Canada’s website.
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.
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.