Notice and notice regime under C-11 coming into force

June 17th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Government announced today that the notice and notice regime established under C-11 is coming into force in January 2015. The delay in bringing these provisions into force was a consultations on possible regulations that the regime permitted. The Government announced that the provisions are coming into force without regulations.

The regime permits copyright owners to send notices to internet service providers and other internet intermediaries claiming infringement of copyright. The notices must be passed on by these service providers to their users. Because there are no regulations, the notices must be processed and passed on by the internet intermediaries without any fees payable by copyright owners.

Internet users’ privacy and anonymity protected by Supreme Court: R v Spencer

June 13th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Earlier today, the Supreme Court released a landmark decision dealing with privacy on the Internet. The main issue in R v Spencer 2014 SCC 43 was whether a user of the Internet has a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her basic subscriber information held by the user’s ISP that prevents the police from obtaining this information from the ISP without a warrant or court order. Prior to the decision some courts had ruled that ISPs could turn over subscriber contact details associated with the person’s IP address to police without  a warrant or court order. The Court rejected this line of cases ruling that a person has a reasonable expectation of privacy associated with Internet activities and that the “lawful authority” exemption in PIPEDA does not create a basis to turn such information to the police.

CASL clarified by CRTC at information sessions

June 8th, 2014 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

The CRTC has published materials recently used in public Information Sessions on Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). The materials consist of a video and transcript of one of the information sessions as well as slides. The transcript did not include answers given to questions from the public at the information sessions.

Much of the information provided had already been published by the Commission. However, some of the information was new or had elements that were new. The following are some examples.

Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2013-2014)

June 5th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

 

Earlier today, I gave my annual presentation to the Toronto Computer Lawyers’ Group on developments in Computer, Internet, and e-commerce Law. The slides cover the period from my last presentation in June 2013, Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2012-2013).

The cases summarized in the slides below canvass developments in a number of countries and include cases from Canada, United States, and the EU.

CANADA

Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 2013 SCC 62

(AOM) NA Inc. et al v. Reveal Group, 2013 ONSC 8014

Canada’s most influential lawyers?

June 2nd, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Canadian Lawyer has announced the candidates nominated for the fifth annual Canadian Lawyer’s Top 25 Most Influential. Again this year, it will be picking the top 5 lawyers in 5 categories. I am nominated in the “Corporate-commercial” category. (Candidates have been placed in a category relating to their nomination, not necessarily reflecting their main area of practice.) You can cast your vote until June 9

 I would like to thank Pascale Daigneault, the president of the Ontario Bar Association for nominating me.

 

Canada ratifying WIPO Internet Treaties

May 24th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Canadian Government has now deposited instruments of ratification as the final steps to ratifying the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT) and the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT). Most of the amendments to implement the treaty provisions went into effect in November 2012 when The Copyright Modernization Act was proclaimed into force. Some of the provisions pertaining to the WPPT including the making available right for sound recordings will only come into effect when the treaty ratification process is final. This will occur on August 13, 2014, 90 days after the deposit of the WPPT instruments of ratification with WIPO.

Google must comply with EU data protection laws including the right to be forgotten: Google v AEPD

May 13th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

In a bombshell opinion released earlier today, the CJEU ruled that Google Inc. is subject to EU data protection laws even where its servers are located outside of the EU. The Court ruled that when Google spiders the web and indexes the globe’s data, it is a processor with respect to personal information and a controller of such information. In the case before the Court, this meant that Google was required to de-index links to personal information, even though the information was accurate and without any showing that making the information available was prejudical to the data subject. The case is bound to lead to many further questions about the scope of the duties of search engines like Google under EU laws. I raised this issue in an interview with CTV News.

Mihály Ficsor on Svensson and communications to the public

May 11th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Svensson opinion of the CJEU has gained considerable attention. The focus has primarily been on the controversial topic of whether hyperlinks to a work on the Internet should be considered as making the work available and hence be part of the author’s right of communication to the public. However, the opinion also further extends precedents of the CJEU how to determine whether communications are “to the public”. In a seminal paper, Dr. Ficsor the former Deputy Director General of WIPO carefully examines these precedents and points out errors in the opinions. A summary of his paper is below.

APIs protected by copyright; copying for compatibility not an absolute defense to infringement: Oracle v Google

May 10th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit released an important decision yesterday in the ongoing battle between Oracle and Google over copyright protection for the Java APIs Goolge used in developing Android. In Oracle America, Inc. v Google Inc. 2014 WL 1855277 (CAFC. May 9, 2014), the Court reversed the District Court on practically every legal finding made by that court and ruled that, subject to a possible fair use defense, that Google infringed Oracle’s copyright.

Fordham’s debate about Canada’s unlocatable copyright owner regime

May 9th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Fordham has the best IP conference. It stimulates vigorous debates about IP issues at and after the conference. A case in point is the usefulness of Canada’s orphan works regime.

I was a panelist at Fordham which addressed the challenges associated with orphan works. I provided a summary of Canada’s Unlocatable Copyright Owner process highlighting its usefulness. I later did a blog post on the topic, Orphan works: the Canadian solution.

The debate about Canada’s regime started at Fordham when Howard Knopf (a persistent Fordham questioner) disagreed with my assessment stating the following (according to the Fordham unedited transcript of the panel):