Government of Canada launches anti-spam information web site

August 2nd, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Industry Canada has launched a web site to inform Canadians about Canada’s new anti-spam legislation. The site has some useful information about the law which is simply referred to as “Canada’s new anti-spam law”, as the law has no short name. The information at the site includes “key facts”, an “FAQ”, information about the new Spam Reporting Centre, and how the law will be enforced  and administered. A link to the law is also at the site.

UK copyright caselaw update: the Lucasfilm, BT, ITV and Meltwater cases

August 1st, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Is a stormtrooper’s helmet a sculpture protected by copyright? Can a defendant living in the UK be sued for infringing the US Copyright Act in the UK? Can an ISP be forced to block a foreign website whose services are being used to download infringing TV programmes and movies? Does Internet streaming of television programming without permission infringe the communication to the public right? Does temporary buffering to deliver streams of film and TV programming infringe the reproduction right? Does offering an online news clipping service which involves copying headlines and short extracts of articles infringe copyright? Can such a service rely on a fair dealing defense?

Draft FISA (Anti-SPAM) regulations published by CRTC and Industry Canada (updated)

July 18th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Canadian Anti-SPAM law (CASL or FISA) contemplated that regulations would need to be promulgated before the Act is proclaimed into force. CASL contemplated two sets of regulations: one from Industry Canada and the other from the CRTC.  The CRTC published draft regulations for comment purposes on June 30, 2011. The Commission will accept comments from interested persons that it receives on or before September 7, 2011, a date extended by the CRTC from the original date of 29 August 2011.

The CRTC draft regulations are as follows:

C-32 Copyright Bill Described in WTO reports

June 24th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The Secretariat of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Government of Canada recently published reports on the trade practices of Canada. Each report contains a short summary of the provisions of Bill C-32, the Copyright Modernization Act.

When Bill C-32 was tabled in the House of Commons the Government published Facts Sheets, FAQs, and a Backgrounder that summarized the Bill’s amendments. The Bill’s objectives were also described in its Preamble. The Government described the Bill succinctly for the WTO as follows:

Who bears the risk of loss when a corporate bank account is hacked?

June 20th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Recently, we have witnessed numerous examples of corporate web sites being hacked. Sony, Sega, Honda, Citibank, and Epsilon are all recent examples. When these sites are hacked often the victims are individual customers whose personal information is accessed. But, when a bank account is hacked often the object is money. When such an account is hacked such as by an unauthorized wire transfer or withdrawal, who bears the risk of loss, the bank or the customer whose account is raided?

Is an Internet posting of a work a world-wide publication for copyright purposes?

June 16th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Is a work published worldwide for copyright purposes when it is posted on a publically available internet web site? That issue was just canvassed by a US District Court in Kernal Records Oy v. Mosley2011WL 2223422 (S.D.Fla. Jun. 7, 2011). The Court ruled that making a music file available  on a website in Australia was an act tantamount to global and simultaneous publication of the work which brought the work within the definition of a “United States work” under § 101(1)(C) of the US Copyright Act. The effect of the holding was that the copyright infringement suit brought in the US was dismissed for failure to meet that legislation’s registration requirement for a “United States work”.

Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2010-2011)

June 15th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Here are the slides used in my presentation to the Toronto Computer Lawyers Group earlier today, The Year in Review: Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2010-2011). It covers significant developements since my talk last spring.

The slides include a summary of the following cases and statutory materials:

Privacy:

Cite Cards Canada Inc. v. Pleasance, 2011 ONCA 3

Leon’s Furniture Limited v. Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner), 2011 ABCA 94

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Privacy Commissioner of Canada, 2010 FC 736

Nammo v. TransUnion of Canada Inc., 2010 FC 1284

UN report on internet disconnection flawed and contrary to jurisprudence

June 13th, 2011 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Recently, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom  of opinion and expression released a controversial report in which he stated he was

“alarmed by proposals to disconnect users from Internet  access if they violate intellectual property rights. This also includes legislation based on the  concept of “graduated response”, which imposes a series of penalties on copyright  infringers that could lead to suspension of Internet service, such as the so-called “three strikes-law” in France  and the Digital Economy Act 2010 of the United Kingdom.”

Throne Speech promises swift passage of copyright amendments

June 3rd, 2011 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

The Throne Speech delivered earlier today promises “swift passage of copyright legislation that balances the needs of creators and users.”  With a majority Government, the fourth try to amend the Copyright Act since 2005 will likely succeed where Bills C-60 (2005), C-61 (2008), and C-32 (2010) did not.

The copyright reforms are a long time coming. Canada has acknowledged since 1997 that it needs to adapt its laws to address digital technologies and the Internet. That year it signed the 1996 WIPO Treaties.Since then, at least 12 government, department, and committee reports have studied and made recommendations for reform to address digital issues.[1] So have Canadian businesses.[2]

G8 declaration: Internet and IP critical to innovation

May 30th, 2011 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

The leaders of the G8 concluded their meetings last week with a renewed commitment to freedom and democracy. They released a declaration dealing with a variety of topics including the importance of the Internet and intellectual property as catalysts to innovation. The declaration also highlights the challenges of maintaining the privacy and security of networks and network communications.

The declaration on the Internet made the link between the Internet and innovation as follows:

For business, the Internet has become an essential and irreplaceable tool for the conduct of commerce and development of relations with consumers. The Internet is a driver of innovation, improves efficiency, and thus contributes to growth and employment…