Copyright Bill C-11 passes Senate and given Royal Assent (updated)

June 29th, 2012 by Barry Sookman 5 comments »

Bill C-11, The Copyright Modernization Act passed Third Reading in the House of commons and was given First Reading in the Senate on June 18, 2012. On June 26, 2012, the Bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. On June 27, 2012 the Senate Banking Committee reported C-11 back to the Senate without amendment. Earlier today, June 29, 2012, the Bill was passed by the Senate and given Royal Assent. It will come into force in the next few months through an order-in-council process.

My remarks to the Senate Committee studying Bill C-11

June 22nd, 2012 by Barry Sookman 7 comments »

The following are my opening remarks to the Senate Committee studying Bill C-11 earlier today. The link to the webcast can be found here.

I would like to thank the committee for inviting me to appear today to provide input on Bill C-11.

Before starting my remarks, I would like to give you some background about myself.

  • I am a senior partner with the law firm McCarthy Tétrault.
  • I am an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School where I teach IP law.
  • I am the author of 5 books including the leading 6 volume treatise on Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law.

Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2011-2012)

June 21st, 2012 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 (2011-2012). It covers significant developements since my talk last spring, Developments in Computer, Internet and E-Commerce Law (2010-2011).

The slides include a summary of the following cases:

Kraft Real Estate Investments, LLC v Homeway.com, Inc. 2012 WL 220271 (D.S.Car. Jan 24, 2012)

Swift v. Zynga Game Network, Inc., 805 F.Supp.2d 904, (N.D.Cal., 2011)

Fteja v. Facebook, Inc., 2012 WL 183896 (S.D.N.Y. 2012)

Grosvenor v. Qwest Corp., 2012 WL 602655 (D.Colo., 2012) 

So you want to protect computer programs by copyright, the Oracle v Google and SAS v WPL cases (Updated)

June 3rd, 2012 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

Are computer programs protected by copyright? That issue was a hot one three decades ago when courts began to struggle with whether these intangible utilitarian objects could be protected. Were they machine parts outside the realm of copyright or literary works, the kind of subject matter that copyright protects? This issue was quickly resolved in favor of copyright protection, first by the courts in the US, Australia, Canada and elsewhere in a series of cases involving the Apple II operating system and in other cases, then by international conventions and treaties and worldwide copyright amendments by governments that wanted to be sure programs could not be blatantly pirated.

Contracting for a cloud computing deal?

May 23rd, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Cloud computing is on the mind of many CIO’s these days. Its also on the mind of lawyers. Lawyers know contracting for cloud services can be difficult given the potential risks associated with these services. For regulated entities like Canadian financial institutions, a material public cloud transaction also poses serious OSFI compliance challenges. The standard form contracts of many cloud providers also contributes to the difficulties. For a survey of these terms, see Simon Bradshaw et al Contracts for Clouds: Comparison and Analysis of the Terms and Conditions of Cloud Computing Services.

New CASL regulations coming but will they fall short?

May 22nd, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Andy Kaplan-Myrth of Industry Canada spoke last week at a well-attended joint meeting of the Toronto Computer Lawyer’s Group and the CBA on Canada’s new anti-spam/spyware law (CASL). Specifically he talked about the upcoming revised Industry Canada regulations. Andy is a policy analyst with IC and is one of the people in charge of producing these regulations.

Here is a short summary of what was discussed from notes taken by James Gannon. One caveat, any questions that Andy answered related to interpretation of the statute were his personal opinion and not those of Industry Canada or the CRTC.

Timing:

CASL in force in 2013

April 27th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Industry Minister Paradis announced that Canada’s new anti-spam/anti-spyware bill known as CASL will become effectve sometime in 2013. In his prepared remarks to the Canada 3.0 Digital Media Forum, the Minister said: “And the anti-spam legislation, which we expect to take effect next year, will protect both Canadians and businesses against unwanted spam”.

Before CASL can become law, Industry Canada needs to finalize its regulations. New proposed regulations are expected to be published in the Canada Gazette within the next few months. There will then be a short period of time for comments before they become final.  The CRTC regulations have already been finalized.

Optus loses “TV Now” copyright appeal down under

April 26th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Earlier today, the Full Court of Australia released its decision in the National Rugby League Investments Pty Limited v Singtel Optus Pty Ltd [2012] FCAFC 59 (27 April 2012) case. In a note made available along with the reasons of the court for reversing the decision of the primary judge, the court summarized its decision as follows:

Social media, intellectual property and the workplace, is there a gap in the law?

April 25th, 2012 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

I gave a speech earlier today at the Law Society Special Lectures on Employment Law and the New Workplace in the Social Media Age. My talk was entitled,  “Is There a Gap in Intellectual Property Law?”  My slides are shown below.

iiNet not responsible for customers’ infringing acts says Australia High Court

April 20th, 2012 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The High Court of Australia released its decision in the Roadshow Films Pty Ltd v iiNet Ltd [2012] HCA 16 (20 April 2012) case earlier today. The panel of five judges, in two sets of reasons, dismissed the appeal from the Full Court. That court held that, on the facts of the case, iiNet, an Australian ISP, was not liable for authorising the infringing acts of its customers.

The key question in the appeal, was whether iiNet authorised its customers’ infringing acts. According to the Court, the key facts on which liability was premised were the following: