CASL: insights into Canada’s anti-spam law at the Lexpert conference

May 6th, 2014 by Barry Sookman 5 comments »

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of chairing a conference on Canada’s anti-spam/spyware law (CASL). The Lexpert conference covered the anti-spam, computer program and Competition Act aspects of the new law. The speakers brought useful insights into interpreting CASL and its regulations as well as practical guidance on implementing compliance programs. The slides from some of the speakers are set out below.

The conference was attended by Philip Palmer, a former Justice Canada lawyer and one of the individuals who played a lead role in drafting CASL and the initial regulations. He was on an “Ask the Experts” panel with David Canton and I. In the course of the conference and during the panel discussion he provided some helpful personal opinions about CASL that are worth sharing. Among them:

CASL and Freedom of Expression –The Writing Is on the Wall

May 2nd, 2014 by Dan Glover No comments »

On May 1, I participated in a vigorous discussion on the constitutionality of CASL at the 17th Biennial National Conference on Communications Law and Policy hosted by the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Canadian Bar Association in Ottawa. My talk was on whether CASL could survive a Charter challenge based on freedom of expression grounds. I focused on the recent United Food decision at the Supreme Court of Canada, which struck down the Alberta Personal Information Protection Act for disproportionately impinging on expression rights in order to achieve privacy objectives, and pointed out that CASL might also fall to a similar challenge. Further, I commented on the possibility that even if CASL were found to be Charter-compliant, its implementation by the CRTC and other regulators still might not pass Charter muster, a point raised by the recent Doré decision at the Supreme Court. My slides are shown below.

Orphan works: the Canadian solution

April 27th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

I had the pleasure of being a panelist at the 2014 Annual Fordham Law and Policy IP Conference.  My panel was on the topic of orphan works and mass digitization.  My contribution was to provide a summary of Canada’s orphan works regime. The following are some of my speaking notes from the panel.

S.77 of the Act sets out the basis for granting licences to works and other subject matter where the owner cannot be located after reasonable efforts. S. 77 reads as follows:

77 (1) Where, on application to the Board by a person who wishes to obtain a licence to use

Law and Innovation: Is Intellectual Property a Path to Progress

April 13th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

I had the pleasure of speaking at the Institute for New Economic Thinking and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)  Toronto 2014 Conference called Human After All. The topic of my talk was “Law and Innovation: Is Intellectual Property a Path to Progress”. The speakers with me on the session were Giovanni Dosi, Director, Institute of Economics, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa and Mariana Mazzucato, Professor, University of Sussex. The paper I prepared for the talk is below. (A PDF version of the paper can be accessed here.) My slides can be accessed here.* .

Canada to amend PIPEDA with the Digital Privacy Act

April 8th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Bill S-4, the Digital Privacy Act (An Act to amend the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act,) was given First Reading in the Senate today.  The summary of the Bill describes the proposed amendments as follows:

CASL don’t forget about the computer program “malware” and “spyware” provisions

April 7th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Earlier today, I co-chaired the program Countdown to Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation: Make Sure You Are Ready, jointly provided by the Ontario Bar Association and the Law Society of Upper Canada. I gave an overview of CASL focusing on the computer program provisions before moderating the “Ask the Experts” Q&A panel.

My slides on the computer program provisions are shown below.

 

Blocking orders against ISPs legal in the EU: UPC Telekabel Wien

March 30th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

European courts have ordered ISPs to block access to pirate file sharing sites in other countries for years. The jurisdiction for doing so is Article 8(3) of the EU Copyright Directive (Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001) which is transposed into the laws of EU Member States. The courts have considered these orders to represent a reasonable balance between the interests of copyright holders, intermediaries, and end users. See, Keeping The Pirate Bays at Bay.

Aereo infringes says international associations and copyright scholars to SCOTUS

March 3rd, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Earlier today, a number of international and foreign associations and copyright scholars filed an Amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in the ABC, Inc. et al v. Aereo, Inc case. The brief brings to the attention of the SCOTUS a number of international treaties and trade agreements respecting copyright that impose obligations on the United States to provide copyright holders with a broad technologically neutral communication to the public right that would cover all aspects of Aereo’s service and make its service infringing.

Canada’s anti-spam law CASL applies to you even if you aren’t in Canada

March 1st, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

I got a call this week from a client asking if Canada’s new anti-spam/anti-malware legislation (CASL) applies to non-Canadian organizations. (It was one of the plethora of calls I got this week on CASL.) When I answered that CASL did indeed apply extra-territorially I was confronted with one of the many gasps of frustration I have also been encountering recently with this law (which several years ago I dubbed Canada’s Anti-Speech Legislation (CASL) because of its major chill on legitimate electronic messages).

When hyperlinks infringe copyright: Svensson v Retriever Sverige

February 13th, 2014 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Earlier today, the CJEU released an important decision on whether the making available right gives copyright holders a right to authorize the use of hyperlinks to copyright content. In Case C-466/12 Svensson v Retriever Sverige AB, (13 February 2014) the CJEU ruled that an ordinary “clickable” hyperlink makes a work available to the public. However, if the link is to a publically available portion of a website used by the rights holder to make work available to the same public as the link, it is not made available to a new public and the right is not infringed.