CASL – An FAQ

November 7th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Earlier today, I had the pleasure of attending a conference of the Barreau de Montreal on the subject of Canada’s anti-spam/spyware law (CASL). I was on a panel with Bill Abbott , Senior Legal Counsel, Legal Affairs, Bell Canada, Lynne Perrault , Director of the Division of Enforcement of electronic commerce, with the CRTC, and Stephanie Rich, Assistant General Counsel, protection of privacy and ethics, Aimia.

My talk was titled Canada’s anti-spam law – An FAQ. My slides are set out below. Let me know how many questions you know for certain you got right and how many you were unsure of.

Combating Counterfeit Products Act before Standing Committee

November 5th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology has started hearings on Bill C-8, the Combating Counterfeit Products Act. On Monday November 4, 2013, Minister of Industry James Moore appeared before the Committee. Also in attendance were witnesses from the Department of Industry, John Knubley, deputy minister, and Paul Halucha, director general of the marketplace framework policy branch. They were joined by Martin Bolduc, the vice-president of the operations branch Canada Border Services Agency and Superintendent Eric Slinn, director general, support services for federal policing from the RCMP.

Minister Moore led off the hearing with remarks that included the following:

OSFI sets sights on cyber security threats with release of guidance

October 28th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Earlier today, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) issued Cyber Security Self-Assessment Guidance.  The guidance follows on the heels of the release of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Preliminary Cybersecurity Framework earlier this month, revelations of billions of dollars lost by cyber crime, and the continuing disclosures about surveillance by the NSA and others.

OSFI described the need for the guidance and how it expects federally regulated financial institutions (FRFIs) to use it as follows:

IT.CAN conference highlights

October 27th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Last week, the Canadian IT Law Association held its Seventeenth Annual Canadian IT Law Conference. IT.CAN is Canada’s premier organization for IT law professionals. It had a very good attendance from both in-house and private practice lawyers.

I spoke at the session on Complex IT Service Agreements, on a panel with Jay Safer from IBM, and Amy Lynne Williams from Deeth Williams Wall. it was moderated by Fraser Mann.

There were some very interesting topics in the program. The highlights for me were the following:

isoHunt shut down

October 17th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

The file sharing website IsoHunt.com is shutting down. In a Stipulation and Proposed Judgment filed with a District Court in California it has agreed to halt all operations and to be permanently enjoined from further infringements. In addition, isoHunt and its founder Gary Fung have agreed to be jointly and severally liable for damages in the amount of US $110 million dollars.

Is unauthorized online copying theft and does it hurt creators?

October 15th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Slavish copying of a work protected by copyright without consent is sometimes called theft. There is a long history of this association in the Commonwealth and the United States. In fact, in a leading case, the Privy Council stated that the moral basis of copyright rests on the 8th Commandment “Thou shalt not steal”. Despite the long lineage between unlawful appropriation of copyright material and the concepts of “theft”, “larceny” and “steal”, there are still debates as to whether the term is accurate or appropriate to use in this context. There are also still debates as to whether online piracy hurts creators and the creative industries. The recent US case Tamburo v. Dworkin 04 C 3317 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 26, 2013)  and several recent reports including a brief by the London School of Economics sheds light on both of these debates.

Dr Ficsor on the Marrakesh Treaty

October 10th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

Dr Mihály Ficsor, one of the leading experts on international copyright and the former Deputy Director General of WIPO, has published a comprehensive commentary on the Marrakesh Treaty for access to works for the visually impaired. His synopsis of the paper is as follows:

UGC under Canadian copyright law: does the exception conform to international law?

October 10th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

IP Osgoode held a symposium today on the topic of User Generated Content under Canadian Copyright Law. I had the pleasure to speak on the topic “Is the UGC exception in conformity with international treaty standards?” My slides are set out below. Videos of the presentation are available at the IPOsgoode site.

Cyber security and lawyers

October 6th, 2013 by Barry Sookman No comments »

If the past week is any indication, cybersecurity will continue to be an issue that will have to be kept top of mind for lawyers, individuals and organizations. Here are a few of the top stories:

  • Symanetc reported that cybercrime is costing Canadians $3 billion US annually.
  • Adobe reported a massive security breach affecting 2.9 million customers. Some of its confidential source code was also accessed.
  • Thirteen hackers associated with Anonymous were indicted for cyber-attacks against targets that refused to process payments for WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy website founded by Julian Assange.

Using social networking in business development

October 1st, 2013 by Barry Sookman 1 comment »

Yesterday, I gave a speech at the Ontario Bar Association’s TECHxpo 2013. My talk was titled Ethical and Efficient Ways to Use Social Networking in Business Development. My slides are set out below and can also be accessed on Slideshare. Note the last slide which has links to guidelines on the use of social media from law societies around the world.