Copyright term extension

Copyright term extension consultationCopyright term extension consultation



The government just launched a consultation on how to implement an extension to the copyright term for works from 50 to 70 years from the life of the author. Canada agreed to this term extension as part of the Canada-United States Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). Under that treaty, Canada has 2.5 years to implement the amendment. Extending the term of protection to 70 years would bring Canada into line with the terms of protection of our major trading partners.

This consultation “aims to solicit views from stakeholders and the Canadian public on whether accompanying measures should be adopted to address concerns that have been raised over the potential implications of a longer general copyright term, and if so, what form such measures should take.”…

Privacy and Clearview, Facial recognition

Exceptions from consent in PIPEDA: facial recognition, privacy and ClearviewExceptions from consent in PIPEDA: facial recognition, privacy and Clearview



PIPEDA requires consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. PIPEDA also has many exceptions where consents are not required. These exceptions are part of the balance in PIPEDA and enable uses of public information for purposes that are in the public interest. The collection of photos from online sources by Clearview AI, Inc. (“Clearview”) using facial recognition software to facilitate use by law enforcement was recently found to be illegal following a joint investigation by the federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (“OPC” or the “Commissioner”) and privacy Commissioners from Quebec (“CAI”), Alberta (“OIPC AB”), and British Columbia (“OIPC BC”) (the “Offices”).…

Internet harassment

Internet harassment: Caplan v AtasInternet harassment: Caplan v Atas



“The prevalence of online harassment is shocking. In Canada, as of October 2016, about 31% of social media users were harassed. Studies on the effects of cyber harassment show the potentially devastating impact of these attacks”. These were findings in the recent case Caplan v. Atas, 2021 ONSC 670 in which an Ontario court held that the tort of Internet harassment and new online enforcement remedies should be recognized as essential tools to combat cyber-stalking and other forms of Internet harassment.…

Liability under the CPPA

Liability under the CPPALiability under the CPPA



The headlines about the new proposed federal privacy law, the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (“CPPA”), frequently focus on the extremely high penalties and fines for non-compliance. But, these headline miss by a wide margin how onerous liability under the CPPA will be.

The liability under the CPPA will be a major departure from the PIPEDA regime. The changes are explained in the detailed blog post, The CPPA’s Privacy Law Enforcement Regime published by McCarthy Tetrault lawyers Gillian Kerr, Nikiforos Iatrou, Pippa Leslie and I (with help from Daanish Pasricha).…

Liability for defamation

Social media liability for defamation: Giustra v TwitterSocial media liability for defamation: Giustra v Twitter



“Tweets span international boundaries, making for jurisdictional issues with respect to the adjudication of legal claims relating to them.” This is opening line in a lengthy decision of a British Columbia court in Giustra v Twitter, Inc.,[1] holding that the court had territorial competence over Twitter to adjudicate claims arising from defamatory tweets disseminated by users and relayed on Twitter’s social media platform.

The case is significant. First, because of Justice Myers’ holding that the B.C. court had jurisdiction over Twitter to rule on its liability.…

Top legal developments in e-commerce, privacy and intellectual propertyTop legal developments in e-commerce, privacy and intellectual property



Despite COVID-19, 2020 was an eventful year, chock full of impactful legal developments in e-commerce, technology, privacy, anti-spam, and intellectual property law. Here is a summary of my picks for the top legal developments.

e-commerce

Standard form online agreements and unconscionability

Online and in-App agreements are typically presented to users as “standard form”, “take it or leave it”, “boiler plate” forms. Most common are some variation of a “click-wrap”, “sign-in wrap”, or “browsewrap” agreement. They are used pervasively on websites and on Apps, among other locations.…

Trade in Intangibles and impacts of the CPPA on small businessTrade in Intangibles and impacts of the CPPA on small business



I had the pleasure of participating in a virtual roundtable earlier today hosted by The Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), an independent, non-partisan think tank. It was organized at the request of Minister Mary Ng, the Federal Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade and moderated by Rohinton Medhora, CIGI’s President. One major focus of my remarks was on the impacts of the CPPA on small business.

The roundtable had three main topics:

1. Digital trade: Covid-19 economic recovery and Canadian businesses

2.…

CPPA: identifying the inscrutable meaning and policy behind the de-identifying provisionsCPPA: identifying the inscrutable meaning and policy behind the de-identifying provisions



The Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA) will make substantial changes to Canada’s privacy law. As noted previously, the bill includes many of the provisions in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), plus a lot more. In a prior post, CPPA: transfers of personal information to service providers, I examined the new provisions dealing with transfers of personal information to service providers. In this post I examine the significant proposed changes to the law as they relate to personal information that has been “de-identified”.…

CPPA: transfers of personal information to service providersCPPA: transfers of personal information to service providers



The Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA) will make substantial changes to Canada’s privacy law. As noted previously, the bill includes many of the provisions in the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), plus a lot more. In some cases, it builds on the provisions of PIPEDA, on the guidance and decisions of the Commissioner, but includes changes designed either to clarify or change the law. A case in point are the very important new provisions which address transfers of personal information to service providers.…

Canada’s Digital Charter privacy lawCanada’s Digital Charter privacy law



Personal data is the new oil. Yet, the commoditization and uses of personal data in innovative and other ways often collides with the individual and public interest in observing reasonable expectations of privacy. Privacy has been at the crossroads in Canada; our existing privacy law is over 20 years old –  in digital terms – over 140 years old. After much consultation the government introduced a new bill to catch us up with the somewhat long name An Act to enact the Consumer Privacy Protection Act and the Personal Information and Data Protection Tribunal Act and to make consequential and related amendments to other Acts.…