Barry Sookman Supreme Court appellant lawyer

Supreme Court of Canada confirms all acts of making available are covered by Copyright Act: SOCAN v ESASupreme Court of Canada confirms all acts of making available are covered by Copyright Act: SOCAN v ESA

In a decision just released in Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada v. Entertainment Software Association, 2022 SCC 30, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that Canada fully implemented its WIPO copyright Internet Treaty “making available” obligations through a combination of the communication to the public, reproduction, and authorization rights. In doing so, the Court held that any unauthorized act of making a work available online, and any subsequent unauthorized streaming or downloading of the work, are infringing.…

Dynamic blocking order

Dynamic blocking orders available in Canada: Rogers MediaDynamic blocking orders available in Canada: Rogers Media

Orders requiring ISPs to block websites that make available copyright infringing materials are commonly made in many countries around the world. The courts’ equitable jurisdiction to make such orders in Canada was recently approved by the Federal Court of Appeal in the  Teksavvy Solutions Inc. v. Bell Media Inc. 2021 FCA 100 (GoldTV), (leave to appeal to the Supreme Court dismissed). In the recent ruling, Rogers Media Inc et al v John Doe 1 et al 2022 FC 775, the Federal Court issued a dynamic blocking order to require Canada’s leading ISPs to block access to streaming servers that provide unauthorized streams of NHL games in real time.

Copyright Year in Review 2021-2022

Copyright Year in Review 2021-2022Copyright Year in Review 2021-2022

I had the pleasure earlier today to provide a talk to ALAI on “Copyright The Year in Review 2021-2022. I prepared an annotation of the cases covered which included the following cases: 

Pyrrha Design Inc. v. Plum and Posey Inc., 2022 FCA 7

Trimble Solutions Corporation v. Quantum Dynamics Inc., 2021 FC 6

Patterned Concrete Mississauga Inc. v. Bomanite Toronto Ltd., 2021 FC 314

Arc En Ciel RH c. Services Swissnova inc., 2021 QCCS 1187, motion to dismiss appeal denied, Arc En Ciel RH c.

OSFI B10 Guideline

OSFI consults on third-party risks in updated B-10 GuidelineOSFI consults on third-party risks in updated B-10 Guideline

Yesterday, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) began a consultation on an updated Draft Guideline B-10 – Third-Party Risk Management. The draft guideline sets out enhanced third-party risk management expectations for federally regulated financial institutions such as banks, insurance companies, and some credit unions (FRFIs).

OSFI has provided guidance on outsourcing to FRFIs since 2001 in its B10- Outsourcing Guideline. That Guideline has evolved with revisions in 2003 and again in 2009. The guidance has shaped FRFI’s risk management processes and contractual terms with outsourcers since its inception.…

Copyright reform

Copyright amendments in budget 2022Copyright amendments in budget 2022

The budget revealed several initiates to amend the Copyright Act. Specifically, the budget reveals the government’s intention to amend the Copyright Act to implement Canada’s term extension obligations under the CUSMA and to ensure fair remuneration  for copying in the educational sector.

Here is what the government has planned.

In Budget 2022, the government proposes to introduce amendments to the Copyright Act to extend the general term of copyright protection from 50 to 70 years after the life of the author as agreed under the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement.

Trade Secrets and Innovation

Trade secrets and innovation: Lifting the Veil on Trade Secrets for Canada’s superclustersTrade secrets and innovation: Lifting the Veil on Trade Secrets for Canada’s superclusters

I had the pleasure of speaking yesterday to the ecosystem of innovators and their innovation partners affiliated with Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, Protein Industries Supercluster, and Digital Technologies Supercluster. My topic was “Lifting the Veil on Trade Secrets”.

Innovation is tremendously important for Canadians. Our economy – and ultimately the prosperity and well-being of Canadians – depends on Canadian businesses’ ability to innovate and compete internationally.

If you are thinking about 21st century developments in Big data analysis, Quantum computing, AI and machine learning, Future networks and 5G, Distributed systems and blockchain, Geonomics, Virtual, mixed and augmented reality, Robotics and Cybersecurity – take a look at the projects of the Digital Technologies Supercluster.…

Health and longevity

Health and longevity: help to keep your new years resolutionsHealth and longevity: help to keep your new years resolutions

It is a new year. Many of you may have made resolutions to become healthier. But, knowing how to promote health and longevity is no easy task.  People often ask me how I stay young and sharp with all the energy it takes to practice in a challenging technology, intellectual property and privacy law practice at one of Canada’s leading (if not the leading) law firm, McCarthy Tetrault. In short, I have developed strategies for promoting longevity (aka a longer lifespan) and promoting good health while aging (aka health span).…

Bill 64 outsourcing

Getting ready for Quebec’s Bill 64 privacy law impacts on outsourcingGetting ready for Quebec’s Bill 64 privacy law impacts on outsourcing

The passage of Bill 64 (the Act to Modernize Legislative Provisions respecting the Protection of Personal Information) will have major consequences for companies doing business in the province that engage in outsourcing. Outsourcing involving transfers, communications, or disclosures of personal information to third parties (referred to here as “disclosures”) and is extremely common in Quebec and Canada. The types of outsourcings vary considerably and includes payment processing, IT services, artificial intelligence (AI) services (and there are many of these), business processing outsourcing, and a myriad of different types of cloud computing.

Blockchain vulnerabilities

Blockchain vulnerabilities – crypto hacks, blockchain forensics and legal challengesBlockchain vulnerabilities – crypto hacks, blockchain forensics and legal challenges

It is often assumed that blockchain based digital currencies and applications are safe and secure. In fact, blockchain ecosystems including cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and Ether, smart contracts that power a plethora of transactions, and blockchain exchanges have many vulnerabilities. Like many other financial systems, blockchain based systems are subject to all manner of hacks, frauds, scams, and vulnerabilities. They happen at the speed and anonymity of the Internet. There are, understandably, numerous legal challenges when it comes to obtaining civil remedies for these Internet based crimes.…

Copyright and IOT and AI

Copyright, AI and IOT: my submission to the consultationCopyright, AI and IOT: my submission to the consultation

Here is a copy of my submission to the copyright consultation on the implications of AI and IOT on copyright.

Thank you for providing an opportunity to provide input into the  Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IOT) copyright consultation.

The copyright consultation raises important issues. The government should be cautious before making any amendments to the Copyright Act given the complexity of the issues and the difficulty in assessing how the changes would work in practice.


I am Senior counsel in the Technology Law Group of McCarthy Tetrault LLP.