Author: Barry Sookman

Court of Appeal rules CASL is constitutional and releases decision on the making available rightCourt of Appeal rules CASL is constitutional and releases decision on the making available right



The Federal Court of Appeal released two important decisions earlier today. First, in the Compufinder decision, it ruled that Canada’s anti-spam law (CASL) is constitutional. More specifically, if found that CASL does not violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms right to freedom of expression. It also found that the law was intra vires within federal jurisdiction.

The finding that CASL dd not violated the Charter is a surprising one  to anyone who understands its scope and impacts on commercial speech.

Communications and copyright: IIC Canada ConferenceCommunications and copyright: IIC Canada Conference



I had the pleasure of speaking today at the Canadian Chapter of the International Institute of Communications annual conference, held virtually. I spoke chiefly about the following cases and developments:

Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2020-05-23Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2020-05-23



Virtual IIC Canada Conference 2020Virtual IIC Canada Conference 2020



If you’re looking for a conference you can attend, the Virtual IIC Canada Conference may be for you. IIC Canada (the Canadian Chapter of the International Institute of Communications), brings together the communications industry, government and academia to analyze and debate Canadian and international trends in broadcasting, telecommunications, and media production.

The Annual Conference has been moved online and will take place May 28, 2020, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (ET).

Participants will hear presentations on:

    • Resolving the broadcasting crisis, Speakers, Richard, Stephen Armstrong
    • Contact tracing applications in pandemic times, Speaker, Pierre Trudel
    • Reimagining publicly-funded Canadian content, Speaker, Catalina Briceño
    • Indigenous media in Canada, Speaker, Monika Ille
    • Access to infrastructure for broadband deployment, Speaker, Leslie Milton
    • Mental health and the workplace, Speaker, Beth Beattie
    • Introduction and closing remarks, Grant Buchanan (IIC Canada Board Chair)

I will be speaking on the topic Communications Law and Copyright.

Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2020-05-16Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2020-05-16



Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2020-05-09Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2020-05-09



Artificial intelligence and intellectual property rights: the USPTO DABUS decisionArtificial intelligence and intellectual property rights: the USPTO DABUS decision



Is an invention autonomously generated by artificial intelligence patentable? This is a question that is being studied including by the United States Patent and Trade Mark Office (USPTO) which launched an investigation into issues associated with patenting artificial intelligence inventions. In the meantime, the USPTO just released a decision denying the application for a such a patent holding that under the U.S. patent law, 35 USC §§ 1 et seq. an inventor must be a natural person.

The decision was based on an application listing a single inventor with the given name “[DABUS]” and the family name “(Invention generated by artificial intelligence).”

Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2020-05-02Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2020-05-02



Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2020-04-25Computer and Internet Weekly Updates for 2020-04-25



COVID-19 and Canada’s anti-spam law CASLCOVID-19 and Canada’s anti-spam law CASL



Since going into social isolation and working from home I have been inundated by unsolicited emails. Many of these are from businesses I have never heard of or dealt with before. They offer goods or services that directly or indirectly relate to the COVID19 pandemic – how to get stuff delivered to your house, how to order that, how to entertain your kids, how to get virtual care, how to stay connected…. Many of these messages come from organizations trying to survive during this crisis, businesses announcing an adapted online or virtual business model, organizations truly trying to be helpful, or attempting to be relevant and discovered.