Author: Barry Sookman

Rhetoric exaggerates ACTA leaked negotiations textRhetoric exaggerates ACTA leaked negotiations text



Last week bloggers including Michael Geist went hysterical over the “leaked” ACTA memorandum telling the public that it mandated “three strikes” with Internet disconnection based on merely three unproven allegations of online file sharing, among other things.

Turns out that the summary of the text was inaccurate. Further, other bloggers have pointed out that to a large extent the proposed provisions discussed in the leaked memo reflects  existing, international norms for copyright protection in the EU, US and our other trading partners.

Industry Committee Amends Anti-Spam Bill (ECPA)Industry Committee Amends Anti-Spam Bill (ECPA)



By Barry Sookman and James Gannon

In May of this year, we sent an e-Alert that reviewed the concerns many Canadian businesses had expressed with the first draft of Bill C-27 – the Electronic Commerce Protection Act (ECPA). The Bill was criticized for containing overly broad anti-spam and anti-spyware provisions that would have rendered illegal many common legitimate commercial practices. It would have potentially exposed businesses to millions of dollars in fines and liabilities for activities that were unrelated to sending spam emails or installing spyware programs.

What Happens When Copyright Goes DigitalWhat Happens When Copyright Goes Digital



Barry Sookman and Stephen Stohn, National Post August 6, 2009

Earlier this month, the federal government launched a copyright consultation asking Canadians for input on copyright reform. Chief among its questions were what sorts of changes would best foster “innovation and creativity,” “competition and investment” and best “position Canada as a leader in the global, digital economy.”

These questions reveal fundamental insights about the objectives of copyright reform.

Reforming copyright law will stimulate investment in the creation and dissemination of movies, TV programs, books, music and software; help Canada to be a leader in the global digital market for cultural products; and enable Canadian actors, artists, performers, producers and publishers to be paid for their creative efforts and investments.

Microsoft Wins Substantial Damages Award for Unauthorized Distribution of its SoftwareMicrosoft Wins Substantial Damages Award for Unauthorized Distribution of its Software



 A federal court has granted Microsoft Corporation default judgment against two PC Village businesses and two individuals associated with the businesses in an action for copyright and trade-mark infringement. Microsoft’s investigators had purchased computers from two separate PC Village locations. The judge found that one computer contained seven unauthorized Microsoft software programs, while the other had eight.

In assessing statutory damages for copyright violations, the judge noted that the defendants had been put on notice regarding the infringing nature of their activities.

The Pirate Bay – Operators Fined for Aiding and Abetting Copyright InfringementThe Pirate Bay – Operators Fined for Aiding and Abetting Copyright Infringement



 In what is being heralded as a victory for copyright holders, a Swedish district court has found four operators of the file-sharing service The Pirate Bay guilty of aiding and abetting copyright infringement, fined them US$3.6 million, and sentenced each to a year in prison.
The defendants were involved in the operation of The Pirate Bay, reportedly one of the world’s largest bittorrent-tracking website. According to the court, users could upload and store torrent files on the Pirate Bay website as well as search the site’s database for torrent files to download.

Anti-Spam Bill WebinarAnti-Spam Bill Webinar



McCarthy Tétrault recently hosted a webinar on Bill C-27, the Electronic Commerce Protection Act (ECPA), Canada’s proposed legislation to curtail spam and spyware. Partners Barry Sookman, Charles Morgan and Lorne Salzman discussed some of the issues with the current bill and its implications for Canadian businesses.

Barry Sookman outlined the objectives of the bill and discussed the anti-spam provisions, noting the broad prohibition against sending unsolicited commercial electronic messages in terms of the technology affected and the content captured.