License agreements that absolve software developers of responsibility found unenforceable
A recent decision of the UK High Court held that software developers are responsible for software bugs. This goes against most software license agreements that software companies force on customers. Essentially, software companies have been denying all responsibility for damages.
The license agreements are non-negotiable documents often consented to as software is being installed.
It’s been the software industry practice to admit that software is buggy. People know that and hundreds of millions of customers have accepted it for decades.
However, all goods are sold on the basis of “fit for the purpose intended.” The UK High Court ruled that license agreements can’t eliminate the basic rules of commerce. Continue reading →
Police criminal investigation outweighs confidential press privilege in Chrétien affair
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that the National Post must turn over evidence it received from their journalist’s confidential source in the “Grand Mere Affair.”
The Supreme Court ruled that any privilege is not constitutional and must be balanced by the need to investigate criminal activity.
“…evidence sought to be obtained measured against the public interest in respecting the journalist’s promise of confidentiality…Therefore, no journalist can give a secret source an absolute assurance of confidentiality.” Supreme Court of Canada
The case had 16 interveners including CBC, Bell Globe Media, two provinces and the Federal government, civil liberties and various journalist associations. Continue reading →
Just when we get freedom of speech on the Internet, someone tries to take it away
The Supreme Court of Canada is getting ready to hear the case of Wayne Crookes, a former fund-raiser and organizer for the BC Green Party.
Crookes took offense at alleged derogatory remarks made about him on several websites including Open Politics.ca
That’s the nature of the web, people say the rudest things, some of them nasty and perhaps defamatory. They do it anonymously. In the US, the web site and host can rely on safe-harbor provisions of the CDA (Communications Decency Act). “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” Section 230
Canada doesn’t have the same provisions although journalists are protected from defamation lawsuits when they report the facts they know. Continue reading →
If the partial settlement wasn’t bad enough, the court has rejected that deal as preferential over other debt holders while politicians ponder
The inequity of a legal system that can reward executives with millions of dollars in bonuses while forcing pensioners with disabilities onto welfare was backed by the Ontario Super Court as the Nortel $57 million pension agreement was thrown out.
That agreement which only lasted until the end of 2010 has been thrown out by a judge as prejudicial to other creditors. Once again the legal system has prejudice the employees in favor of executives and bankers.
While the Harper Conservative government talks and promises to reform Canada’s pension system, they are marking time with no laws that could save these employees. This is a travesty in Canada that the recession and it’s aftermath has made urgent. The Tories fiddle while Canadian employees take the heat.
The Opposition NDP and Liberals could force the minority government’s hand on this issue. Is their talk supporting pension reform mere political rhetoric, just another bluff from Jack Layton and Michael Ignatieff?
ICANN Threatened by Olympic Committee Over Intellectual Property Concerns
By David Goldstein, domainpulse.com – The International Olympic Committee appears to think it has the rights to all sport, given a recent letter to ICANN that raises concerns on the .SPORT gTLD proposal in particular, and new gTLDs in general.
A letter from Urs Lacotte, director general of the IOC, and Howard Stupp, the IOC’s Legal Affairs Director, says they wish to discuss with ICANN these issues with ICANN and notes the IOC has “serious concerns” regarding “intellectual property protection.” Continue reading →
International Olympic Committee ordered PEI blogger to remove a luger death video from his website
CBC News – Nodar Kumaritashvili, 21 of Georgia, died during a training run Feb. 12, just hours before the Olympic opening ceremonies. Stephen Pate, publisher of the online site NJN Network, published the video along with commentary about the death, and the IOC has since ordered him in an email to take it down.
The email states the IOC owns the rights to all images of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and only licensed broadcasters can use them. Pate said he won’t remove the video, because Canada’s Copyright Act allows the use of copyrighted material as part of a news story.
“One of the rights is for news organizations to report the news, so it’s a news story,” said Pate.
Basically, IV buys up (or in some cases, applies for) tons of patents, and then demands huge cash outlays from those same companies (often hundreds of millions of dollars) for a combined promise not to sue over those patents and (here’s the sneaky bit) a bit of a pyramid scheme, where those in early supposedly get a cut of later deals. Of course, to just talk to IV requires strict NDAs, so the details of these deals are kept under wraps and only leaked out anonymously. But the hundreds of millions of dollars going towards this sort of trolling behavior, rather than any actual innovation in the marketplace can be seen on various financial filings (you can’t hide hundreds of millions of dollars in payments that easily). Continue reading →
We’ve seen more than a few lawsuits over the years by the entertainment industry against various sites that merely link to infringing content.
Tech Dirt – The entertainment industry likes to make the claim that this is inducing infringement, but if you’re just pointing to a bunch of YouTube videos, it’s difficult to see how that should be considered infringement at all. Continue reading →