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 →
Big Media crows about this week’s Supreme Court ruling but it’s not all about them
By David Eaves eaves.ca (from a Tweet by Michael Geist)
I’ll confess some confusion around the slant taken by several newspapers and media outfits regarding yesterday’s supreme court decision on defense of libel claims.
For those new to this story, yesterday, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a libel claim can be defeated even when the facts or allegations made turn out to be false (e.g. I don’t owe you money if I say something nasty and untrue about you) as long as the story was in the public interest and I met a certain standard around trying to ascertain the truth. In short, my intentions, not my output, is what matters most. This new line of defense has a fancy new name to go with it… the defence of responsible communication.
Boring, and esoteric? Hardly.
Notice how it isn’t called “the defence of responsible journalism?” (although, ahem, someone should let CTV know). This story matters as it demonstrates that the law is finally beginning to grasp what the internet means for our democracy and society.
You are not allowed to delete emails when a court case may arise which may mean never
Deleting emails and text messages from your Blackberry, iPhone or any hand held can get court sanctions. Electronic documents can legally be required in civil or criminal court.
The courts have held for more than a decade that emails and other e-documents are valid evidence. Deliberate destruction of evidence can indicate malice or an attempt to spoil evidence.
Most companies sync laptops and hand helds with the corporate servers which cannot be deleted; however, it can happen that remote devices get out of sync. They may have documents that are not on the server.