Archive for July, 2006

Canadian Libel Law Raises Net Free Speech Chill

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, BBC international version, homepage version) places the spotlight on this week’s fundraiser in support of P2Pnet.net, a British Columbia-based website that is being sued for defamation for comments posted on the site by its readers.  The importance of the Internet intermediary liabilty issue extends well beyond just Internet service providers – corporate websites that allow for user feedback, education websites featuring chatrooms, or even individual bloggers who permit comments face the prospect of demands to remove content that is alleged to violate the law.

The difficult question is not whether these sites and services have the right to voluntarily remove offending content if they so choose – no one doubts that they do – but rather whether sites can be compelled to remove allegedly unlawful or infringing content under threat of potential legal liability.  The answer is not as straightforward as one might expect since Canadian law varies depending on the type of content or the nature of the allegations. 

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July 31, 2006 4 comments Columns

Canadian Libel Law Raises Net Free Speech Chill

Appeared in the Toronto Star on July 31, 2006 as Libel Case Key For Internet Free Speech The Rivoli, a well-known Toronto club, may seem like an unusual venue to consider Internet free speech. Yet later this week, it will play host to a fundraiser in support of P2Pnet.net, a […]

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July 31, 2006 1 comment Columns Archive

The CBC and DRM

Inside the CBC, a new blog on the CBC, contains a discouraging post on the CBC Radio's Internet streaming activities.  The posting includes background information on why the CBC streams with Windows media, explaining that it met the CBC's four requirements, including the availability of digital rights management technologies.  The posting has led to a robust discussion with several critics sounding off on the pro-DRM approach and raises questions about why the CBC has not instead used OGG or MP3 as a more open format.  Tod Maffin, who runs the blog, defends the CBC's use of DRM, arguing that DRM is required under its commercial music broadcast licenses and that the CBC invites lawsuits if it fails to adequately protect its streams.

While I'm a big fan of CBC's streaming services, the suggestion that CBC must use DRM is plainly wrong. 

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July 29, 2006 16 comments News

CIRA Seeking Additional Board Candidates

The CIRA electoral process continues to unfold with members now able to nominate additional candidates for the September election.  After six years on the board, my time on the CIRA board will be coming to an end but I’d encourage anyone with an interest in domain name issues to get […]

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July 27, 2006 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

RCMP Lays Charges Over Karaoke Copyright Infringement

And they actually thought it warranted a press release.

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July 27, 2006 4 comments Must Reads