Archive for August 3rd, 2011

UK To Introduce Private Copying Exception With No Levy

The UK Government has issued its response  to the Hargreaves Report, noting that it will be dropping prior plans to implement an ISP blocking scheme and will introduce new exceptions for parody and private copying without a levy: The Government will therefore bring forward proposals in autumn 2011 for a […]

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August 3, 2011 5 comments Must Reads

US Strikes Deal With Canada, Mexico on Spectrum Sharing

AllThingsD reports that the FCC has struck deals with both Canada and Mexico to enable the sharing of certain wireless spectrum in border areas.

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August 3, 2011 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Nowak on CRTC Communications Report

Peter Nowak takes the CRTC to task on its new Communications Monitoring Report, particularly its conclusion that Canada is a leader on broadband download speeds.

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August 3, 2011 Comments are Disabled Must Reads

Government Launches Anti-Spam Site

The federal government has launched a new anti-spam site at FightSpam.gc.ca. The site will grow once new anti-spam law regulations take effect.

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August 3, 2011 2 comments Must Reads

Ontario Court Grapples With Legalities of Anonymous Online Postings

The Internet has given rise to thousands of online chat forums, where participants can sound off on the issues of the day often shielded by the cloak of anonymity. Anonymous speech can be empowering – whistleblowers depend upon it to safeguard their identity and political participants in some countries face severe repercussions if they speak out publicly – but it also carries the danger of posts that cross the line into defamation without appropriate accountability.

My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that striking the balance between protecting anonymous free speech on the one hand and applying defamation laws on the other sits at the heart of a new Ontario Superior Court decision released last week. The case involved postings about Phyllis Morris, the former mayor of Aurora.

In 2010, the website auroracitizen.ca featured an online chat forum where participants discussed a local election campaign. Morris, who was defeated in the election, launched a legal action during the campaign against the site, the chat forum moderators, its lawyers, and website host to order them to disclose the identity of three anonymous posters.  Morris did not identify the specific defamatory words, but claimed that six posts were defamatory.

The court was therefore not asked to determine whether the posts at issue were in fact defamatory. Rather, it simply faced the question of whether it should order the disclosure of personal information about the posters themselves so that Morris could proceed with a defamation lawsuit.

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August 3, 2011 38 comments Columns