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Books and books by Steven Talunay https://flic.kr/p/c79wdN (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 12: The Past, Present and Future of Free and Open Access to Law

The free and open access to law movement is devoted to providing free and open online access to legal information. This includes case law, legislation, treaties, law reform proposals and legal scholarship. This week’s Lawbytes podcast highlights perspectives on free and open access to law from Australia and Canada. During a recent trip to Australia, I spoke with Professor Graham Greenleaf, one of the pioneers of the movement, who co-founded AustLII, the Australasian Legal Information Institute. Following in the footsteps of the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University, AustLII helped reshape legal publishing in Australia and played a pivotal role in bringing other countries’ legal materials online. The episode continues with a conversation with Xavier Beauchamp-Tremblay, the current CEO of CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, about the Canadian past, present and future of free and open access to law.

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May 21, 2019 0 comments Podcasts
Proper old school piracy! by Gary Denham (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/8qqZcp

The “Bulte Report” Redux: Canadian Heritage Committee Releases Embarrassingly One-Sided Remuneration Models Study

The Canadian government announced its plans for a copyright review in December 2017, tasking the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology with the review. That report has been in the drafting stage for several months and is expected before the summer. In an effort to dampen concerns that Canadian Heritage would play a diminished role in the review, the responsible ministers asked the Industry committee to ask the Heritage committee to conduct a review on remuneration models for artists and creative industries. The formal request asked the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage to “call upon the expertise of a broad range of stakeholders impacted by copyright to ensure a holistic understanding of the issues at play.”

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May 15, 2019 8 comments News
Facebook: The privacy saga continues by Ruth Suehle for opensource.com (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/opensourceway/4638981545/sizes/o/

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 11: Reinterpreting Canadian Privacy Law – David Fraser On Cross-Border Data Transfers, the Right to De-Index, and the Facebook Investigation

Daniel Therrien, the Privacy Commissioner in Canada, is in the courts battling Google over a right to de-index. He’s calling for order making after Facebook declined to abide by his recommendations. And he’s embarked on a dramatic re-interpretation of the law premised on incorporating new consent requirements into cross-border data transfers. David Fraser, one of Canada’s leading privacy experts, joins the podcast to provide an update on the recent Canadian privacy law developments and their implications.

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May 13, 2019 3 comments Podcasts
Federal Court docket, Voltage Pictures

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 10: Lowdown on Lawsuits – James Plotkin on Copyright Threats, Notices, and Lawsuits

Copyright threats and lawsuits against individuals have been around in Canada since 2004, when they were rejected by the federal court. Those threats receded for about a decade, but now they’re back. Copyright notices, litigation threats, settlement demands, and actual lawsuits have re-emerged at the very time that the music and movie industries are experiencing record music streaming revenues in Canada and massive popularity of online video services. James Plotkin, a lawyer with Caza Saikaley in Ottawa, joins the podcast this week to help sort through what the notices mean, the implications of the threats and lawsuits, and where Canadian law stands on the issue.

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May 6, 2019 0 comments Podcasts
Mark_Zuckerberg_F8_2018_Keynote, Anthony Quintano from Honolulu, HI, United States [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mark_Zuckerberg_F8_2018_Keynote_(41118883004).jpg

Does Canadian Privacy Law Matter if it Can’t be Enforced?

It has long been an article of faith among privacy watchers that Canada features better privacy protection than the United States. While the U.S. relies on binding enforcement of privacy policies alongside limited sector-specific rules for children and video rentals, Canada’s private sector privacy law (PIPEDA or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act), which applies broadly to all commercial activities, has received the European Union’s stamp of approval, and has a privacy commissioner charged with investigating complaints.

Despite its strength on paper, my Globe and Mail op-ed notes the Canadian approach emphasizes rules over enforcement, which runs the risk of leaving the public woefully unprotected. PIPEDA establishes requirements to obtain consent for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, but leaves the Privacy Commissioner of Canada with limited tools to actually enforce the law. In fact, the not-so-secret shortcoming of Canadian law is that the federal commissioner cannot order anyone to do much of anything. Instead, the office is limited to issuing non-binding findings and racing to the federal court if an organization refuses to comply with its recommendations.

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May 2, 2019 7 comments Columns