The Canadian Journalism Foundation and CIPPIC partnered on a terrific event yesterday on privacy and freedom of expression in the digital age. The event, held at the Globe and Mail Centre in Toronto, focused on the right to be forgotten. It included conversations with Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien, Google’s Peter Fleischer, and a debate between David Fraser and Keith Rose. I was featured on the final panel in a conversation with the Globe and Mail’s Susan Krashinsky Robertson. The discussion, embedded below, focused on a wide range of privacy issues, including the need to update PIPEDA, pressure from the EU to improve Canada’s privacy law, how to foster meaningful consent, and the right to be forgotten.
Post Tagged with: "freedom of expression"
Telus’ Website Blocking Submission: No Copyright Expertise Needed and No Net Neutrality Violation if Everyone is Doing It
Telus was not a charter member of the Bell website blocking coalition, but there was never much doubt that the last of the big incumbents would side with the application. Most of the independent and smaller telecom companies have opposed the proposal (and even the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association cannot bring itself to state that it supports the plan), but Canada is not known for competition among the big incumbents and this issue was no different. Indeed, the Telus submission supports the application, but relies on remarkably weak and somewhat head-scratching analysis to arrive at its conclusion that the proposal meets the necessary legal standards.
UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression: Website Blocking Plan “Raises Serious Inconsistencies” With Canada’s Human Rights Obligations
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression has filed an intervention with the CRTC expressing concern with the Bell coalition’s website blocking plan, which he confirms “raises serious inconsistencies with Canada’s obligations under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and related human rights standards.” Special Rapporteurs are independent human rights experts with mandates from the Human Rights Council to report and advise United Nations Member States on human rights issues. While many supporters of the blocking plan have dismissed freedom of expression concerns, David Kaye, the expert the U.N. has tasked with making recommendations to member states warns that it may violate Canada’s human rights obligations in several ways.
The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan: Canadians Take a Stand Against Site Blocking
The Bell playbook for its website blocking proposal has largely followed a familiar narrative. Much like the “Fair for Canada” campaign in 2013 that was designed to convince Canadians that keeping foreign competitors such as Verizon out of the country was in their best interest, the FairPlay Canada campaign similarly tries to make the case that a coalition of supporters want the CRTC to institute website blocking without court orders. The campaign clearly starts with Bell: they first raised the issue in September at a House of Commons committee hearing, obtained the legal opinion to support the application (it is addressed to Bell), and used a closely allied law firm to draft the application.
Having discussed the importance of fair dealing for creators in yesterday’s post, today’s case looks at the link between freedom of expression and fair dealing. A recent case involving the Vancouver Aquarium placed the spotlight on how fair dealing can be used to safeguard freedom of expression, even when (indeed particularly when) a rights holder may prefer to use copyright to block the expression. In 2015, two film makers created a documentary on the Vancouver Aquarium called “Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered.” The film, which can now be viewed online, focuses on whales and dolphins in captivity. The Vancouver Aquarium filed a copyright infringement action, seeking to have the documentary removed from all public viewings and the deletion of photos and video clips shot at the aquarium.