Telecom by yum9me (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/53jSy4

Telecom by yum9me (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/53jSy4

Telecom

Soccer Broadcaster Offside With Demands

Soccer fans around the world are anxiously anticipating this summer's FIFA World Cup.  FIFA's broadcast partner, Infront Sports and Media, is apparently looking ahead to the World Cup for a different reason.  With the exclusive broadcast rights in hand, Infront's lawyers are sending pre-emptive notice and takedown notifications to Internet service providers.  One Canadian ISP has received a letter from Baker & McKenzie, the Infront's Canadian counsel, in which the firm notes the potential for the posting of unauthorized clips or images from the games and demands:

"Should your service be used for the purpose of such unlawful activities we will alert you as a matter of urgency and trust you will assist in taking down any infringing material so you can avoid any joint liability for such infringements, as well as assisting us in identifying the infringers."

While the World Cup is an important sports event, is it really so important that its rights holders and their lawyers believe that Canadian law doesn't apply to them?   At least three issues come to mind.

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May 11, 2006 3 comments News

Crawford on Competition

Interesting post from Susan Crawford on broadband competition with analysis that applies equally in Canada.

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May 7, 2006 Comments are Disabled News

CRTC “Analysis”

The CRTC and the regulation of telecom market has generated an enormous amount of interest in recent weeks with the Telecom Policy Review and CRTC decisions on local forebearance and regulation of mobile television. The coverage from the mainstream media has become entirely predictable – supplemented by supportive quotes from […]

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April 18, 2006 1 comment News

Australia Leads, Canada Dithers in Spam Fight

While Canada dithers in dealing with spam, Australia continues to lead.  Australia has taken an aggressive anti-spam approach and has been rewarded by dropping from the ranks of the country’s most responsible for spam.  Canadian governments have done little to deal with the issue and we consistently find ourselves ranked […]

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March 28, 2006 5 comments News

UK Court Rules on ISP Liability

The UK Court, Queen’s Bench division issued an important decision on the liability of Internet service providers late last week.  Unlike the U.S., which established statutory immunity for intermediaries where they simply provide the forum for publication, Commonwealth countries such as the UK, Canada, and Australia still rely on common law principles leaving some question about the standard of liability for intermediaries for allegedly defamatory content posted on their sites.

Bunt v. Tilley involved an attempt to hold AOL, Tiscali, and British Telecom liable for allegedly defamatory postings.  The claimant relied on the Godfrey v. Demon Internet case to argue that the court could hold the ISPs liable.  That case has generated concern among ISPs in Canada as it does hold out the prospect for liability.  The court was clearly uncomfortable with that decision, however, issuing a decision that was generally sympathetic to the ISPs.

In particular, the court concluded that "an ISP which performs no more than a passive role in facilitating postings on the internet cannot be deemed to be a publisher at common law." That is the good news as it provides some comfort to ISPs who can rely on this case to argue that they are not liable for doing nothing more than hosting content.

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March 14, 2006 2 comments News