Archive for April, 2012

U.S. Online Real Estate Site Claims Canadian Realtor Infringed Copyright

Estately, a Seattle-based online real estate site, filed a DMCA takedown notice against Sutton WestCoast over the look and feel of its website. The complaint succeeded in taking the Canadian site offline.

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April 9, 2012 1 comment News

Justice Committee Report Recommends Expanding Lawful Access Legislation

The government has placed Bill C-30, the lawful access/online surveillance bill on hold, but there is no reason to believe it is going away. In fact, a recent report Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights suggests that the changes coming to the bill may not address public concern but rather expand lawful access requirements even further. The committee report on the State of Organized Crime that includes recommendations that reinforce Bill C-30’s mandatory warrantless disclosure of subscriber information and envision going beyond the bill by requiring both telecom companies and device manufacturers to assist in the decryption of encrypted communications as well as exploring mandatory verification of the identity of cellphone users.

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April 4, 2012 37 comments News

ACTA Rapporteur: Little Evidence That ACTA Will Fix Global IP Enforcement

David Martin, the ACTA rapporteur at the European Parliament, has published an op-ed expressing skepticism about the agreement’s effectiveness, noting “so far there is little evidence that it will have the intended effect. Indeed several non-signatories have stressed their opposition to the agreement.”

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April 4, 2012 Comments are Disabled News

Libraries Boycott Random House Over E-Book Pricing

Libraries on Nova Scotia’s South Shore are boycotting Random House, one of the world’s largest book publishers, due to its e-book pricing demands. The publisher is charging as much as three times as much for downloadable book as for a print version.

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April 3, 2012 3 comments News

The Results are In: Online Voting Still Too Risky

The recent New Democratic Party convention in Toronto may have done more than just select Thomas Mulcair as the party’s new leader.  My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes that it may have also buried the prospect of online voting in Canada for the foreseeable future. While Internet-based voting supporters have consistently maintained that the technology is safe and secure, the NDP’s experience – in which a denial of service attack resulted in long delays and inaccessible websites – demonstrates that turning to Internet voting in an election involving millions of voters would be irresponsible and risky.

As voter turnout has steadily declined in recent years, Elections Canada has focused on increasing participation by studying Internet-based voting alternatives. The appeal of online voting is obvious. Canadians bank online, take education courses online, watch movies online, share their life experiences through social networks online, and access government information and services online. Given the integral role the Internet plays in our daily lives, why not vote online as well?

The NDP experience provides a compelling answer.

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April 3, 2012 30 comments Columns