Heenan Blaikie was one of the most prestigious firms in the history of Canadian law. It had a long glorious history of fine lawyers and lawyering. Then it went belly up. Now their old website address (well, one of them) heenanblaikie.com is possibly NSFW, as seen in the screenshot above. Lawyers! Internet! NSFW! If there was ever a story that combined all my interests, this is it.
[Ed.’s (me) note – this post has been updated at the bottom to reflect new developments in the story]
Hoo boy, I do not want to write this post. If there is one thing that scares me it’s wading into the language wars in Québec. I love this province; it’s been my home for all my life, I speak and work in French, I have francophone friends, and we all get along thanks to our shared love of soft runny cheeses, alcohol and nos Habitants (not necessarily in that order). So I don’t like rocking the boat, ya know? But we’ve got ourselves a legitimate internet law question here which I must chronicle. And possibly a legitimate legal debate between lawyers! So ‘stie calice de tabernac, let’s do this.
Here are the slides of a presentation I gave this morning for the Plank Breakfast Club, an amazing new series happening at the awesome company where I spent five years, Plank. My audience was enraptured as I regaled them with how their organizations are screwed under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law. I was enraptured by some very good questions:
(pic courtesy of @iamflb, used without permission, probably)
Last Wednesday, the government announced that Bill C-28, aka Canada’s Anti-Spam law, aka CASL, aka “An Act to promote the efficiency and adaptability of the Canadian economy by regulating certain activities that discourage reliance on electronic means of carrying out commercial activities, and to amend the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Act, the Competition Act, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the Telecommunications Act” (no really that’s its official title, click the link) will come into force July 1, 2014, thus putting an end to spam in Canada forever. Or something like that.
The Court of Appeal of Québec and its multiple phallic columns
As the summer winds down, we’ve been feeling kind of philosophical. What does it all mean, and all that. As a practicing lawyer, I tend to focus on the little picture. We’ve got a problem, it relates to one thing, we try to solve it. FOCUS, dammit. That translates to the way I’ve written here at AM.com. A new piece of legislation passes, an interesting court case comes out, some government body releases a report, and we write about the minute details of a very small slice of law and the internet. We’ve never really looked at the big picture and the big issues. Until now.
If you have read the news in the last couple of weeks, or turned on CBC radio, or listened to talk radio, you may have read some quotes from me or heard the dulcet tones of my voice. I have been media whoring like, well, a media whore. Last week it was the Brian Burke lawsuit. This week it was the sad story of the British Columbia teacher who was totally screwed by his ex-girlfriend online and is still suffering for it. These cases have brought to light the messy ugly side of the internet. Or as some people have argued, a terrible overreaction in the Brian Burke case. Let’s use these cases to talk about online defamation, what you should know about it, and the effects on you as both a potential plaintiff and defendant, you cocksucking whore (see what i did there?).
Now that I have your attention…
These are the slides for a presentation I gave last Thursday to the cool kids at the Intellectual Property, Information Technology and Policy Club of McGill’s Faculty of Law, which I thought you might enjoy. It really has porn and Star Trek in it! Unfortunately you don’t get the awesome banter I am famous for, but it’s still a fun presentation nonetheless. Did I mention Star Trek? And porn, the kind you see on www.tubev.sex?
As Scribd converts documents to PDFs when you upload, the YouTube videos in the presentation are unplayable from the slides. Here they are, in order:
Rhymin’ and Stealin’ Slide 6
Mister Worf, Fire the Mashups Slide 18
Oh, Pretty Woman Slide 24
Pretty Woman Slide 24
Just one more vid Slide 31
For the tl;dr crowd, here’s the conclusion of the presentation: you can be creative online, but you better not be a pirate and make any $$$ doing it.