OK I’ll say it, 2016 sucked. Well it was fine for me personally and professionally, but that was one ugly US election and we lost a lot of good people. Thank goodness it’s almost over.
You readers were great though! On behalf of the whole AM.com team, thanks so much for sticking with us and making this law blogging thingy all sorts of fun! As I predict every year, I am sure this internet thingamajig will take off in 2017. Sooner or later that will come true.
Do you enjoy a lawyer repeatedly saying “you know”? Do you enjoy the line “the Barreau du Quebec would have my butt”? Well then do I have audio for you!
Last week I was on CBC Daybreak with the always excellent Mike Finnerty. We had a really good interview about the 2-year old news story of copyright notices for illegal downloading. It was in the context of a story of a woman who received a notice and paid up. Big mistake! Anyway, I managed to sneak into the Rad-Can building late at night to get my hands on the audio which you can hear above (j/k, they were actually quite nice about it, hat tip to them).
Here’s a true story. I went into the studio at 6:30 AM for the interview, no shower, no shave, my hair was a mess and I was wearing a hoodie. Because it was CBC Radio. Well, as it turns out the 6-7 hour of Daybreak is on CBC TV! A fact i did not know as I am not normally awake at that hour. As a result, I have destroyed all copies of the video in existence. As far as you know.
You may remember that back in February I announced that yours truly would be writing the country report for Canada for Freedom House‘s annual “Freedom on the Net” report. Yesterday, the work of all the excellent worldwide authors and me was released. I could not be prouder to have participated. My Canada Report is here, but I encourage you to take a look at all the reports, especially those countries where the internet is not free. We have it pretty darn good here in Canada.
My report would not have been possible without a few people, all of whom are way smarter than me. The 2016 report was basically just an update of the two previous years’ reports, written by Michael Geist. Michael’s incredible work in the previous years made my job a piece of cake. My editor at Freedom House Jessica White was a joy to work with and all her corrections and suggestions were right. My old law school friend (now brilliant law professor in Australia) Alana Maurushat recommended me to Freedom House in the first place. I sincerely thank all of them for what they did.
And finally you commentors who gave me your thoughts in that announcement post were a real help as well. While I maybe didn’t use your comments directly, your ideas certainly were in my mind as I wrote. Gracias.
Ooh boy this post was well short on my usual snark and profanity. Internet freedom is too serious an issue I guess. I’ll get back to my usual bullshit in the next post.
That sounds like a fascinating question! And guess what internet expert has been tasked to answer it? Wrong! It’s me.
So the fine folks at Freedom House, a long-standing and tremendously well-respected “independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world”, do amazing work. As part of it, they publish numerous in-depth reports about freedoms and rights around the world. One of the reports is Freedom on the Net, an annual worldwide study of, uh, freedom on the net. They ask internet experts around the world to write reports about their country. The 2014 and 2015 Canadian reports were written by none other than Michael Geist. This year, they asked some idiot with a blog. I am humbled and honoured. But I am still an idiot.
So please, help me! Hit that big blue comment button below this paragraph and tell me – do you think we have internet freedom in Canada? Are you free to say what you want? To do what you want? To download what you want? Are the ISPs or the government screwing you over? Are you being blocked somehow? Are “they” watching you? (go easy on that last one steve). Help me help the world understand if we have internet freedom in Canada. This is a big responsibility and I need your help. Thx.
Thanks so much to steve and the rest of you readers who make blogging about this law stuff a lot of fun. As I predict every year, I am sure this internet thingamajig will take off in 2016. Sooner or later that will come true.
If you turn on Canada AM these days, chances are you’re gonna see some random lawyer dude who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Or, you know, me. So here’s me this week talking about all the data that the smartphone fitness apps and wearables are collecting when you’re out there getting your ass in shape. Who owns that data? What are the legal issues surrounding it? Damned if I know. But damned if that doesn’t stop me from attempting to answer that question on national TV! Here’s some background for you.
Kudos to CTV for finally allowing their video to be embedded. It’s the internet way. Also, thanks to Bev Thompson who was a delight. I have now hit for the cycle of Canada AM hosts.
Libel! Tweets! Hockey! If there was ever a story the media would come calling to yours truly, it’s this one. Quick background for those too lazy to read the linked article – TSN rebroadcast a defamatory tweet on TV. Whoopsie! Said tweet involved two Toronto Maple Leafs and Elisha Cuthbert, and is rated NC-17 for language and sexual situations. Here’s some defamation background for you. The players and Cuthbert want to sue TSN and the original tweeter. TSN is owned by Bell, who also partly own the Leafs. Awwwwkward.
Unfortunately still no embeddable video from CTV, so you’ll have to click over there to watch it. Please ignore the blinking and “you know”s. Ugh.
Oh and btw, the delightful Marci Ien refers to me as “legal specialist on all things internet, lawyer Allen Mendelsohn” in her intro. Please put that on my tombstone.
Allen Mendelsohn is me. I am a lawyer specializing in internet law working out of Montreal, though sometimes I do it in front of the U.S. Capitol. That should tell you what you need to know about internet law in Canada. I also warp young legal minds at the Faculty of Law at McGill.