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A court win for bloggers. Like me!

sound like meSo with all the media whoring over the last couple of weeks, I have neglected to tell you all sorts of interesting stuff. You may have heard that Bill C-11 cruised through the Senate and received Royal Assent. Ugh. When it actually comes into force I’ll write about it again. Oh, and here’s a very interesting article about C-11’s effects on, with juicy quotes from some internet lawyer guy.

But what I missed that I really wanted to write about was a very interesting and important case that came out of the Federal Court of Canada, that is a real help for bloggers and other online journalists. Better late than never. Let’s take a close look at Warman v. Fournier (PDF), which allows for some significant copying of content on the internet. Yippee!

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Media whoring alert! [updated with audio]

Old school

I’ll be on CBC Radio Noon today at about 12:10 to discuss the Liberals’ use of Facebook video for their Pauline Marois ad. And possibly taking questions from listeners! There’s a listen live link at the top right of that CBC page. As usual my biggest challenge will be not to swear.

UPDATE – that’s good work CBC getting this online so fast, and embeddable too. Someone understands social media.

UPDATE #2 – nothing pisses me off more than autoplay files on a web page. That’s bad work CBC. I’m removing the embed, here’s a link to go listen. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Kill Bill C-11 Vol. 7: OH SH*T IT’S REALLY COMING

It looks so civilisedOooh boy! Everyone’s favourite bill, Bill C-11 (The Copyright Modernization Act), passed third reading on Monday night this week in the House of Commons. That means it only has to get Senate approval rubber-stamped in the Senate, then get Royal Assent (really a rubber stamp) before becoming the law of the land. It should happen within the month most likely. Democracy in action!

The vote was 158-135. I am too lazy to check every name who voted, but I assume that all the yeas were Conservative. Given that there are 164 Conservative MPs, that’s probably a good assumption.

I was all ready to write a nice long post about the good, the bad, and the ugly of C-11 as it relates to the internet, but it is just too fucking hot and humid for a long post. You need (I need) to get to a swimming pool already. Geist has a good piece on how C-11 has evolved over the years, and IP Osgoode has an outstanding summary of what’s in the bill in a nice neutral way, so go read those if you like. I’ll be busy circumventing digital locks (in the name of education and / or criticism!) while I still can.

All Hail our New CRTC Overlord


Yes this is Stephen Harper. That's the point.

On Friday (news dump day), the Conservative government announced their choice to replace Konrad “The Killer” von Finckenstein as head of the CRTC, starting June 18th. His name is Jean-Pierre Blais, and he’s… some guy. He’s a lawyer (ugh), and he has held high-level government positions at the Treasury Board, Department of Canadian Heritage, and even the CRTC itself. So, lifelong bureaucrat. Here’s the money blockquote from the article linked above:

Telecom insiders predict Mr. Blais, 51, is more likely to anticipate and comply with Conservative government policy leanings.

Looks like Harper got himself a yes-man. Don’t get me wrong, this guy has experience in the CRTC and was its general counsel, so he understands the issues. Doing something about those issues that benefits the people of Canada instead of the giant media corporations? Well, we’re gonna have five years of this guy to answer that question.

“Lawful” Access Shenanigans!

Vic vic vic [sigh]It’s been my dream to use the word “shenanigans” in a blog post for a long time. I really love the word; it’s got such a nice old-timey feel to it. So what would you call a bunch of ISPs, telecom companies, and industry groups getting together with the government in secret before the introduction of Vic Toews’ old friend, Bill C-30, The Catching Sexual Predators / Internet Spying / “Lawful” Access Bill? You are correct, sir. SHENANIGANS.

So Michael Geist (or more likely his army of students) did some yeoman’s work in filing an Access to Information request. They hit the motherload. Let Mr. Geist explain what they found:

in the months leading up to the introduction Bill C-30, Canada’s telecom companies worked actively with government officials to identify key issues and to develop a secret Industry – Government Collaborative Forum on Lawful Access.

Lovely! So in January 2012, a bunch of industry types and government reps sat down for a meeting. All the big boys were there – Rogers, Bell, Vidéotron. After some coffee and delicious muffins (or so I assume, maybe they were danishes), they sat around and figured out how to fuck over their subscribers at the government’s request. Fun! Just so you know they were serious:

representatives have been granted Government of Canada Secret level security clearance and signed non-disclosure agreements

So we’ve got the country’s oligopolisitic media / telecom companies and the government colluding in secret to try to pass legislation no one in the public wants. Just another day at the office.

Kill Bill C-11 Vol. 6: MPs gettin’ bitchy part 2

It looks so civilisedWhile you spend your time today on hold trying to contact your broker to get your hands on some juicy Facebook stock, I’ve got a treat for you! Earlier this week, the Conservatives finally said “enough with this shit” (may not be actual quote), and cut off debate during the report stage on Bill C-11, the Copyright Modernization Act that you are all so sick of by now. With the Bill passing the report stage, it leaves only third reading and a Senate rubber stamp before this baby is law. But to make it fun (?), just like the last time, I’ve slogged through the Parliamentary transcript to pull out some totally out-of-context quotes so we can all laugh / weep at our democracy in action.

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Can you say “my Prof sucks” on Facebook?

I really really dislike timelineA nice little case popped out of the Alberta Court of Appeal on Wednesday of this week. A couple of dudes at the University of Calgary were none too happy with a prof of theirs and took to Facebook to express their displeasure. The University was not pleased. Four years later, we’ve got a resolution. So can you say what you want on Facebook? Let’s find out.

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Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi

Guy in suit for the win!Ten days ago, there was a internet law case decided in Australia. Boy am I timely! But this case is HUGELY important, and as I am finally recovered from 4/20, I need to inform my three blog readers of what this case is all about. How can an Australian case be important in Canada? All will be explained in due course, dear reader, hopefully without any Vegemite jokes (well I guess one).

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“Happy” 4/20: Weed, the internet, and the law

Gotta love Willie!Whoa, duuuuude. It’s, like, 4/20 today. Recently, much has been made of florida marijuana laws in the ever-growing struggle for legalization, but the war seems to be going in the right direction. While you’re out there joining Willie and Woody and all our weed heroes celebrating, I’m here to like, totally bum you out man. Better turn on some Bob Marley or something while you read about all the ways you can get into trouble at the crossroads where weed and the internet meet. But first, if you are looking for a new pipe to enhance your cannabis smoking experience, then go to to take a look at some of the latest products. There is no time like the present when it comes to celebrating 4/20 after all!

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Thank goodness for internet porn. Wait, what?

Not explicit enough for me!Ah, internet porn. Is there nothing you can’t do? You see, if it wasn’t for the internet porn websites like, technology would be five years behind, and most likely internet law would be five years behind too. Because internet porn is so pervasive, because it involves internet payments, contracts, intellectual property and plenty more legal issues for people all over the world, a lot of cases end up in court. Above all, it is no secret that the adult entertainment industry is not going anywhere. With a diverse range of websites such as satisfying desires for erotic content all over the world, the pornography sector has gone from strength to strength in recent years. Nonetheless, although internet porn is hugely popular, it is not without its issues. One such case released last week has some important lessons about jurisdiction over Canadian pornographers (ok, all companies) in an American court. Let’s take a look at the case and also use it for a little lesson about jurisdiction here in Canada (well, Quebec).

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Who wants to sue Facebook?

you really like this!Well I am sure we’d all like to sue FB to get a piece of that sweet, sweet cash. A woman in Vancouver has actually gone ahead with it though, and in fact is representing a whole bunch of people in a class action, so maybe you can get in on it! Let’s break down what’s going on and see if we could do something like this in Quebec, where hopefully I’ll be your lawyer. I want that sweet, sweet cash too!

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