If a tree falls in the forest can anyone hear it? Can you lose in court if you are not there and no one knows who you are? The answer to the second question at least is now a definitive yes, thanks to a court decision from a few weeks ago (ok ok almost a month ago, I’ve been busy) in Ontario. Let’s dive in anonymously. Who said that?
Supreme Court makes a statement (or five) about defamation on the internet and where to sue
So a HUGELY important internet law case came out of the Supreme Court of Canada [/checks watch] almost 3 months ago now. Hmmm. I seemed to have taken the summer off. It was just too darn hot and humid for blogging! But school starts next week (hello McGill LAWG 534 readers!) so I better get my ass back in scholastic mode.
More importantly (and truthfully), I have been dreading writing about this case, even though it’s kinda interesting, and it’s my job to write about these things, and it’s my job to understand these things so I can teach them to the youths. Lemme explain.
Dog poo + Facebook = $65,000
That may be the best headline I’ve ever written. It should technically be “Dog poo + pedophilia + Facebook = $65,000”, but I was scared of what kind of click bait that would be. Thank you, B.C. Supreme Court!
Shifty-eyed internet law expert saying things on national TV again
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.
You can go ahead and call someone “F***ing crazy” on Twitter (in the States at least)
I rarely write about U.S. internet legal developments around here. But sometimes, the facts of a U.S. case are just too interesting to ignore. Once such recent case caught my eye. If you’ve read the headline of this post, you know what I mean. And there is a Canadian connection to the facts, so that’s something. Continue reading
Some thoughts on online defamation because apparently I am an expert 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?).
So recently we praised the CRTC; today we praise the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). What is up with these institutions? Yesterday the Court granted some kick-ass protection to anyone who has ever linked to defamatory content on their site. Check out the details after the jump.