Green is good! Purple is bad.
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.
Audio! Words! Internet cat fights! This post has it all.
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.
This morning noted internet law expert Allen Mendelsohn (who?) appeared on CTV’s Canada AM to opine about the update to the Copyright Act that came into effect today. It’s called the “notice and notice regime” and I’ve written about it before. Wow, 3 years ago! Everything I wrote is still valid though, as the government did not change or add one word to the law since then. Lazy government.
Anyway, god forbid CTV should have an embeddable video player, so here are some links:
Just the video
Actual news story with quotes from somebody you know (plus the video)
My new year’s resolution is to media whore like it’s 1999. So far so good. I’ll be on CJAD tomorrow at 7:10 AM, CKNW on Sunday at 4:30 PM (EST) and on other radio stations Monday morning. Just waiting on The National. Call me, CBC!
I had the pleasure of sitting down recently with the fine folks from the McGill Law Journal, who have an amazing podcast series, with lots of law learnin’ ‘n stuff. For some reason they thought I would be a good guest. Big mistake. The title of the podcast is “Seeking Jane Doe: The Voltage Decision”, and obviously, it’s about the Voltage decision. Here is the description:
Voltage, a US film producer and distributor, is using a controversial legal procedure to go after illegal downloading. We talk to Allen Mendelsohn, internet law expert, David Fewer, Director of CIPPIC, and Voltage’s lawyer, John Philpott, about how this will impact Canadian Internet users.
You can listen online, or visit the iTunes McGill Law Journal podcast page to get it in iTunes.
Two media titans talk about the internet
So yesterday Global News published an article about CSEC and Brazilian spying. It includes a shitload of quotes from some internet lawyer named Allen Mendelsohn. Boy that guy is an idiot. Allow me to correct some of what he said.
Did you know today was World Intellectual Property Day? It’s ok, neither did I until a few hours ago. And it is ostensibly my job! We should get a cake or something. Anyway, I thought I would take the opportunity to talk about (ramble on about) Intellectual Property (IP) in general and why it’s important, while telling you how I regularly violate IP law online. Whoops.
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.
Happy New Year to you kids! And to me too, because I am proud to be number 24! Canadian IP lawyer extraordinaire and blogger Barry Sookman has ranked the most popular intellectual property and technology law blogs. He ranked the Top 10 for the world, and a bunch of other geographic areas (EU, US, UK, etc.) and most importantly, Canada.
Most importantly because your humble blogger appears on the Canadian list, at the awesome Jack Bauerian ranking of 24! Hells yeah!
Thanks to all of you readers for making this achievement possible, and to Barry for compiling the rankings. Let’s aim for top 20 in 2013! And then we’ll knock Geist off his perch in 2014. He has it coming.