The Power of Perspectives

The Canadian Bar Association

Justin Ling

Intellectual property

Copyright fees at York: Federal Court rejects fair dealing

By Justin Ling July 13, 2017 13 July 2017

Copyright fees at York: Federal Court rejects fair dealing


A lengthy copyright battle, which a Federal Court judge compared to the chain of events that sparked World War I, between York University and a rights holder consortium has resulted in a blow for the fair dealing exemption.

The decision, says Canadian copyright expert Michael Geist, “moves in precisely the opposite direction with restrictive language that other courts and the Copyright Board have rejected.”

The case goes back to 2010, when the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (also known as Access Copyright) proposed to the Copyright Board of Canada that post-secondary institutions be charged $45 per each full-time employee (or equivalent) per year.  That represents a major hike from the previous $3.38 annual fee, topped up with a $0.10 per page royalty, that had applied up to 2010.

Read More
Law and the internet

SCC rules against U.S. tech giants: “The internet has no borders”

By Justin Ling June 29, 2017 29 June 2017

SCC rules against U.S. tech giants: “The internet has no borders”

 

It’s been a bad week for two internet giants.

Both Facebook and Google lost landmark decisions at the Supreme Court of Canada over the last few days, with the top court ruling against Google in a case involving de-indexing websites, and against Facebook in a case about forum selection.

The pair of rulings signals a move to establish that just because these tech giants are headquartered in California — or elsewhere — it doesn’t mean they can wiggle out from under Canadian legal jurisdiction.

Read More
National security

Super agency proposed to oversee national security

By Justin Ling June 29, 2017 29 June 2017


Canada’s national security regime will soon see the largest overhaul in its review, management, and approval structure since the McDonald Commission recommended splitting the RCMP’s intelligence branch off into a new agency: CSIS.

The Trudeau government legislation, C-59, addresses a number of facets in Canada’s national security infrastructure — National wrote about its plans for CSIS’s disruption powers last week — but the changes to how Canada’s national security framework is managed and monitored are almost certainly the most far-reaching.

Under the proposed legislation, Canada’s national security agencies will be under the purview of the National Security and Intelligence Review Agency, or NSIRA. That body essentially looks like the ‘Super SIRC,’ the proposed agency that would expand the scope of the CSIS review body to include a variety of other agencies.

Read More
National security

The new national security bill: Just tinkering?

By Justin Ling June 22, 2017 22 June 2017

The new national security bill: Just tinkering?

 

The federal government unveiled its wide-ranging national security overhaul this week, to a chorus of decidedly mixed reactions.

The omnibus legislation, bill C-59, updates a wide array of Canada’s national security framework, from adding the role of an Intelligence Commissioner, tasked with approving operations and activities; to the newly-created oversight committee, designed to keep a watchful eye on the wider security environment; to the creation of a standalone legal authority for the Communication Security Establishment, the country’s spy agency that performs foreign electronic surveillance.

At the core of the bill is a plan to trim aspects of C-51, the Harper government’s previous attempt to overhaul the Anti-Terrorism Act and CSIS Act, which drew heavy criticism from a variety of constitutional and criminal lawyers.

One of the most controversial aspects of C-51 was its commitment to allow CSIS to break Canadians’ Charter rights in pursuing its newly-afforded disruption powers.

Read More
The Supreme Court

Filling McLachlin's seat: What does tradition tell us?

By Justin Ling June 13, 2017 13 June 2017

Filling McLachlin's seat: What does tradition tell us?

 

With Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin retiring, the Trudeau government will have to search for a replacement in that role for the first time in 17 years. The Prime Minister will also have the opportunity to fill her seat.

The big question that will be debated in legal circles in the coming weeks and months is, who will fill her shoes?

Chief Justice McLachlin has been heralded as a consensus-builder on the top court over a nearly two-decade stretch where the court has crafted whole new approaches to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, breathed new life into ancestral rights for Indigenous peoples and reinforced centuries-old treaties signed with the Crown, and pronounced itself on an array of controversial topics from gay marriage to medical marijuana, assisted dying, and sex work.

"Ever the collaborative jurist, she is known for finding consensus on the court and fostering cordial and collaborative relationships with the profession," CBA President René Basque said in a recent statement following the announcement of her retirement.

Her legacy will be a hard one to match.

And the prime minister is going to have a tough job picking one from the current contingent of justices to fill her role as head of the country.

Read More