Supremes ready to take on tech law in 2011: Geist

With pending federal legislation on copyright, access to information and privacy gummed up in a minority Parliament (several have already died on the order paper as elections were called (and there’s a good chance of a spring election this year), the Supreme Court has on its docket several potentially groundbreaking decisions. Trademark, access to government information and the liabilities of hyperlinking, which no blogger can do without, are all up for decisions this year. Professor Geist is an acknowledged expert on digital media law; it’s worth looking at his view of the year ahead, and I hope in future I don’t have to get his permission to link to articles he puts in the public domain.

Toronto Star, Jan. 9 2011

Supreme Court to look at hyperlinking and defamation

The Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear a case of defamation, on the issue of whether a blogger who hyperlinks to a defamatory site is also guilty of defamation. According to my brief study of media law, it should be clear cut: yes. Under current law, anyone, and any media, which repeats a defamatory statement is also guilty of defamation. Hence, when a defamatory statement is made, or felt to be made, libel lawyers will sue the origin of the defamation, and every media outlet that carries or repeats the defamation. Should be the same for bloggers; we are responsible for what we write., April 1 2010

Supremes ponder confidential sources

Interesting summary in today’s Globe on the rights of media to withhold information to protect a source, and the right of an accused to know the identity of people bringing information against them. A bundle of cases are involved, and it will be a precedent-setter either way.

Globe and Mail, October 22 2009

Supremes ready to hear precedent-setting media cases

Nice summary article by Dean Jobb, an associate professor of journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax and author of Media Law for Canadian Journalists (Emond Montgomery Publications) on the six media cases the Supreme Court is going to hear this fall on media issues. Protection of sources, publication bans and libel are the areas in which the Supreme Court is likely going to give significent direction to Canadian media, and society as a whole.

Winnipeg Free Press, September 1 2009