News

  • – 2004-11-26 –
    The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has indicated her intent to become involved in the process to amend Canada's copyright laws. In a letter to CIPPIC dated November 24, 2004, and responding to CIPPIC's earlier request to address the privacy implications of proposed copyright legislation, the Commissioner stated that the Privacy Commission "would oppose legislation or legislative amendments that conferred unjustified privacy-invasive surveillance powers upon digital copyright holders. However, we have not as yet been consulted by either Heritage Canada or Industry Canada officials regarding the proposed legislation referred to in your letter. I have instructed my staff to initiate a dialogue with these departments to ensure that privacy risks are identified and addressed."
  • – 2004-11-22 –
    In a decision dated Nov.17, 2004, the Federal Court of Appeal ruled that Telus Communications Inc. violated its subscribers\' right to privacy under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA") by failing to obtain consent prior to the publishing of subscriber data in the telephone book, as well as to making it available via online and other databases. In Mathew Englander v. Telus Communications Inc., the Court also ruled that the CRTC decision to permit Telus and other phone companies to charge $2 per month for unlisted service was reviewable by way of application under PIPEDA, but did not violate any statutory privacy protections.
  • – 2004-11-12 –
    CIPPIC is pleased to announce the hiring of David Fewer, LL.M., to fill the clinic\'s new legal counsel position. David brings to CIPPIC a strong background in technology and intellectual property law. After completing an LL.M. at the University of Toronto in 1997, where he wrote an award-winning article on the application of s.2(b) of the Charter to copyright law, David practised IP and technology law in British Columbia and later, Ontario. He also found time to teach a course at UBC and to clerk for the Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Canada. David will be leading CIPPIC\'s advocacy on intellectual property-related files.
  • – 2004-11-04 –
    As Parliament considers legislated protection of Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies (designed to detect and stop copying of digital works), CIPPIC is calling on the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to conduct a privacy impact assessment of these technologies. In its letter, CIPPIC points out that the continuous information collection and surveillance functions of DRM can provide owners with highly detailed and previously unavailable information about the reading, listening and viewing habits of end users. We also highlight various ways in which certain uses of these technologies may be violating federal privacy legislation. This unprecedented threat to consumer privacy deserves immediate attention, before it becomes further entrenched.
  • – 2004-11-03 –
    CIPPIC Associate Alex Cameron presented a brief to the Senate Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology on Bill S-9, proposed amendments to the Copyright Act that would give photographers first ownership of copyright in the photographs they take.
  • – 2004-10-26 –
    The Technology Law Group of Fogler, Rubinoff LLP has agreed to provide CIPPIC with ongoing pro bono legal services on various aspects of CIPPC\'s legal work, including issue analysis, client advice, public educational materials and litigation. FR\'s Technology Law Group lawyers will assist CIPPIC counsel in the review of student work and the preparation of materials for use in casework, project work and on content for the CIPPIC website. "This wonderful donation of time and expertise will increase our capacity and help us to continue producing high quality work in a timely way", said Philippa Lawson, Executive Director of CIPPIC. FR is a Toronto based full service law firm that works with established and emerging businesses and with individuals. Of its arrangement with CIPPIC, Gary Bouchard, LL.B., Head of FR\'s Technology Law Group, said: "In its short history, Ms. Lawson and her team at CIPPIC have already made very positive contributions to the development of technology law issues in Canada. We are extremely pleased to be able to lend our support to CIPPIC\'s activities."
  • – 2004-10-20 –
    Senator Donald Oliver has re-introduced his private member\'s bill to prevent unsolicited messages on the Internet. Bill S-15 would initiate a number of measures, including a national "Do Not Spam" registry, offences for sending messages to addresses in the registry, a civil right of action against spammers, and the establishment of a body to regulate ISP practices as they affect spam.
  • – 2004-10-08 –
    The BC Government has introduced amendments to its privacy legislation in a move designed to address concerns that US authorities can secretly access BC residents\' private medical records if those records are outsourced to private companies with US links. The amendments restrict public bodies and service providers to whom they outsource from storing, accessing or disclosing personal information outside Canada. Unauthorized disclosure would be an offence subject to fines ranging from $2,000 for an individual to up to $500,000 for a corporation. The new law would also require reporting of foreign demands for disclosure of personal information, and would protect "whistleblowers" from retribution for such reporting.
  • – 2004-10-04 –
    In response to pressure from developing countries and public interest groups, the UN\'s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has agreed to examine a proposal for intellectual property law reform that is aimed at achieving a better balance between the interests of copyright holders and the public. The new "development agenda" emphasizes the value of open source software, public domain goods, patent exceptions for access to medicine, control of anti-competitive practices, and other approaches that enhance access to information and promote creativity and technology transfer to the developing world. It also calls upon WIPO "to ensure the wide participation of civil society in WIPO\'s activities." - EFF news release - WIPO news release
  • – 2004-09-30 –
    As part of an international movement to expand the public domain and to give creators more control over the uses to which their digital works may be put, CIPPIC has released a series of copyright licences for use by Canadian creators under the "Creative Commons" banner. Each licence enables the creator to reserve certain rights in their works (e.g., no commercial exploitation), but also, unlike the standard "All Rights Reserved" approach under copyright law, to permit certain uses (e.g., non-commercial sharing) that would otherwise constitute copyright infringement. See the CIPPIC webpage on Creative Commons for more information.