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8 Legal/Tech Issues for 2018

Blockchain (the technology behind Bitcoin) is in a hype phase. It has been touted as the solution to many issues around trust. To some extent blockchain is still a solution in search of a problem. Blockchain will, however, become an important technology, and perhaps during 2018 we will begin to see some practical uses. CASL, Canada’s anti-spam legislation, has been under review. It is a horrible law where the cost / benefit ratio is way off....
Posted in: Technology

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from more than 80 recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible. This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. Eloise Gratton 2. IIFLS at Osgoode 3. Official Clio Blog 4. Legal Post Blog 5. Meurrens on Immigration Eloise Gratton CASL Enforcement...
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

CRTC Compufinder Decision Lowers CASL Spam Penalty

The CRTC recently released 2 CASL decisions on Compufinder. If this sounds familiar, it is because this is an appeal from an initial finding in 2015 that levied a $1.1 million penalty. Compufinder took the position that CASL is unconstitutional. Many legal experts have questioned the ability of the Federal Government to pass this legislation. The CRTC decided that CASL is constitutional. But this is not the last word. Inevitably this will be...
Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law

Monday’s Mix

Each Monday we present brief excerpts of recent posts from five of Canada’s award­-winning legal blogs chosen at random* from more than 80 recent Clawbie winners. In this way we hope to promote their work, with their permission, to as wide an audience as possible. This week the randomly selected blogs are 1. Condo Adviser 2. Family LLB 3. Canadian Privacy Law Blog 4. National Magazine 5. Michael Spratt Condo Adviser This is What the New Condo...
Posted in: Monday’s Mix

Personal Liability Under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law

Under Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (“CASL”) not only may a corporation that fails to comply be liable to pay a monetary penalty but personal liability may also arise. Section 31 provides that “An officer, director, agent or mandatary of a corporation that commits a violation is liable for the violation if they directed, authorized, assented to, acquiesced in or participated in the commission of the violation, whether or not...
Posted in: Intellectual Property

CASL Private Right of Action Suspended – but CASL Is Still Here

The Canadian government has suspended the CASL private right of action that was to have come into force on July 1. The private right of action (most likely in the form of class actions) would have allowed people to sue anyone for sending spam. Or more accurately for those who violated the technical provisions of CASL. This is a welcome move. But while we can breathe a sigh of relief that this remedy is gone, CASL still remains in force and must...
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

CASL Class Actions Are Looming

The private right of action for sending spam in violation of CASL comes into force on July 1. Many companies are dreading it – some class action lawyers can’t wait. The right thing for the government to do would be to completely scrap CASL – the statute is that bad and ill-conceived. But wishful thinking won’t make it go away. At the moment, CASL violators are subject to enforcement proceedings by the CRTC. But after...
Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

10 Things to Watch for at the Intersection of Tech and Law in 2017

CASL, Canada’s anti-spam legislation, has been with us since July 2014. It’s a terrible piece of legislation for many reasons. In July 2017 a private right of action becomes effective that will allow anyone who receives spam as defined by CASL to sue the sender. CASL sets out statutory damages, so the complainant does not have to prove any damages. Class actions will no doubt be launched. The sad part is that breaches of CASL are to a large...
Posted in: Technology

CRTC Assesses Conspicuous Publication Basis of Implied Consent in CASL Enforcement Decision

The CRTC released a compliance and enforcement decision, CRTC 2016-428, October 26, 2016 in which it found that Blackstone Learning Corp. (Blackstone) committed nine violations of paragraph 6(1)(a) of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) by sending commercial electronic messages (CEMs) without consent, and imposed an administrative monetary penalty of $50,000 on Blackstone. The decision is noteworthy as it give more details and analysis than...
Posted in: Intellectual Property

Should Digital Marketing Be Important to Lawyers?

2016 has seen a continued focus on digital strategy in the Canadian legal market. Legal industry professionals have been late adopters of digital processes. However, the continued disruption in the Canadian legal market has placed pressure on law firms to find new ways to increase brand awareness and to meet client expectations. So what do law firms need to implement digital policies that improve their bottom line and the client experience?...
Posted in: Legal Marketing

CASL Still Confusing

CASL, the Canadian anti-spam legislation, came into force on July 1, 2014. July 1, 2017 will be an important date for CASL, as a private right of action will become available. Anyone (class actions are likely) will be able to sue CASL violators. Statutory damages means that it won’t be necessary to prove actual damages. CASL is a complex, illogical statute. Many businesses don’t comply because they don’t think emails they send could possibly be...
Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

CRTC Advisory on CASL Consent Record Keeping

The CRTC recently issued a media advisory entitled Enforcement Advisory – Notice for businesses and individuals on how to keep records of consent. It doesn’t add anything new – but reinforces what the CRTC is looking for. This is important because CASL requires a business to prove that they have consent to send a CEM (Commercial Electronic Message). CASL has a complex regime of express and implied consent possibilities. The...
Posted in: Substantive Law, Technology