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Archive for ‘ulc_ecomm_list’

More on Social Media and the Courts

We have recently learned of the Alberta order for service of process by Facebook.

An English court has now ordered service of a injunction via Twitter — where the Twitter user was anonymous, impersonating a blogger (it’s a complicated world out there!): http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8285954.stm

I suppose there could be interesting questions if the Twitter user was not in the jurisdiction of the court, depending on (among other things) whether the rules of practice permit service out of the jurisdiction without prior leave of the court.

The complainant thought it was more efficient to get an ex parte injunction and serve it . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Online Defamation – Single Publication Rule?

The government of the United Kingdom is thinking about instituting a ‘single publication’ rule for online defamation. Here’s a story about that issue, with a link to the government’s consultation paper.

The single publication rule is an American rule that makes a limitation period for defamation run from the first publication of the defamatory statement. If the defamation remains available, say through the continuing availability of a book or through a newspaper archive, that does not restart the limitation period. US courts have applied that rule to Internet publications.

Canadian and British courts do not have a single publication rule . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information, Legal Information: Publishing, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Domain Names as Property (Again)

Slaw has discussed a couple of times [* *] whether domain names are property of any kind, including property that can be seized to satisfy creditors. The California Court of Appeal — Palacio del Mar Homeowners Assn., Inc. v. McMahon, Cal.Rptr.3d 2009 WL 1668294 (Cal. App. 4 Dist. June 16, 2009) [PDF] — has recently decided the latter question in the negative: no seizure. (Internet Cases has a summary.)

Part of the issue was whether the domain name was property that could be ‘levied upon by taking it into custody.’ If that’s the test then lots . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

EU Privacy Directive – Growing Obsolete?

The British Information Commissioner sponsored a study by RAND Europe of the EU Privacy Directive [PDF]. The study found the Directive in need of an overhaul, possibly a rebuilding from the ground up.

Here are the main challenges identified in the study, along with strengths and weaknesses of the current regime. Are any of them applicable to the Canadian system, either to PIPEDA and the provincial statutes that provide the framework, or to the privacy commissions that operate under them? Are the concerns applicable to public sector privacy statutes and commissioners as well?

From the study: . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

The Canadian Anti-Spam Bill

The Electronic Commerce Protection Act, Bill C-27, has passed second reading in Parliament and will go to committee for review.

Views seem to differ on parts of the bill, while other parts are generally accepted.

One of the areas of contention deals with the degree of consent required to send someone an email. The Bill has an ‘opt in’ system, by which the sender needs the express or implied consent of the addressee to send a message. An existing business relationship may imply consent.

However, some people say that the Bill is so broadly drafted that it would prohibit . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

More on Facebook Evidence

The media are slowly picking up on the number of court cases that are requiring disclosure of Facebook and other social network pages in litigation. SunMedia has a story today — see, e.g. “Social networking plays out in court” in the North Bay Nugget, and yesterday there was a story on Canoe Technology, “Facebook content showing up in lawsuits.” [See also “An Obligation to Discuss Facebook During Discovery,” from a couple of months ago on Slaw.]

Ian Kerr of U of Ottawa is quoted in the Sun Media story as saying this:

“The courts

. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information, Legal Information: Information Management, Substantive Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Ratifying the Electronic Communications Convention

I would like to raise again whether Canada should ratify the UNCITRAL Electronic Communications Convention (ECC). The ECC sets out in treaty form some of the basic rules of the 1996 Model Law on Electronic Commerce about how legal requirements that appear to need paper writings can be satisfied by electronic communications. The Convention operates only for international contracts, though it can be used as well to interpret other conventions to which the ratifying country is a party.

Thus the Convention says that information shall not be denied legal effect solely because it is in electronic form; that a legal . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Has Online ADR Got a Future?

Every few years there is a wave of enthusiasm for online alternative dispute resolution. One can see one starting in the mid-1990s, and another in 1999-2000, and maybe a wavelet in 2004 or so. Some international bodies are thinking about it again, according to discussion at the ABA’s Business Law spring meeting over the past weekend.

Osgoode Hall Law School has just got a major gift to set up an online ADR centre, the largest in the world, according to the press story.

Can this be made to work? I know that pure numbers-based saw-offs can be automated, but . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Cyberbullying: Is a Law Needed?

CBC News this morning, “Canadian Private Member’s Bill Targets Cyberbullying,” tells us this:

A Vancouver MP wants to amend the Criminal Code to target children and teenagers who use mobile phones and the internet to bully others. Currently, the code makes harassment, libel and spreading false messages criminal offences.

Do we need a law on harassment by electronic media, to go along with the general Criminal Code prohibition [s. 264]?

Do we need all our laws amended to say “by electronic means”? or a general statute that says “whatever the law prohibits, that prohibition applies as . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, ulc_ecomm_list

Is It OK for Regulators to Make a Mirror Copy of Files?

Lawyers’ Weekly reports that the Law Society of BC is considering whether it should be able to insist on doing a complete copy of a member’s computer in the course of an investigation. Pros and cons are discussed in the article, along with the proposed policy.

Concerns raised have included the lawyer/member’s privacy, and solicitor-client privilege.

Could not however the Law Society have sent in an investigator who would have had physical access to all the same files? Is the concern that once the mirror image is made, it is accessible to more people, with unknown controls?

In Ontario, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information: Information Management, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Online Defamation – No Limitation Period?

Out-Law.com reports today that the European Court of Human Rights upheld an English defamation case in which the publication had been online for more than the usual one-year limitation period for defamation suits. [Case of Times Newspapers Ltd (Nos. 1 And 2) v. The United Kingdom]

Though the limitation period runs from publication, each time a web site is accessed is considered a new publication. Thus the limitation period never expires for an online publication.

Does this make sense? (Out-law.com, a publication of the Pinsents law firm in the UK, does not think so.)

On the other hand, . . . [more]

Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Substantive Law, Technology, ulc_ecomm_list

Sales Tax on Goods and Services Bought Online

Hawaiian legislators are working on a bill to ensure collection of state sales tax on goods and services bought online from out of state, while Idaho legislators have declined to do any such thing:

Hawaii Proposes To Collect Taxes On Internet Sales
Buying tax-free music, books and electronics over the Internet would be a thing of the past under legislation pending before Hawaii lawmakers. The measure being pushed by Senate Democrats is meant to force online shoppers of Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc. to pay the state’s 4 percent general excise tax, just like customers who buy the same items

. . . [more]
Posted in: Administration of Slaw, Legal Information, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, ulc_ecomm_list