My First Slaw Post – SCC on Blogging

I’d like to thank Slaw for inviting me to be a regular contributor.

Ironically, this first post is a reference to my latest weekly London Free Press article that was inspired by a post on Slaw entitled “SCC Recognizes Blogging“.

While I can’t reproduce the article here for contractual/copyright reasons, you can read it on my blog, on Canoe, or on the Free Press site.

The article starts off with “A recent Supreme Court of Canada decision concerning a libel suit against a radio host referred to the changing attitudes surrounding public comment and defamation in today’s modern and technologically savvy society.”

Some thoughts from this:

First, in an era where everyone is a publisher, we tend to perceive commentary in a different, perhaps more skeptical, light, depending on the identity of the commenter, their reputation, their familiarity to the reader/listener, and the number of like comments.

Second, we should pause and consider carefully how we as individuals respond to negative comments, and how we as lawyers advise those individuals. Traditional approaches might cause more harm than good.

Third, its good to see that the SCC seems to keep in tune with modern technology and how it affects legal issues. Contrast that with legislator attempts at copyright reform.


  1. Congrats on the first post! I’m wondering about your second thought there, especially when to comes to negative profile events. If the standard C&D letter ends up on the offender’s blog causing more damage than remedy, what’s the better recourse these days? any suggestions on tactics?

  2. For the detailed answer, take a look at my earlier posts entitled Think before sending nastygrams and Attempt to supress can backfire. In essence, you first have to decide whether it is even worthy of reply. If it is, word the reply carefully so it isn’t over the top. Consider posting your point of view without trashing theirs. In blatant/serious instances the traditional nasty c&d might be needed – just don’t fire that off without thinking it through.