Latest updates

Online newspaper articles and libel do not toll notice and limitation periods
  • Canada
  • 27 July 2017

An eagerly anticipated media law decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal confirms what may seem to be an obvious legal proposition: the publication of a newspaper article online is treated the same as the print version for the purposes of notice and limitation periods in a civil action – in other words, time periods governing libel actions do not start afresh each day that an online article is online.

Failure to include retraction or apology in defamation settlement offer has costs consequences
  • Canada
  • 16 March 2017

A recent decision of the Court of Queen's Bench in Alberta highlights the costs consequences of litigating civil actions in Canada in the context of a defamation action involving a self-represented plaintiff who was forced to proceed to trial in order to obtain public acknowledgement that the article in question was defamatory. The plaintiff ultimately obtained a damages award of C$200,000 and recovery of trial costs in the amount of C$250,000.

Anti-SLAPP law: recent decisions
  • Canada
  • 19 January 2017

A defendant or respondent may bring a motion to dismiss an action as a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) and a judge must dismiss the proceeding if he or she is satisfied "that the proceeding arises from an expression made by the person that relates to a matter of public interest", unless the responding party proves certain facts. Two recent decisions have tested the new anti-SLAPP law in a manner that appears to embrace the philosophy behind the statute.

Court finds businessman is not a 'libel tourist'
  • Canada
  • 01 December 2016

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently upheld the dismissal of a defamation suit brought by Canadian billionaire Mitchell Goldhar against Israel's oldest daily newspaper Ha'aretz. In making its decision, the court considered three factors: whether the Ontario courts had jurisdiction simpliciter over the matter; whether Israel was a more appropriate forum to hear the case; and whether the lawsuit was an abuse of process.

Federal Court of Canada decision encourages creation of historical fiction
  • Canada
  • 22 September 2016

The publishing industry in Canada recently welcomed a Federal Court of Canada decision dismissing a claim in copyright brought by documentary filmmakers against the publisher and author of a fictional novel that was inspired by facts brought to light by the applicants' documentary. In dismissing the application, the court made several statements that are of interest to the media industry for their implications on the creation of historical fiction.

Stringent anti-spam legislation and regulations on the horizon
Bersenas Jacobsen Chouest Thomson Blackburn LLP
  • Canada
  • 25 March 2014

Canada's anti-spam legislation – including the rules governing unsolicited commercial electronic messages – will come into force on July 1 2014. The new legislation includes consent, identification and unsubscribing mechanism requirements and is widely viewed as one of the most stringent and onerous anti-spam regimes in the world.

Costs containment for IT projects
  • Canada
  • 09 November 2010

Recent reports in the Canadian media suggest that a number of large IT projects have gone badly. This is nothing new; IT projects are notorious for failing to deliver on time or on budget. However, business and contractual tools are available when negotiating large or complex IT transactions.

Multi-sourcing: a new twist in outsourcing transactions
  • Canada
  • 20 July 2010

Traditional outsourcing services are challenged by new technology and approaches and a range of options in the delivery of IT services. Multi-sourcing is one of those challenges. This relatively new sourcing model has been proposed by many as an alternative to customary outsourcing services and is seen as the opportunity to establish a collection of externally and internally delivered services.

A cloud-computing bandwagon? Not yet!
  • Canada
  • 04 May 2010

In Canada, data portability, lack of trust and privacy issues have been stated in the press as potential barriers to a greater penetration of cloud-computing services. This update looks at two of the most important barriers to cloud computing: data protection and security.

Reducing structural costs
  • Canada
  • 09 February 2010

In a recent article in the McKinsey quarterly, chief information officers, chief technology officers and other executives were asked about their IT strategies and their response to the recession. The article mentioned four actions as possible measures to reduce structural costs. Such measures need to be addressed carefully from a contractual perspective to avoid becoming problematic.

Be wary of settlement agreements
  • Canada
  • 03 November 2009

A recent Court of Quebec case acts as a reminder that achieving a settlement requires attention to detail. The case revolved around a service supplier which was hired contractually to create a website. Upon payment of the service fees, the service supplier was to remit to the client the source codes related to such services. As is the case with many IT-related contracts, delivery problems ensued.

Innovation and Outsourcing: Are the Two Compatible?
  • Canada
  • 28 July 2009

In these hard economic times, companies are seeking ways to compete better. IT outsourcing arrangements have been, and continue to be, seen as a tool to address certain corporate goals. However, innovation seems to be lacking in such arrangements. This update looks at how an outsourcing relationship can enable innovation.

Fighting Crime or Protecting Privacy: A Balancing Act
  • Canada
  • 05 May 2009

Parliament is considering the Modernization of Investigative Techniques Act, which is designed to reduce the ability of criminals to use sophisticated technologies to carry out their activities undetected. However, concerns have been raised that the misuse of the proposed legislation could enable law enforcement agencies to monitor all emails and cell phone use.

IT Transactions and Insurance Clauses
  • Canada
  • 20 January 2009

Many IT deals include insurance provisions to cover the costs of the provision of faulty equipment, systems or services. Any change in the scope of work or responsibilities of a third-party IT supplier should always be undertaken with all parties being cognizant of the possible effects of that change on the insurance policy coverage.

Study on IT Security Practices Released
  • Canada
  • 26 August 2008

A joint study on Canadian IT security practices, conducted by Telus, one of Canada’s leading telecommunications companies, and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, was released recently. This update highlights some of the study's interesting findings.

Outsourcing Contracts and Disclosure Obligations under Securities Legislation
  • Canada
  • 10 June 2008

Public companies with disclosure obligations to securities regulators must now disclose material contracts. If IT outsourcing contracts are considered to be material contracts under Canadian securities legislation, not only the public company (ie, the client), but also the supplier of outsourcing services will see the contract become public information.

How to Tame a Service-Oriented Architecture Initiative
  • Canada
  • 13 November 2007

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) ultimately aims to build efficiently new interoperable business applications which enable its user companies to become more agile and flexible. In the SOA world, integration is of key importance. The inability to achieve integration will diminish the value of any SOA initiative.

Do-Not-Call Registry Moves One Step Closer
  • Canada
  • 22 August 2007

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission announced the rules for its national do-not-call registry. However, the date on which the registry will come into force remains uncertain, as its operation is dependent on the appointment of a do-not-call list operator.

Green Technology
  • Canada
  • 14 August 2007

Green technology has become a hot topic in light of concerns over the human impact on the environment. The pursuit of sustainable development is slowly entering the world of information technology. However, this may not be an entirely altruistic endeavour on the part of the IT industry.

Supreme Court Decision Brings Increased Flexibility to IT Procurement
  • Canada
  • 22 May 2007

Over the years the procurement of large IT systems or services has been a difficult task due to the need to comply with the recognized rules of procurement. However, the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Double N Earthmovers Ltd v City of Edmonton and Sureway Construction of Alberta Ltd may bring a necessary level of flexibility to the IT procurement field.