‘Draconian’ anti-terrorism laws not needed – No more powers

Thursday, 8 September, 2011

From CBC News Sept 7, 2011, “‘Draconian’ anti-terrorism laws not needed, opposition says

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper must explain why “draconian” anti-terrorism measures that were scrapped in 2007 are once again necessary, opposition MPs said Wednesday.

“The prime minister has to explain to us why, if these measures are so important and so necessary, they were not in place for four years. Is the prime minister saying that for the last four, five years, we’ve been at risk? At greater risk because the measures have not been in place? I think he has to answer that question,” interim Liberal leader Bob Rae said.

Rae was reacting to Harper’s disclosure in an interview with CBC chief correspondent Peter Mansbridge that his Conservative government plans to bring back two controversial clauses of anti-terrorism legislation that were sunset in 2007.”

From Ottawa Citizen, Sept 8, 2011, “No more powers

“In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, there have been too many instances of security trumping rights even in democratic countries – most notably the use of torture, the establishment of a quasi-permanent detention camp at Guantanamo Bay and the practice of extraordinary rendition. Canada’s hands have not been clean; the stories of Maher Arar, Abousfian Abdelrazik and Omar Khadr – among others – show that the price of freedom is indeed eternal vigilance. Read the rest of this entry »


Worth Reading: Securing privacy, Showrunner DIY TV promos, Legal strategies in Charlie Sheen case, High noon in i4i-Microsoft fight

Monday, 18 April, 2011

* Guardian, Cory Doctorow: ‘The most powerful mechanism we have for securing the privacy of individuals is for them to care about that privacy’ – video – “Blogger, writer and activist Cory Doctorow on social networking, revolution and how to avoid haemorrhaging personal information online”

* The Hollywood Reporter, Q&A: ‘Cougar Town’ Boss Bill Lawrence Airs His Frustrations With Disney

THR: So what does work?

Lawrence: There are some shows like Modern Family or American Idol where lightening strikes. Otherwise, you have two options. First, you build word-of-mouth.

THR: And the second?

Lawrence: Keep your loyal fans interested by giving them as much access, content and interaction as possible. That’s what I like as a TV viewer. For me, every show that I’ve felt like, “Wow, they actually care what the fans think” or “they’re actually writing for somebody,” I’m more loyal to. On Scrubs, we gave our fans extra content and access to the cast and writers. And in return, we could count on them to find the show on a network that moved the show about 20 times. Read the rest of this entry »


1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei

Monday, 18 April, 2011

Toronto Star report, “1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei, Toronto version” (Facebook photos)

Torontoist, “Scene: Where is Ai Weiwei?

Protest pictures, details and comments posted onto the worldwide 1001 Chairs for Ai Weiwei Facebook group. Pix from New York City here, herehere. Pix from Munich here.

NPR, “Art And Consequence: A Talk With China’s Controversial Ai Weiwei

This Sunday, at Chinese embassies all over the world, protesters are planning a global sit-in to protest the detention of the internationally renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Ai was taken into custody by Chinese authorities nearly two weeks ago for what government officials now say are questions about his finances.

The protesters will be bringing chairs to sit on. They aren’t worried about getting tired. The design of the protest is a homage to a piece by Ai that was exhibited in 2007 at Documenta 12, a major arts festival in Kassel, Germany. Read the rest of this entry »


Ai Weiwei still detained, whereabout unknown

Sunday, 17 April, 2011

* Guardian, “Ai Weiwei arrest protests at Chinese embassies worldwide – Inspired by artist’s installation with 1001 Qing dynasty seats, curator suggests taking chairs into street in silent protest

“Demonstrators all over the world were sitting outside Chinese embassies on Sunday demanding the release of the detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei.

Hundreds of protestors brought chairs onto the street tocall for the immediate release of Ai, and in support of the rights of all Chinese artists.

In Hong Kong there were scuffles as 150 protestors came up against lines of police, with reports of at least one detention. In Berlin, about 200 people took part in a largely silent protest. There was also a gathering outside the Chinese embassy in London.”

* Al Jazeera, “Protest in Hong Kong over Ai Weiwei detention

* CBC News, “Ai Weiwei: latest casualty of China’s crackdown on dissent – Q&A with Alison Klayman, a Beijing-based filmmaker who made a film about the Chinese artist

You have spent a lot of time with Ai Weiwei over the last couple of years, during which time he has been increasingly publicly critical of the Chinese regime. Could you describe the issues about which he has been most vocal?

Ai’s denunciation of the Olympic Games and the Olympic stadium as the “false smile” of an authoritarian regime shed light on Weiwei’s activism in China, but the issue that he was most vocal about — and where he inserted himself into the Chinese conscience — was his citizen’s investigation into the deaths of more than 5,000 schoolchildren in poorly constructed schools during the May 2008 earthquake in Sichuan. Over his Twitter feed, Ai solicited over 70 volunteers to independently record the names, ages, classrooms and villages of the dead. Read the rest of this entry »


Release Ai Weiwe 艾未未i ! Where is Ai Weiwei?

Friday, 8 April, 2011

The lawless Chinese government has detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei but his family, friends, and supporters have no idea of his whereabout.

More news from: The Independent, Newsweek “A Provocateur Finds Out Just How Far He Can Go“.

Release Ai Weiwei ! Where is Ai Weiwei?

Ai-Weiwei-Middle-Finger

Weiwei sent a message to the police back in China,

Some photos, at the right moment, completely change the history. - part 1

Some photos, at the right moment, completely change the history. - part 2

Weiwei snapped this photo. Then he tweeted it to his online followers. - pix 1 Read the rest of this entry »


Kodak patent moment: $1 billion from Apple & RIM

Saturday, 26 March, 2011

Here is a $1 billion Kodak moment. Kodak has already settled with Samsung and LG for a combined $964 million over the same patent.

* Bloomberg, “Kodak Wins a Round in $1 Billion Apple, RIM Patent Dispute

“The patent covers a feature that previews low-resolution versions of a moving image while recording still images at a high resolution. Higher resolution requires more processing power and storage space. Kodak, which generated $838 million from patents last year, contends the image-preview feature is used in every digital camera and phone with a camera.”

* AP, “Kodak patent complaint against Apple, RIM revived


Google’s legal troubles in the digitization of major library collections

Wednesday, 23 March, 2011

For the record, “Google Hits Another Speedbump on Way to Digitizing World“. If you are legally minded, you can read the judgement by US Federal Judge Denny Chin of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.


The Great Pain of Free-Speech

Wednesday, 2 March, 2011

For the record. From ABC News “Supreme Court OKs Protests at Military Funerals – Westboro Baptist Church Protected by First Amendment, 8-1 Majority Rules”,

“”Speech is powerful,” [US Chief Justice John] Roberts wrote. “It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and — as it did here — inflict great pain.

On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker. As a nation we have chosen a different course — to protect even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate,” he said. “That choice requires that we shield Westboro from tort liability for its picketing in this case.””

More news from,

CBC, “U.S. top court upholds church’s funeral protests”

AFP, “Anti-gay US church has right to picket funerals: court”

Reason, “What Speech Would Be Free In Alitopia?”


Ottawa’s Globalive (WIND Mobile) decision overturned by Federal Court

Friday, 4 February, 2011

Feb 15, 2011 Update: CBC News, “Globalive ruling to be appealed by Ottawa

Feb 17, 2011 Update: “Globalive appeals court ruling, seeks to extend stay

***

As a WINDmobile customer, I’m surprised & angered to see Ottawa’s Globalive decision overturned by federal court. From CBC (with video interview of WIND Mobile CEO Ken Campbell),

“On Friday, Federal Court Justice Roger Hughes found Ottawa’s move was based on “errors of law” and ruled it null and void. He also ordered a 45-day stay in the ruling, meaning the company has time to appeal and continue to operate in the interim.

“We are very disappointed with this decision,” Globalive chairman Anthony Lacavera said. “We are examining our options but this is not over yet. We don’t intend to back down.”

Since its launch a little more than a year ago, Wind has already accumulated 250,000 customers, he noted.

Industry Minister Tony Clement said the government is studying the ruling and examining its options. “Our [government] stands with consumers who want more competition,” he said in a tweet.

Later, Clement commented on the decision in an interview to air Saturday on CBC Radio’s The House.

“I’ll be studying the decision and reviewing our options, but … our government still believes very strongly that we should be on the side of consumers, and what consumers want is more choice,” Clement told host Kathleen Petty.”

Here is the court decision (in PDF and in text).

Also see reports by TorStar and Reuters.


‘Officer Bubbles’ sues YouTube and users over cartoons

Saturday, 16 October, 2010

The $1.2 million defamation lawsuit as reported by Torstar in “‘Officer Bubbles’ sues YouTube and users over cartoons” is resulted from comments and cartoons triggered by the following video.

Setting aside the issue of whether the lawsuit is meritorious, the following video seems to show excessive use of police force at G20 and should not be accepted/tolerated in Canada. Since it costed Canadian tax payers over $1 billion to host the G20 and G8, so I expect a lot from from the police than this kind of unacceptable dictatorial police-state behaviours.


Birgitte Andersen, Chris Castle, Bob Tarantino – P2P filesharing research and Internet gossip

Tuesday, 5 October, 2010

The names Birgitte Andersen, Chris Castle, Bob Tarantino are unfamilar to me until this morning when I read “Falling off the edge of a flat world? – Internet gossip on P2P filesharing research – a response from Professor Birgitte Andersen“, I can say the article is more intriguing than some fictions. It is also painful to see when someone, her professional credibility, and her peer-reviewed research for Industry Canada (Andersen-Frenz report (2007): The Impact of Music Downloads and P2P File-Sharing on the Purchase of Music: A Study for Industry Canada, PDF version) are attacked in the manner described.

Here is an excerpt from Professor Andersen’s “Falling off the edge of a flat world? ” (comments and emphasis added),

Campaign to discredit

You have got to ask yourself, – who will spend time going through years (across 2005,06,07) of internal and informal emails (obtained under the under the Access to Information Act) between myself and one of my consultancy contractors (Industry Canada), a past reviewer’s report of an early draft, selectively reading my publications since 2001, and producing about 20 printed pages (in two parts) of menacing rant appearing to try to undermine my (Andersen’s) research credibility and the Andersen-Frenz (2007) study for Industry Canada on “The Impact of Music Downloads and P2P File-Sharing on the Purchase of Music”. [comment: Wow!]

Amazingly, this two-part diatribe (published in May and June 2010) attacking me and my research is published as an apparently ‘independent’ analysis representing facts and not taking sides in the ongoing international debate on how policy should respond to unauthorized filesharing on the Internet and the digital economy of the future.

The blogger is in fact Chris Castle from ‘Christian L Castle Attorneys’ based in Los Angeles and San Francisco USA, and the firm’s web site lists that they represent the record labels, film studios, among others. Thus, one could consider they have a clear financial interest in the debate on intellectual property (IP) policy in the digital economy.  Another blogger spreading this unsubstantiated gossip on the Internet is Bob Tatantino [sp? Tarantino] from Heenan Blaikie’s Entertainment Law Group in Toronto.

Is this type of work commissioned? Peer- reviewed? (not likely!), and what interests surround the making and publication of it? [comment: Good questions.]

Is it hypocritical, or even dishonest, that firms so closely linked to the interests on the one side of the copyright debate on digital economy policy present themselves as neutral carriers of ‘truth’ while accusing a neutral academic study of taking sides?  Do these firms have a conflict of interest? [comment: Interesting questions again.]

Interestingly, I was not informed of the publication of this work (but realized its existence as I received a number of unusual emails over the summer), which explains my late response.

[HT Geist]


The Funny Business of Free Samples in Canada

Thursday, 19 August, 2010

Few days ago, I posted the following challenge and hoped someone would notice what was going on and we could have some fun in the discussions.

Try to state what you see in the video clip and explain why.

Bonus points: explain what you don’t see but can imagine happen.

Well, it is time to post my observation/solution.

Points noted in Haricot’s & hevangel’s comments.

- it was a “free” sample tasting.

- The girl gave money (pennies, nickels, or dimes) to people for them to give the coins right back to her before they take their drinks.

Additional points not covered in posted comments.

- To me, the key issue not covered in the comments was why the girl gave people (I will call them the “samplers”) the coins, so they can give the coins back to her before taking the drinks?

- To me, what was happening was the artificial creation of a contract and the money (a penny/nickel/dime) was the “consideration“. I bet some “smart” lawyers must have cooked up this “contract” to try to solve some “problem”.

- You may ask, what problem? Read the rest of this entry »


Awarding damages for Charter breach – The 4 steps

Friday, 23 July, 2010

Today, in an unanimous ruling “Vancouver (City) v. Ward, 2010 SCC 27“, the Supreme Court of Canada laid down the steps to decide the award of damages for Charter breach, (emphasis and link added)

“I conclude that damages may be awarded for Charter breach under s. 24(1) where appropriate and just.

The first step in the inquiry is to establish that a Charter right has been breached.

The second step is to show why damages are a just and appropriate remedy, having regard to whether they would fulfill one or more of the related functions of compensation, vindication of the right, and/or deterrence of future breaches.

At the third step, the state has the opportunity to demonstrate, if it can, that countervailing factors defeat the functional considerations that support a damage award and render damages inappropriate or unjust.

The final step is to assess the quantum of the damages.”

CBC News “Top court upholds damages for charter breaches” (with video).


Google’s new approach to China

Monday, 22 March, 2010

Google Mainland China service availability - Mar 21, 2010

After weeks of waiting since,
Google.cn decision (part 1)
Google.cn decision (part 2) and China’s Foreign Ministry & White House responses
More Google China photos
US diplomatic note re Google China
Sergey Brin on Google’s China decision @ TED
Today, we finally have Google’s new approach to China.

So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong.

[...] Figuring out how to make good on our promise to stop censoring search on Google.cn has been hard. We want as many people in the world as possible to have access to our services, including users in mainland China, yet the Chinese government has been crystal clear throughout our discussions that self-censorship is a non-negotiable legal requirement. We believe this new approach of providing uncensored search in simplified Chinese from Google.com.hk is a sensible solution to the challenges we’ve faced—it’s entirely legal and will meaningfully increase access to information for people in China. We very much hope that the Chinese government respects our decision, though we are well aware that it could at any time block access to our services. We will therefore be carefully monitoring access issues, and have created this new web page, which we will update regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.


U.S. healthcare bill passes (219 – 212)

Sunday, 21 March, 2010

U.S. health-care bill passes (219 – 212) CBC News, ABC News, CBS News/AP, NYT Blog.

Congrats! Go USA Go!!!


Former heads of Canadian Nuclear Safety, Public Complaints Against the RCMP, Military Police Complaints Commissions speak up

Tuesday, 26 January, 2010

From CBC report “Liberals pledge watchdog independence” (emphasis and notes added),

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Tuesday his party would put limits on the federal government’s influence over its watchdogs.

“I’m willing to accept those limits, and we will put forward in the Liberal platform in the months ahead some clear definitions of how we would safeguard the independence of these tribunals …,” said Ignatieff.

Ignatieff spoke following a Liberal roundtable on governance, which heard from the former heads of three agencies who say they experienced interference from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government.

The speakers included former nuclear safety commission head Linda Keen, former RCMP public complaints commission head Paul Kennedy, and Peter Tinsley, the former military police complaints commissioner.

Keen called her dismissal “an attack without precedent in Canada.” In 2008, the Conservatives said she lost the government’s confidence over the way she handled the shutdown of a medical isotope-producing nuclear reactor. [K note: Sadly, Ms. Keen's concern was later proved right as her science was correct.]

CBC’s Katie has an excellent live blog entry which I will be reading much closer. Here is an excerpt,

[Former President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Linda] Keen notes that tribunals are often called ‘cousins of the court’, and as such, must be allowed to operate independently. She, on the other hand, was ‘fired by the prime minister’ the day before she was scheduled to testify before committee on the isotope crisis (the last one, that is), but she recalls that her termination came after a ‘strange year’ of relations between herself and the then-minister. She recaps the decision to hold the tribunal responsible, which she calls ‘an unprecedented attack’ — and one that left commissioners fearing for their jobs. She pays tribute to two of the other panelists — also former commissioners, noting that ‘Paul and Peter did their jobs.’ As for her, she now works as a risk advisor in the private sector.

Because of Ms. Keen’s sad and unjust experiences (see a search of my blog entries written about Ms. Keen), I now put my trust in a trained-scientist much more than the ill-advised federal politicians from all parties (yes, MPs from all parties collectively over-rule Ms. Keen’s scientific judgement, and these federal politicians were all “beeping” wrong). I will always remember “Parliament voted to bypass the order of the safety regulator and the reactor was restarted Dec. 16 [2007].”


Defending Canadian Democracy and Parliament from Beijing, China

Monday, 25 January, 2010

Alex deVries (Flickr’s alexthepuffin) may seem to be protesting powerlessly alone in Beijing. But he is not. Alex’s action is a lesson to us all: Do not fear to protest alone as you will never know what your lone voice will inspire.

When we Canadians see an unjust shutdown of our Parliament, when we see our democracy being trampled, when we see prime minister harper thinks he is above Parliament and above the law, when harper thinks he doesn’t need to answer to Parliament, then it is up to each and every single one of us Canadian to stand up to fight and protect our democracy and Parliament.

The fight will go on until there are no Canadian left standing anywhere in the world.

So, thanks Alex for caring enough to fight for Canada all the way from Beijing, China on January 23rd, 2010 together with Canadians in Calgary and around the country.

P.S. Yes, harper want us to have short term memory and forget that our democracy has been shutdown by him single-handedly. It is up to us to keep remind harper we may forgive but we will NEVER FORGET.

Alex_Prorogue_2 by alexthepuffin.

Alex_Prorogue_1 by alexthepuffin.


Google.cn decision (part 2) and China’s Foreign Ministry & White House responses

Thursday, 14 January, 2010

For the record, I will list the China’s Foreign Ministry response to  David Drummond, Google Chief Legal Officer in Chinese and then English, both from Xinhua, the Chinese government officially approved, sanctioned, and mandated news source for all internal Chinese websites re the Google.cn decision (yes, it is illegal to quote or use any other news sources).

From 新华国际 “2010年01月14日 (外交部网站) 姜瑜就谷歌、海地地震、印度逮捕中国工程师等答问“,

问 [Question]:中国政府对谷歌公司宣布可能退出中国市场,不再和中国政府合作对网络内容进行审查有何回应?美国国务卿希拉里·克林顿要求中国对谷歌网络被攻击作出解释,中方对此有何回应?

答 [Answer]: 我想强调的是,中国的互联网是开放的,中国政府鼓励互联网的发展,努力为互联网的健康发展营造良好的环境。中国的法律禁止任何形式的黑客攻击行为。中国同其他国家一样,依法管理互联网,有关管理措施符合国际通行做法。我还想强调,中国欢迎国际互联网企业在中国依法开展业务。

关于第二个问题,如果美方联系中方,我们将向美方重申这一立场。

From Xinhua “China says its Web open, welcomes Int’l companies“,

China’s Internet is open and welcomes international companies, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Thursday, just two days after Google issued a statement saying it might quit China.

Spokeswoman Jiang Yu told a regular news briefing that China encouraged development of the Internet.

“China’s Internet is open,” said Jiang. “China has tried creating a favorable environment for Internet,” said Jiang while responding to a question on Google’s possible retreat.

“China welcomes international Internet companies to conduct business within the country according to law,” she said. “China’s law prohibits cyber crimes including hacker attacks.”

Here is the thing, China’s constitution is supposed to guarantee freedom of speech too but that hasn’t exactly done Prof. Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) any good, has it? A sentence of 11 years imprisonment right on Christmas 2009 for signing Charter 08 along a few hundred other Chinese intellectuals and human rights activists.

So the bottom line is that we will need to see what the discussion between Google and the Chinese government comes down to.

Now Google has made a strong stand, I hope Google will make the right decision to be transparent and make the right choice between “good” and “profit”.

See my Google.cn decision – part 1.

P.S. What the Chinese based companies are saying now have little creditability in my eyes as the only way for them to survive is to obey the Chinese government.

In fact, I will go one step further and treat all Chinese companies’ spokespeople and senior executives as mouthpieces of the Chinese government. I will be very surprised if they suddenly decided to grow some political spine right at the time when spinelessness is the best way to stay profitable in China and be friends of the Chinese government.

P.P.S. For the record from NYT “Follow the Law, China Tells Internet Companies” (emphasis added),

After a day of silence, the Foreign Ministry said that China welcomed foreign Internet companies but that those offering online services must do so “in accordance with the law.” Speaking at a scheduled news conference, Jiang Yu, a ministry spokeswoman, did not address Google’s complaints about censorship and cyberattacks and simply stated that “China’s Internet is open.”

The remarks, and those of another high-ranking official who called for even tighter Internet restrictions, may speed Google’s departure and increase friction between Beijing and the Obama administration, which has made priorities of Internet freedom and online security.

Read the rest of this entry »


Happy 99th Birthday Prof. Ronald Coase

Tuesday, 29 December, 2009

Today (Dec 29th, 2009) is Prof. Ronald Coase‘s 99th birthday. I like to wish him a happy birthday and good health. I’ve added time codes and brief notes to his 2003 Coase Lecture (in 6 parts). Enjoy.

(note: This is a followup to an earlier entry.)

Part 1

Time Codes added to the Youtube info

0:30 Coase Lecture,
1:21 Law and Economics,
1:40 Mr. Toad The Wind in the Willows,
2:14 First year students,
2:40 What Coase did as a young student,
3:14 The events that lead to the emergence of the subject known as Law and Economics,
3:36 Professor of Economics and not a Professor of Law and Economics,
3:47 knowledge of law as an undergraduate,
4:32 following the precedence,
4:44 The Law Courts,
5:03 American cases

Part 2

Time codes

0:00 Theory of international trade. (Never thought I would laugh so hard!)
1:24 More likely to become a lawyer than an economist in university. Study of industrial law.
2:25 Go to US to study why industries are organized in different ways.
3:28 Plant was opposed to government’s schemes of coordinating production.
Read the rest of this entry »


“Responsible communication” as a libel defence for reporters and bloggers: Supreme Court of Canada

Tuesday, 22 December, 2009

Toronto Star,

In a landmark ruling on freedom of expression, the Supreme Court of Canada has created a new legal defence to libel lawsuits that would shield journalists who fairly and responsibly report stories of public interest.

The new defence, dubbed “responsible communication” by the country’s top court, gives greater protection to broadcasters, writers and bloggers who do a form of reporting due diligence.

It is a huge legal victory for the Toronto Star, which along with a broad coalition of Canadian media outlets, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, had called for just such a defence.

The decision breaks new ground for Canadian common law, bringing it in line with decisions in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

CBC News (with video),

Two Ontario newspapers will get new libel trials, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled, opening the door for journalists to defend themselves against libel using the defence of “responsible journalism.”

The Ottawa Citizen and the Toronto Star launched appeals under rules for the possible new defence that were outlined by the Ontario Court of Appeal two years ago.

Read the full SCoC “Grant v. Torstar Corp.” decision. I’ve excerpted three paragraphs 96, 97, 113 that are very relevant to blogging and bloggers (emphasis added). [HT Michael]

[96] A second preliminary question is what the new defence should be called. In arguments before us, the defence was referred to as the responsible journalism test. This has the value of capturing the essence of the defence in succinct style. However, the traditional media are rapidly being complemented by new ways of communicating on matters of public interest, many of them online, which do not involve journalists. These new disseminators of news and information should, absent good reasons for exclusion, be subject to the same laws as established media outlets. I agree with Lord Hoffmann that the new defence is “available to anyone who publishes material of public interest in any medium”: Jameel, at para. 54.

[97] A review of recent defamation case law suggests that many actions now concern blog postings and other online media which are potentially both more ephemeral and more ubiquitous than traditional print media. While established journalistic standards provide a useful guide by which to evaluate the conduct of journalists and non-journalists alike, the applicable standards will necessarily evolve to keep pace with the norms of new communications media. For this reason, it is more accurate to refer to the new defence as responsible communication on matters of public interest.

[113] As Lord Nicholls observed in Reynolds, news is often a perishable commodity. The legal requirement to verify accuracy should not unduly hamstring the timely reporting of important news. But nor should a journalist’s (or blogger’s) desire to get a “scoop” provide an excuse for irresponsible reporting of defamatory allegations. The question is whether the public’s need to know required the defendant to publish when it did. As with the other factors, this is considered in light of what the defendant knew or ought to have known at the time of publication. If a reasonable delay could have assisted the defendant in finding out the truth and correcting any defamatory falsity without compromising the story’s timeliness, this factor will weigh in the plaintiff’s favour.

See also “Quan v. Cusson, 2009“.


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