Canadian Lawyer

October 2009

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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stations included such button-pushing declarations as "Study shows truth biased against Israel," Gratl says it would be dangerous for the courts to accept that the mock publication caused an imputed harm to the media giant based on a loss of corporate reputation. "Really, it's terribly obvious that the decline of the CanWest group is hardly attributable to this parody," he says, not- ing he's seen no evidence the public was actually confused by the fake Sun. CanWest representatives couldn't be reached for comment on the issue. Other copyright lawyers, however, say the company does have a case to make. "If I were placing bets, my money would be on CanWest in the court," says Wells, who points out that while the defendants are arguing the content of what appeared in the fake paper was true, that's not a valid defence in copyright law. He adds that a further challenge for Murray and Moiseiwitsch is Canada's more restrictive take on free speech than in places like the United States. "Canadians tend to be a bit more emphatic about the need to be respon- sible. In the States, there are a lot more freedoms to say totally untrue things about politicians." If the B.C. court does accept the paro- dy defence, the ruling would represent a liberalization of our copyright laws more in line with the United States. That's somewhat of an irony, of course, given calls by advocates for copyright owners for more restrictive legislation here mod- elled on our southern neighbours and, by extension, the WIPO treaties. But for Wells, the pressure to bow to criticism that Canada is the "file-swapping capital of the world" by tightening our laws is similar to the current fear-mongering down south about our public health-care system. "Anyone who actually thinks that Canada is the downloading capital of the world is living in la-la land. We just don't have the people," he says. He argues that instead of accepting those claims and mimicking U.S. laws, Canadians should be recognizing that our copyright system is different and not necessarily inferior. In his view, people shouldn't be able to download works freely, but a revamped law should focus on facilitating new ways ntitled-3 1 of profitably distributing content rather than protecting the traditional model. "We should be trying to think ahead of the curve rather than behind the curve," says Wells. That sentiment is far from univer- sal, however, given the controversy that characterizes debate over copyright. Perhaps one of the few commonalities, though, is the notion that after years of failed attempts at reform, the need for change is pressing. "The Copyright Act needs to be constantly revised because of the technology and the advancements that are made," says Dimock. Still, he's not optimistic the changes will actually happen. "Every time we seem to get copyright legislation on the table, we get an election and a new gov- ernment. It remains to be seen what's going to happen in the next [parliamen- tary] session starting in the fall." Left to Right: Etienne de Villiers, Bruce Stratton, Jenna Wilson, Alan Macek, Ron Dimock, Jennifer Ko, Vincent Man All you need in IT patent litigation Experience. Results. The it patent litigation team at Dimock Stratton delivers on both counts. Take a look at some examples from our recent work: asserting three patents for the leading Canadian manufacturer of wireless handheld devices; representing three of Canada's top banks in an it patent impeachment proceeding; defending two major network equipment manufacturers in a patent infringement action. When you or your clients need results, rely on the experienced it patent team at Dimock Stratton. Dimock Stratton llp experience. results. 20 Queen W. 32nd fl, Toronto | 416.971.7202 | dimock.com www. C ANADIAN Law ye rmag.com OC T O BER 2009 41 8/10/09 9:56:10 AM

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