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Cinar v Robinson – CLaw and McGill’s Copyright Pub Night

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What: uOttawa CLaw and McGill’s Copyright Pub Night
When: Tues, Feb 12th, 8:00 pm (Pub Night); Wed, Feb 13th, 9:30am (SCC Hearing, Cinar v Robinson)
Where: Fox and Feather, 283 Elgin Street (Pub Night); SCC, 301 Wellington Street (SCC Hearing, Cinar v Robinson)

Cinar v Robinson is being heard before the SCC on Wednesday, February 13th. This is a a copyright case determining whether the cartoon from a mid-nineties series (“Robinson Sucroë”) represents a substantial reproduction of “Robinson Curiosité” – an educational TV series for children. Students from McGill Law will be joining students from uOttawa CLaw to attend the hearing. All are invited to attend. The hearing starts at 9:30am at the Supreme Court, which is located at 301 Wellington Street.

There will also be a pub night on Tuesday, February 12th, at the Fox and Feather with students and professors from both schools. This will be a great opportunity to meet fellow law students, professors and members of the community interested in copyright and creative industries. Join us for drinks, food, and good times!

RSVP on Facebook.

Linking Isn’t Libel: Supreme Court of Canada

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that hyperlinks are not considered publication for the purposes of defamation.  In a unanimous decision, the Court held that hyperlinks alone are not capable of libel.  As Justice Rosalie Abella wrote:

Making reference to the existence and/or location of content by hyperlink or otherwise, without more, is not publication of that content.  Only when a hyperlinker presents content from the hyperlinked material in a way that actually repeats the defamatory content, should that content be considered to be “published” by the hyperlinker.

The Court reasoned that hyperlinks function like footnotes in that they are content neutral.  Further, the author of the hyperlink has no control over the content contained at the end of the link.

The judgment comes out of a case involving a blog post on a B.C. website. The post linked to external articles that allegedly defamed business owner Wayne Crookes. When the website operator, Jon Newton, refused to delete the post, Crookes launched legal action claiming that the hyperlinks to the articles amounted to defamation.

The citation for the case is Crookes v Newton, 2011 SCC 47.