TORONTO — A lawsuit by the world’s largest fast-food operator over a report on the content of its chicken sandwiches is an attempt to stop the CBC from covering matters of public interest, an Ontario court heard on Tuesday
Read the full article Subway’s defamation lawsuit aimed at stifling criticism: CBC on the AdvocateDaily.com website.
Australia continues to lead the way in the consideration of online liability, and it remains to be seen whether Canadian courts will follow its lead, says Toronto litigator and mediator Howard Winkler.
“Australian courts are trending towards the protection of reputation in priority to free expression, as shown in recent decisions,” says Winkler, principal and founder of Winkler Dispute Resolution.
A recent decision by the Supreme Court of New South Wales concerned a man whose treatment in custody attracted nationwide coverage, as well as commentary on the websites of various news agencies. After he was released, the man sued several large Australian media outlets, alleging they were responsible for the comments posted on their Facebook pages. The court agreed, stating, “When a defendant commercially operates an electronic bulletin board and posts material that, more probably than not, will result in defamatory material, the commercial operator is ‘promoting’ defamatory material and ratifying its presence and publication.”
Winkler tells AdvocateDaily.com he was surprised by the decision, noting “It represents a significant extension of the common law and arguably takes it to an unreasonable extreme where it starts to unduly discourage free expression.”
“Bill C-76 needs to be put into context,” says Winkler, principal and founder of Winkler Dispute Resolution. “The bill does not really relate to the type of election tampering that the media, government and public have been concerned with. It is wrong to think it will serve as a cure-all to prevent undue influence in the electoral process.”
He says the legislation requires online platforms to keep a registry of all paid political and partisan ads they carry. Google has responded by “banning political advertising on its platforms ahead of the Canadian federal election “because of new ad transparency rules it says would be too challenging to comply with,” the Globe and Mail reports.
Read the full article Bill C-76 a poor solution to election tampering: Winkler on the AdvocateDaily.com website.
TORONTO — A high-profile RCMP demand for a journalist’s background materials related to interviews with a suspected terrorist should be set aside even though Canada’s top court recently upheld the police request, Vice Media argues in a new legal action.
The application to Ontario Superior Court hinges on indications that the accused is in fact dead.
“In this case, there has been a material change in circumstances underlying the production order since it was first issued,” the application by Vice and its reporter asserts. “The RCMP and the Crown cannot prosecute a dead person. The production order is no longer legally enforceable.”
As a result, Vice and the journalist argue, the courts should now declare the RCMP’s demand unenforceable and a violation of their constitutional rights.
In an interview with AdvocateDaily.com, Toronto lawyer and mediator Howard Winkler says the test on Vice Media’sapplication will be whether it can demonstrate that there is new or more reliable evidence that the suspect is dead.
Read the full article Vice Media makes last ditch attempt to keep reporter’s materials from RCMP on the AdvocateDaily.com website.
Federal legislation typically gives government bodies 30 days to respond to requests for information, and dissatisfied individuals are able to complain to the Office of the Privacy of Canada.
However, Winkler, principal and founder of Winkler Dispute Resolution, says the oversight body has no power to penalize offenders even when it finds violations of the law, and the Liberal government has fallen short on an election promise to fix the system.
Read the full article on AdvocateDaily.com.
By AdvocateDaily.com Staff
False reviews on Google can seriously affect the hard-earned reputations and bottom lines of some businesses — but there are strategies companies can use when faced with this situation, Toronto litigator and mediator Howard Winkler and Eryn Pond write in The Lawyer’s Daily.
As Winkler, principal and founder of Winkler Dispute Resolution, and Pond, a lawyer with the firm, explain, some reviewers use fake names and/or post reviews that are false and defamatory. Sometimes the reviews are posted by competitors or disgruntled employees.
In addition, they say, Google may be unco-operative in removing these reviews, as it takes the position that it merely hosts third-party content and is not its creator or moderator.
Read more …