Year(s) In Review – IT, Internet, AI, IP, Privacy & Blockchain (Video)

McCarthy Tétrault LLP


McCarthy Tétrault LLP provides a broad range of legal services, advising on large and complex assignments for Canadian and international interests. The firm has substantial presence in Canada’s major commercial centres and in New York City, US and London, UK.
I had the pleasure of presenting the annual Year in Review of IT/Internet law to the Toronto Computer Lawyers Group on June 6, 2024. It was great to see a packed-in person event of IT lawyers after COVID.
Canada Media, Telecoms, IT, Entertainment
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I had the pleasure of presenting the annual Year in Review of IT/Internet law to the Toronto Computer Lawyers Group on June 6, 2024. It was great to see a packed-in person event of IT lawyers after COVID. This year the presentation featured over 75 cases from many countries including Canada, the U.S., U.K., China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia.

My presentation can be accessed at this link. The video recording of the presentation is accessible below. I blogged about some of the cases discussed and you can read all about them via links in the presentation.

My presentation included many topics under the broad headings of Generative AI, Torts and Other Tech Litigation, Technology Agreement Disputes, Developments in e-Commerce, Enforcement of online contracts, Bitcoin/Blockchain, Privacy, Copyright, and Internet Jurisdiction.

The Generative AI presentation focused on subsistence of copyright and patentable subject matter with cases like Thaler v. Perlmutter, U.S. Copyright Office's decisions and the UKSC decision inn Thaler. It also explored Generative AI infringement issues including decisions from the U.S and China.

The Torts and Other Tech Litigation presentation focused on Moffatt v. Air Canada, several cases involving Google. It also discussed the differences in approach to service provider immunities comparing the recent SCOTUS decisions involving Google and Twitter that examined liability for aiding and abetting terrorist attacks with the UK and EU approaches as exemplified by the recent UKCA case finding Samsung liable for trade-mark infringement for Apps made available on its App Store.

The Technology Agreement Disputes section delved into recent IT contracts disputes in Canada and the U.K. including cases involving Serinus Energy, IBM, and TCS. There was a focus on disputes related to performance, rights to terminate, audits, and exclusions of liability.

Developments in e-Commerce addressed meeting writing and signature requirements with cases like South West Terminal Ltd. v Achter Land, while the Enforcement of online contracts section looked at the construction of online terms such as in recent Blackrock Reporter and Ticketmaster cases The presentation also included a short master class on the enforceability of various types of online agreements including clickwrap, browsewrap, and sign-in-wrap agreements. .

The Bitcoin/Blockchain section highlighted cases like Re: Gatecoin which examined whether cryptocurrencies were a form of property and a case that found that Stablecoins are a form of property known as choses in action.

The presentation also included important developments in privacy with cases like R. v. Bykovets (holding that there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in IP addresses), Google LLC v. Canada (Privacy Commissioner) which held that search engines cannot rely on the journalism exemption from consent in PIPEDA, and Privacy Commissioner v Facebook which examined PIPEDA's requirement for meaningful consent and which confirmed that a person that discloses personal information to another person is not responsible for that person's breach of PIPEDA with respect to the information disclosed.

Copyright issues in the presentation included the Voltage Holdings, LLC v. Doe #1 decision of the Federal Court of Appeal which comprehensively examined the law related to authorization of infringement. It also focused on recent decisions involving copyright pre-emption including the recent U.S. decision involving X and cases finding that certain State causes of action against GenAI companies are also pre-empted.

Last, the Jurisdiction section of the presentation covered topics like targeting and global takedown orders.

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