Spam privacy decision

In a controversial decision, the Federal Privacy Commissioner decided that the “business card exemption” in PIPEDA does not include a business email address. Thus a business email address is personal information and subject to the legislation. The “business card exemption” says personal information does not include name, title or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization.

While the exemption does not specifically mention “email address”, many felt that email would be considered part of the “business address”.

This decision is also noteworthy as it is the first one to deal with spam.

Futher details, and a link to a Toronto Star article can be found on David Fraser’s Pipeda and Canadian Privacy law blog.

Read the Privacy blog

Read the decision

Patent sale worth watching

An article on CNET News says that: A mysterious bidder paid $15.5 million Monday in a bankruptcy court auction of dozens of Internet-related patents–and then rushed out of the courtroom.

On the United States Bankruptcy Court auction block were 39 patents owned by Commerce One, a bankrupt software company in Santa Clara, Calif., that’s in the process of shutting down and liquidating its assets.

The patents cover a set of key technical protocols known as Web services, a popular method for exchanging business documents over the Internet. The protocols are in wide use today; Microsoft, IBM and other software companies both large and small have incorporated them into their programs.

Some had anticipated that a major company or companies would purchase the patents and shelve them so they could not be used to extract license fees.

This is worth watching to find out who the mysterious buyer is, and what they will do with the patents.

Read the article

Marvel comics sues game maker

Fred von Lohmann of The Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote an article appearing in entitled Et tu, Marvel?. Seems Marvel comics has sued a company that created an online game called City of Heroes for copyright and trade-mark infringement. The game allows users to create their own superheroes then join other players in a virtual on-line world. Marvel is concerned that the users might create heroes similar to their own.

The article points out that if this was successful, it would not be a leap to require kids to get permission to pretend to be superheroes in their own back yards!

Read the article

Reproduction rights essential for photo printing

DAVID CANTON – For the London Free Press – December 4 2004

Read this on Canoe

Imagine being refused service for being too professional. Some photographers are being questioned by photo labs as to the ownership of digital images they have brought in to be printed.

The pictures apparently look too professional to be done by the person bringing them in. In some cases, retail photo labs have refused to print the pictures for fear of copyright infringement liability.

Continue reading “<strong>Reproduction rights essential for photo printing</strong>” »

Spam Task Force Roundtable

Industry Canada’s Spam Task force is presenting a roundtable discussion Friday morning at 9:00 AM EST.

According to Industry Canada: “The purpose of the Stakeholder Roundtable is to provide an update of actions taken by the Task Force, as well as identify anticipated future challenges and solutions. The Roundtable will also offer an opportunity for key stakeholders to provide feedback regarding the fight against spam. In doing so, the Roundtable will highlight the progress being made in implementing the Anti-Spam Action Plan and the collaborative effort needed in the fight against spam

Listen to the Roundtable

VoIP growing pains

Voice over IP has many advantages over traditional phone lines, and is growing in popularity. It is not without problems – which should be no surprise when comparing new technology to phone technology that has been developing for generations. reports on a VoIP summit setting out some of the issues, such as 911 availability, power outage reliability, and security issues.

Read the article

The Art of the START

Anyone contemplating starting their own business should take a look at a book called “Art of the START”. Portions of the book and details about the author can be found on the “Changethis” website. The book offers practical advice – such as creating a mantra instead of a mission statement. It has a section on “Freqently Avoided Questions”.

Thanks to Joel Adams, Associate Director, Economic Development The University of Western Ontario Research & Development Parks, for recomending this book.

The Art of the START

CD sales losses from downloading questioned

In an article in the Toronto Star, Professor Michael Geist uses CRIA’s own numbers to conclude that the Canadian music industry’s losses from music downloading are not as great as some claim. He goes on to suggest other reasons for CD sales declines, including DVD sales and changing consumer habits.

Meanwhile, a trial has stated in Australia against the owners of the Kazaa file sharing software for copyright infringement.

Read the Toronto Star article
Read a Washington Post article about Kazaa

Blogs a useful promotion tool

DAVID CANTON – For the London Free Press – November 27, 2004

Read this on Canoe

Blogging is now considered an innovative marketing tool that corporations can use to better service their customer, employee and supplier relations.

It’s no longer perceived as merely a medium where computer savvy techies share their daily thoughts with others with similar interests.

Continue reading “<strong>Blogs a useful promotion tool</strong>” »


In case anyone is desperate for a blog to read on these slow US holiday news days, I offer a couple of definitions you may not have heard of.

Microsoft Minute: That flexible and always changing unit of time used when your system tells you how much longer it will take to download or install something.

Oh No Second: That excruciatingly long period of time your panic lasts after realizing you have unintentionally and irrevocably clicked that button that sets in motion an unwanted action – such as sending that half written email to all your customers.