Ontario appeals court judges Andromache Karakatsanis and Michael Moldaver have been nominated to fill vacancies at the Supreme Court of Canada left by recently retired justices Louise Charron and Ian Binnie, who last December were part of the panel hearing the controversial hypertext linking case.
And this coming Wednesday morning Canadians will discover whether or not one man can freeze the Internet in this country.
Vancouver businessman Wayne Crookes (left) tried to have the decision by BC Appeals Court judge Stephen Kelleher that linking is not the same as publishing reversed.
The ruling will “probably turn out to be round one of the battle between Vancouver businessman and ex-Green Party of Canada official Wayne Crookes, and those of us who believe freedom of speech online is a right, not a privilege”, I’d posted in p2pnet , going on >>>
I’ve been congratulated as though I had something to do with the ruling. But of course, I was just an innocent, spectator. The person who deserves the praise and kudos, and all of the credit, is Dan Burnett, the Vancouver lawyer who acted for me, and who’s also looking after some of the other people Crookes is attacking.
Meanwhile, I, Ottawa law professor Michael Geist, Google, Wikimedia, Pbwiki, Yahoo, MySpace, Openpolitics.ca, Domains by Proxy, Michael Pilling, Hayley Easto, Kate Holloway, Craig Hubley, Frank Cameron, Catharine Johannson, Gareth White and anonymous persons were all sued by Crookes.
The difference was: my case was the only one in which illegal linking, as Crookes tried to have it defined, was the charge.
He was subsequently given permission to appeal it to the Supreme Court of Canada.
And if you’ll forgive me for quoting myself once again, “Wayne Crookes and Julian Assange,” I posted last December immediately after the Supreme Court hearing in Ottawa, “both made major contributions in proving the net is rapidly becoming THE news and information dissemination vehicle of the 21st digital century,” I said, going on: “Assange in a positive sense, and Crookes in a distinctly negative one.
“Assange spreads the word online.
“Crookes wants to shut it down.
“He claims linking to a story is the same as publishing it and tried to get me to yank a link to an item he said defamed him.
I refused, so he sued me.
“A former senior Green Party of Canada official, Crookes’ earlier assertions that his name had been sullied reached only a very few people, relatively speaking”, I wrote, adding, “Now millions of people know him as the man who tried to turn the net in Canada, dark.
As I said to Dan Burnett, my pro bono lawyer immediately after yesterday’s hearing, justice Louise Charron pulled it all together when she stated >>>
It seems to me that if we accept the position you’re putting forth [Crookes' lawyer] , then no one should ever hyperlink. Maybe I’m a chicken, but I would not dare create a hyperlink because there might be some defamatory material, and I’ll be stuck defending myself in court, and I cannot afford it : We’re sentencing the hyperlink to death, it seems to me.
What will the decision be? I wondered.
I believe they’ll go along the lines of BC Supreme Court judge Stephen Kelleher’s earlier ruling that website owners aren’t responsible for defamatory content on other sites to which they’ve linked.
Meanwhile, “However, if the linking website endorses the material or encourages readers to go to the linked site, the linking site may be liable because that might constitute publication,” Kelleher said.
So stay tuned, or head over to the SCC site, in which case you’ll know the result before I do, given that I live way over on Vancouver Island http://scc-csc-gc.insinc.com (streamed video of the hearing) /en/clip.php?url=c/486/1938/201012070500wv150en,001Content-Type:%20text/html;%20charset=ISO-8859-1 /1938/201012070500wv150en,001
Also see Wayne Crookes vs Jon Newton
Jon Newton - p2pnet