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Editor of N.S. weekly demoted after advertiser complains

By  •  Law

Feature
Was John DeMings’ demotion a blow for press freedom in the town of Digby, N.S., or simply a management shuffle to improve efficiency? As Paul McLeod writes in the King’s Journalism Review, it depends who you ask.
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Copyright 101

By  •  Law

Backgrounder
You can’t print that … or can you? Copyright law gives writers and artists control over how their works and used, but there are exceptions for publishing excerpts and using material in the classroom. Find out more.
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Supreme Court upholds freelancers’ copyright

By  •  Law

News
Databases compiled by newspapers and other publishers cannot reproduce freelance work without the agreement of writers, photographers and illustrators, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in October 2006. It is a partial victory for writer Heather Robertson, who launched a class action suit in 1996 against The Globe and Mail and its then-owner – Thomson Corporation – for copyright infringement. Read the ruling.
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Alberta judge protects CBC’s sources

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News
An Alberta judge has refused to force the CBC to disclose documents that would identify confidential sources to Edmonton’s former chief of police, who’s suing the network for defamation over a televised report alleging he engaged in sexual relations and unlawful conduct with prostitutes. In a November 2005 ruling, Justice Vital Ouellette of Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench invoked journalist-source privilege to prevent the information from being disclosed at the pre-trial stage of the lawsuit.
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Freedom of expression 101

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Backgrounder
Section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects “freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication.” A primer on how the courts have interpreted these rights and what they mean for journalists.
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Gaining access to court files

By  •  Law

Backgrounder
Kenneth Singer, a Vancouver media law specialist, reviews the limits on media access to court files.
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Celebrities and Canadian privacy law

By  •  Law

Commentary
Do Canada’s privacy laws prevent the unauthorized use of celebrities’ names and images? The law is unclear, but lawyer and journalist Mitchell Flagg argues in this commentary that Canada’s courts should reject the American approach and deny celebrities a monopoly over how they are depicted in public.
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Quebec’s privacy law restricts publication of photos

By  •  Law

Analysis
Quebec has some of the strongest privacy laws in the western world. CBC lawyer Marie-Philippe Bouchard examines two court rulings that punished Quebec media outlets for publishing photographs of individuals.
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Privacy law primer

By  •  Law

Analysis
Vancouver lawyer Daniel Burnett reviews the law in four provinces with statutes that protect personal privacy.
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An online guide to copyright law

By  •  Law

Backgrounder
In the simplest terms, “copyright” means “the right to copy.” Only the owner of copyright – usually the creator of the work – can produce or reproduce the work, or permit anyone else to do so. Copyright law rewards and protects your creative endeavour by giving you the sole right to publish or use your work in any number of ways. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office, an agency of Industry Canada, offers a guide to understanding copyright law.
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