The new Civil and Commercial Code refers to advertising – including comparative advertising – in the context of the rules concerning consent in consumption agreements. From a legislative viewpoint, this does not appear to be the most advisable perspective, as comparative advertising – the most important effects of which concern competitor companies, rather than consumers – is central to the regulation of advertising.
An eagerly anticipated media law decision from the Ontario Court of Appeal confirms what may seem to be an obvious legal proposition: the publication of a newspaper article online is treated the same as the print version for the purposes of notice and limitation periods in a civil action – in other words, time periods governing libel actions do not start afresh each day that an online article is online.
A recent decision of the Court of Queen's Bench in Alberta highlights the costs consequences of litigating civil actions in Canada in the context of a defamation action involving a self-represented plaintiff who was forced to proceed to trial in order to obtain public acknowledgement that the article in question was defamatory. The plaintiff ultimately obtained a damages award of C$200,000 and recovery of trial costs in the amount of C$250,000.
A defendant or respondent may bring a motion to dismiss an action as a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) and a judge must dismiss the proceeding if he or she is satisfied "that the proceeding arises from an expression made by the person that relates to a matter of public interest", unless the responding party proves certain facts. Two recent decisions have tested the new anti-SLAPP law in a manner that appears to embrace the philosophy behind the statute.
The Ontario Court of Appeal recently upheld the dismissal of a defamation suit brought by Canadian billionaire Mitchell Goldhar against Israel's oldest daily newspaper Ha'aretz. In making its decision, the court considered three factors: whether the Ontario courts had jurisdiction simpliciter over the matter; whether Israel was a more appropriate forum to hear the case; and whether the lawsuit was an abuse of process.
The publishing industry in Canada recently welcomed a Federal Court of Canada decision dismissing a claim in copyright brought by documentary filmmakers against the publisher and author of a fictional novel that was inspired by facts brought to light by the applicants' documentary. In dismissing the application, the court made several statements that are of interest to the media industry for their implications on the creation of historical fiction.
As influencers' content and communications are expanding internationally and in quite diverse ways, the Advertising Professional Regulatory Authority recently published new recommendations in relation to influencers' content, statements and publications. These first recommendations are an important starting point in the establishment of a legal regime applicable to these new actors and types of publication.
Following the broadcast of a television news report entitled "Internet: serial liar" on M6, one of the main national television channels, the doctor involved brought proceedings against M6 on the grounds that his image rights had been violated. As its defence, M6 claimed that the broadcast of the report was justified by two principles: the freedom of the press and the right to inform the public.
The Law of December 20 2016 concerning the abolition of commercial advertising during youth programmes broadcast on French public television has been adopted by Parliament and will enter into force on January 1 2018. In accordance with the law, commercial advertising cannot be broadcast on French public television 15 minutes before, during and 15 minutes after the airing of a programme targeted at children under 12 years.
The recently signed professional agreement between authors and producers covers audiovisual and cinematographic works initiated by a French delegate producer, for which the major part of the financing was provided by French individuals or entities. While the agreement also introduces several obligations for producers, the majority of its provisions concern the implementation of the obligation to look for a continued exploitation.
Brexit will have numerous consequences for the French entertainment industry. Among other things, UK audiovisual works and films will no longer qualify as EU works and will thus be excluded from the quotas to which French television broadcasters and audiovisual media services providers are subject. In addition, UK-based model agencies will need a licence for any French activities.
The recently constituted Shyam Benegal Committee has made recommendations on the functions of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) in order to provide a holistic framework with a focus on limiting the CBFC's power to issue certificates, not censor films. It recommends that the CBFC should be a film certification body only, one whose scope is restricted to categorising the suitability of films on the basis of viewers' age and maturity.
The amount of compensation awarded for the infringement of personal rights is discretionally decided by the courts and has, to date, been rather moderate. However, a recent Warsaw Regional Court judgment suggests imminent change in this regard and should be considered an important step towards settling the conflict between personal rights and freedom of the press.