Sony Hit With Canadian Class Action Suits

Sony Hit With Canadian Class Action Suits - With Sony slated to appear in a New York courtroom on Friday to seek approval for its class action settlement for the rootkit fiasco, its Canadian arm is now facing several Canadian class action suits.  The Merchant Law Firm, based in Calgary, launched class action suits in both the Ontario and B.C. courts yesterday (Ontario brief, B.C. brief).  This follows a less-publicized class action launched in Quebec against Sony last November.  All of these cases arise from the rootkit issue. The briefs make for interesting reading as the Canadian cases raise a long list of legal issues including the violation of Canadian privacy law, breach of contract, violation of the Competition Act, and a host of tort claims.

The cases should generate significant additional attention in Canada on the risks associated with technological protection measures and the need for
statutory protections against their misuse.  This week I raised the prospect that the U.S. Sony settlement could provide the starting point for a model law protecting against TPM misuse in articles that appeared in the Toronto Star, BBC, and Ottawa Citizen.  At a minimum, however, the U.S. settlement terms seem likely to work their way up across the border for these Canadian cases as Sony begins to confront the global legal liability that is not going to disappear anytime soon.
[Michael Geist]