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Last night marked the fifth SEMPO Ottawa Meetup which was held at the Exchange Pub & Restaurant. A small cadre of Ottawa area marketing professionals, entrepreneurs and legal types congregated for an evening of networking, education and discussion. WebFuel in association with BrazeauSeller LLP and SEMPO Ottawa hosted BrazeauSeller’s Intellectual Property Lawyer James Katz

WebFuel-SEMPO Ottawa-James Katz-BrazeauSeller

who spoke about legal issues related to Search. I love these events as I get to gain great knowledge ( Thanks for explaining “Passing Off” James! ), meet some new people, and reconnected with others in the local business world. Thank you to everyone who made it out, and for those who couldn’t attend, here is a high level recap of last night’s event.

(Skip to the end of this blog post if you want to see James’ presentation.)

To many, James’s topic of conversation may appear to be mundane (aka boring). Perhaps so. But it is nevertheless an extremelly important subject to understand in what has been deemed to be “the wild wild west” (the Internet) by some. Thanks to my friend “SM” for that observation.

I have known James for close to 2 years. He is a talented and engaging person. As a legal professional, he is able to bring legal topics down to consumable bites, while maintaining one’s attention.

On to my observations on James’ presentation.

He covered 4 main topics:
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  • Canadian Law & Internet Search
  • Trade-Marks (Introduction)
  • Domain Name Disputes
  • Copyright and Cyber-Libel


Heady stuff. But James did a great job of simplifying things for the commmon man. In other words, If I understand what he is talking about, it is consummable by 99% of the general population. 😉

First off, internet laws in Canada are starting to tighten up. More stringent rules are on the docket; with more to come. What does this mean to today’s business person? In short, pay attention to what’s going on. If you have any sort of online presence, you need to understand your rights in order to protect your brand & online material. Moreover, you need to be sure that you are not infringing on the rights of others. It’s becoming much easier to end up in hot water.

James offered up some real life cases of brand & copyright infringement where the offending (Canadian) party most probably learned a hard lesson in the realities of what can and cannot be done in the online world. Understanding your rights & limitations when you have a business presence on the Internet is very important.

Owning domains is inexpensive. Having a handle on your domain name portfolio is paramount. Know what domains you have & who the registrar is. Understanding the pitfalls of using a non-Canadian registar is also important.

What one publishes online needs to be unique & original. Apart from the fact that Google loves this type of content, utilizing content that has been created by others is not only “stealing” (it’s not “borrowing”), it is unethical and really the lazy person’s way of getting around doing what they should do themselves. As part of a SEO Agency, I can vouch for the value of original and engaging content. It will help you in gaining the best possible organic search results!

In short, knowledge of Canadian Internet law, and the associated intricacies are an integral part of a solid online strategy.

Patience pays off. Here’s James’ presentation.

Bonus: Here is a link to more event pics