Sunday, October 17, 2010

"Officer Bubbles" Sues YouTube et al over Cartoons based on Video of "Bubble Trouble" Assault Arrest @ G20

"Officer Bubbles" (the officer second from the right in the photo below) is suing YouTube and several individuals over videos reportedly consisting of allegedly defamatory cartoons based on this video. The cartoons ("parodies" perhaps?) have been taken down already, which is interesting. Here and here are Toronto Star stories.

His lawyer says that "This level of ridicule goes beyond what is reasonable".

Watch the video. It's about an arrest at the recent G20 protest in Toronto for assaulting a police police officer by blowing bubbles.

Seriously, this could be real bubble trouble.

Reminiscent perhaps of the RCMP's Sargeant Pepper (above at the top) in Vancouver in 1997 at the APEC conference? In this bubble case, there was an arrest of the alleged bubble blowing perpetrator.

Here's the video that's going viral.

An interesting situation for YouTube. Let's hope it does the right thing concerning the cartoonists' identities, which are reportedly now being sought.

We may not get to see the cartoons. Maybe they did go beyond the pale? Maybe ridicule would be redundant in this case? Maybe some or all of them would be defensible and should be defended - with recourse, if necessary, to s. 2(b) of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms?

Hopefully, a well funded advocacy group such as CIPPIC or the CCLA will get involved. Maybe the bubble blower (allegedly Ms. Courtney Winkles) has a cause of action? This could maybe be as interesting, if not more, as the BMG case, in which I was involved - both in terms of substance and procedure.

We could use some good law on parody in Canada - both in terms of defamation and copyright law. "Parody and satire" are included in Bill C-32, the copyright amendment bill. If this passes, it will hopefully reverse some arguably unfortunate jurisprudence that denies Canadians a right to parody enjoyed by those in Australia, France and the USA.


PS - An anonymous reader has provided a link to what appears to be the statement of claim in this matter in a comment below.

More PS - see Toronto Life.

1 comment:

  1. Here's the statement of claim, Howard: