Canadian Judge Says No To Cameras In The Courtroom… But Okays Twitter

from the connecting-to-the-outside-world dept

It seems like a popular topic in 2009 is how modern technology is opening up public access to courtrooms… if only judges would allow it. We’ve had numerous stories about things like Twitter and webcasting from a courtroom. To date, most stories are about judges banning as much as possible, but Michael Geist points out that in a case up in Canada a judge has barred television cameras, but allowed Twitter. Of course, since the specifics of the ruling do allow mobile devices to gather and disseminate news… what about someone using the camera on their mobile phone to stream the proceedings? That’s not the same as a full sized TV camera that the judge rejected…

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: twitter

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Canadian Judge Says No To Cameras In The Courtroom… But Okays Twitter”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

“what about someone using the camera on their mobile phone to stream the proceedings?”


They are now on break. In an earlier post, we told you how journalist Mark Bourrie had run into trouble when he took out a recording device in the courtroom. The judge has ruled that he can use the device as long as it’s not for broadcast.

Anonymous Coward says:

Why no cameras?
The application for putting TV cameras in the courtroom was filed 3 working days before the trial. However, these applications are supposed to be filed at least 15 working days before the trial. The result was that the judge didn’t feel he had enough time to properly weigh the legal implications of allowing cameras in the courtroom. As a result to properly handle the issue would have delayed the trial, and neither the Crown or defense wanted that.

Why Twitter?
The judge’s rationale on this was that there is nothing stopping people from getting up and leaving the courtroom to post. So attempting to stop them in the courtroom would only result in more disruptions when they got up to leave.

Also I believe there is a 20-30 minute moratorium on publishing, to determine if the evidence is allowed to be published or not.

Anonymous Coward says:

using the camera on their mobile phone

Apparently the author doesn’t know the difference between a so-called mobile phone and a cellular one. “Mobile” phones don’t have cameras; never did; and no manufacturer has added any new technology to a mobile phone (MTS) in over 20 years, the latest being a rotary (pulse) dial that’s usable only in AMTS territories that only exist in a couple of parts of Canada. All weighing more than 30 lbs, they’re also not even transportable, let alone anything resembling portable.


nasch says:

Re: using the camera on their mobile phone

What the hell are you talking about?

mobile: capable of moving or being moved readily.

telephone: An instrument that converts voice and other sound signals into a form that can be transmitted to remote locations and that receives and reconverts waves into sound signals.

So you see, cell phones are mobile phones, regardless of this MTS thing (all I can find is a reference to a Canadian company). I don’t know why manufacturers and service providers like the term, maybe it sounds more high tech. Incidentally, it would also describe satellite phones, but of course it’s generally used as a synonym for cell phone.

Anonymous Coward says:

mobile phones

“mobile: capable of moving or being moved readily.”
Relating to Mobile Phones, this is so by mobile, not by hand!

Though the term “could” include cel phones, by common usage and inherrent implications therefrom, it doesn’t. The two are distinguished from each other by their common names — “cel phones” as you know ’em that work on UHF; and “mobile (MTS/AMTS) phones” working on VHF frequencies, that most ppl never even heard of let alone saw.

Mobile phones still exist in lots of places, but outside of western and northern Canada, are pretty much used only by the telcos still maintaining the old MTS infrastructures now.


nasch says:

Re: mobile phones

Though the term “could” include cel phones, by common usage and inherrent implications therefrom, it doesn’t.

I disagree. I think by common usage, “cell phone” and “mobile phone” mean the same thing. I think by common usage nobody has heard of MTS/AMTS phones. You seriously think when you say “mobile phone” people think “a phone using the MTS standard”?

VRP says:

Re: Re: mobile phones

Most ppl I know do. At least until adding in the spkr into the equation and thus considering who’s talking.
Besides, how else could one readily distinguish one from the other quickly in the course of a conversation?

MTS is still in use. Bell Canada’s current London phone book lists a taxicab company with a MTS number (JR2-2383) for example, and Londons’ neither northern nor western Canada where most of them (AMTS) are. I’m considering returning to MTS too, which phones are more substantial and thus not as likely to be lost out of your shirt pocket into a chemical toilet when you go to flush it on a modern train or plane. We don’t have time to waste on downloading silly ring tones or installing other software that nobody needs anyway.


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...