Sunday, November 06, 2005

FAQ 6e. Might the law have been broken in the editing of the tapes? (with KN)

The Grewal tapes were heavily edited before being released to the public (see the overview here). The question is whether this broke the law. I asked for an opinion my friend KN, who wrote the following
The most relevant law is probably Section 372 of the Criminal Code:
372. (1) Every one who, with intent to injure or alarm any person, conveys or causes or procures to be conveyed by letter, telegram, telephone, cable, radio or otherwise information that he knows is false is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
The Elements are:
1) Intent to injure any person
2) Conveys or causes or procures to be conveyed by...otherwise
3) that he knows is false
The tapes were clearly posted with the intent to injure Ujjal Dosanjh and Tim Murphy. They were conveyed by Internet, which is almost certainly included in "otherwise". As a result, anybody who posted these on the Internet with the knowledge that they were false is probably guilty of breaking this law.
It strikes me that the debate would soon turn to the question of how much editing it takes to create a falsehood and whether the editing of these tapes qualifies.



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