Law Bytes

In recent years the intersection between law, technology, and policy has exploded as digital policy has become a mainstream concern in Canada and around the world. This podcast explores digital policies in conversations with people ...more

Latest Episodes

November 21, 2022 00:34:48
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Episode 147: Canada’s Battle over Internet Streamers - A Cancon Story of Freedom of Expression, Algorithms and Cultural Policy

The end for Bill C-11 at the Senate is drawing near as this week, Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez is scheduled to make a long awaited appearance followed by clause-by-clause review of the bill. While the Senate was continuing its hearings last week, I was delighted to travel to Yale University to deliver a talk on the bill and the controversies it has sparked. This week’s Law Bytes podcast is an audio version of that talk, which traces the development of Canadian broadcast policy as applied to the Internet and recounts how a relatively uncontroversial bill when first introduced sparked a firestorm that is still raging. ...

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November 14, 2022 00:32:13
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Episode 146: Axel Bruns on What the Australian Experience Teaches About the Prospect of Facebook Blocking News Sharing in Response to Bill C-18

As Bill C-18 heads to clause-by-clause review later this week, the prospect that Facebook could block news sharing on its platform in Canada in response has attracted the ire of politicians and concerns from media outlets that rely on social media as part of their business model. But is this a bluff or, having just laid off 11,000 employees, an accurate reflection of where the company stands on the value of news on its platform given current economic realities? Axel Bruns is a Professor of Communication and Media Studies at QUT Digital Media Research Centre, Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, who has written about  the Australian News Media Bargaining Code and the effects of the Facebook news sharing blocking in 2021. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the Australian experience in an effort to answer the question of whether Facebook is bluffing or if news sharing on the platform in Canada is placed at risk should Bill C-18 become law. ...

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November 07, 2022 00:27:30
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Episode 145: Why Bill C-18’s Mandated Payments for Links is a Threat to Freedom of Expression in Canada

The hearings on the Online News Act – Bill C-18  - wrapped up last week with a final session in which I had the unexpected opportunity to appear and again raise concerns with the bill. My focus this time was on how the bill mandates payments for links and why that approach is a threat to freedom of expression in Canada. This week’s Law Bytes podcast takes you inside the hearing room as it features my opening statement and clips from exchanges with MPs from several parties that touched on everything from innovation to copyright reform to the rules for final offer arbitration. ...

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October 31, 2022 00:28:54
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Episode 144: Keldon Bester on the Rogers-Shaw Merger and the Problem with Canadian Competition Law

The proposed Rogers-Shaw merger was back in the news last week as Canadian Industry minister Francois Philippe Champagne held a mid-week press conference to announce that the original deal was dead, but that a reworked deal that brings in Videotron might be a possibility if certain government expectations on restrictions on transferring spectrum licences and consumer pricing outside of Quebec were met. Keldon Bester is a co-founder of the Canadian Anti-Monopoly Project (CAMP), a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation and an independent consultant and researcher working on issues of competition and monopoly power in Canada. He’s been one of the most insightful and outspoken experts on the proposed Rogers-Shaw merger and he joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss where things stand and the big picture weaknesses of Canadian competition law and policy. ...

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October 24, 2022 00:39:08
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Episode 143: Canada’s Information Commissioner Caroline Maynard on Why Government Needs a Culture of Providing Information Instead of Hiding It

Canadians using the Access to Information Act system frequently find that it is simply does not work as the legislation prescribes, with most facing long delays and widespread redactions. Canada’s Information Commissioner Caroline Maynard is trying to do something to fix that. She has been calling for legislative reforms, more resources, and leadership within government departments to prioritize providing information instead of hiding it. Commissioner Maynard joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the current system, how exceptions are often used too aggressively to limit public access, and what can be done to fix these problems. ...

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October 17, 2022 00:34:18
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Episode 142: CCLA’s Brenda McPhail on the Privacy and Surveillance Risks in Bill C-26

Earlier this year, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino introduced Bill C-26, new cyber-security legislation. The bill may address an issue that is widely regarded as essential, but once Canadian privacy and civil liberties had the opportunity to review the fine print in the bill, many came away concerned. Indeed, by September a coalition of groups and experts wrote to the Minister and party leaders, stating “Bill C-26 is deeply problematic and needs fixing”, warning that it risks undermining privacy rights. Brenda McPhail, the Director of the Privacy, Technology and Surveillance Program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, led the effort to place Bill C-26 in the spotlight. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the bill and the myriad of concerns that it raises. ...

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