Law Bytes

In recent years the intersection between law, technology, and policy has exploded as digital policy ... more

Latest Episodes

October 24, 2021 00:36:17
Episode Cover

Episode 35: Allen Mendelsohn on Canada's Copyright Site Blocking Saga

Site blocking has been on the policy and regulatory radar screen for several years in Canada, starting with the Bell-led Fairplay proposal to the CRTC and demands for site blocking as part of the copyright review. With both the CRTC and elected officials rejecting site blocking proposals, rights holders have turned to the courts. Last month, a Federal Court of Canada judge issued a major website blocking decision granting a request from Bell, Rogers, and Groupe TVA to block access to a series of GoldTV streaming websites. The case is an important one, representing the first extensive website blocking order in Canada. I’ve argued that it is also deeply flawed from both a policy and legal perspective, substituting the views of one judge over Parliament’s judgment and relying on a foreign copyright case that was rendered under markedly different legal rules than those found in Canada. Allen Mendelsohn, a Montreal based Internet lawyer and sessional lecturer at McGill University joins the podcast this week to help sort through the issues. The podcast can be downloaded here and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Show Notes: Site blocking! Reverse class actions! It’s the internet and copyright law jurisprudence last two weeks in review Credits: House of Commons, March 27, 2018 BNN Bloomberg, Landmark ruling to block piracy site among the only legal remedies: Lawyer ...

Listen

October 22, 2021 00:30:56
Episode Cover

Episode 34: The Fight to Save the Dot-Org

The dot-org domain extension was established as one of the first top-level domains in 1985 alongside dot-com, dot-net and a handful of others. In 2002, administration over the domain was awarded to the Public Interest Registry (PIR), a non-profit established by the Internet Society (ISOC), to run the extension. PIR recently announced that it was being purchased by Ethos Capital, a private equity firm that includes a former CEO of ICANN among its founders. With a rumoured purchase price of over $1 billion dollars, there is big money for ISOC but the deal has left the non-profit community worried about potential price increases and policy changes to the domain that could impact online speech. Elliot Harmon, Activism Director with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, recently wrote about the issue and has been working on a campaign with NGOs around the world opposed to the deal. He joined on the podcast to discuss the background behind dot-org, the concerns with the sale, and what can be done about it. The podcast can be downloaded here and is embedded below. The transcript is posted at the bottom of this post or can be accessed here. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Credits: Public Interest Registry on TALK BUSINESS 360TV Show Notes: The Register, Internet World Despairs as Non-Profit .org Sold For $$$$ to Private Equity Firm, Price Caps Axed Transcript: ...

Listen

October 22, 2021 00:29:29
Episode Cover

Episode 33: “Canadian Patenting is Not Going to Drive Anything” - Aidan Hollis on New Research on Patents and Innovation

One of Canada’s longstanding digital and economic policy concerns has involved innovation, with fears that the Canadian economy is failing to keep pace with other, more innovative economies. Some point to intellectual property as a critical part of policy equation, arguing that stronger IP laws would help incentivize greater innovation. Economists Nancy Gallini and Aidan Hollis recently released an interesting report for the Institute for Research on Public Policy examining the role of patents and patent policy in Canadian innovators’ decisions to sell their IP rather than continue to develop it in Canada, and the incentives driving this decision. Professor Hollis joins the podcast this week to discuss the report, its link to innovation policy, and what the government could consider to address ongoing concerns. The podcast can be downloaded here and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Show Notes: To Sell or Scale Up: Canada’s Patent Strategy in a Knowledge Economy Credits: House of Commons, November 27, 2018 ...

Listen

October 22, 2021 00:41:05
Episode Cover

Episode 32: Reflections from the Open Source Member of Parliament - A Conversation with Ex-MP David Graham

David Graham was not your typical Member of Parliament. A Liberal MP from the Quebec riding of Laurentides-Labelle, Graham brought a background in open source issues to Parliament Hill. Over his four years as an MP, Graham was seemingly everywhere when it came to digital policy. Whether in the House of Commons talking net neutrality, the Industry committee copyright review or the Ethics committee work on privacy, Graham emerged as the rare MP equally at home in the technology and policy worlds. Graham’s bid for re-election fell short, but this week he joins the Lawbytes podcast to reflect on his experience in Ottawa with thoughts on copyright, privacy, technology policy, and the use of digital tools for advocacy purposes. The podcast can be downloaded here and is embedded below. The transcript is posted at the bottom of this post or can be accessed here. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Credits: Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, May 28, 2019 House of Commons, May 22, 2018 Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology,  June 19, 2018 Transcript: ...

Listen

October 22, 2021 00:24:40
Episode Cover

Episode 31: Is Canadian Media in a Financial Crisis? - Marc Edge With a Different Take on What the Data Says

Is the Canadian media in a state of financial crisis? Stories on newspaper closures and journalist layoffs have become frustratingly commonplace in recent years, leading to increasingly vocal calls for policy reforms or public funding measures. But Marc Edge, a longtime journalist, editor, and professor at universities around the world, has studied the state of the industry for years and offers a different take. While he is quick to point out the crisis of journalism given cutbacks, he argues that a journalism crisis is not the same as a media crisis. He joins the podcast this week to discuss the historical development of the Canadian media and what the data tells us about the current situation in Canada. The podcast can be downloaded here and is embedded below. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Show Notes: Marc Edge website Credits: House of Commons, May 31, 2019 ...

Listen

October 22, 2021 00:44:51
Episode Cover

Episode 30: "It's Only Going to Get More Important" - Amanda Wakaruk and Jeremy deBeer on Crown Copyright in Canada

The Canadian copyright review conducted earlier this year heard evidence on a remarkably broad range of issues. One issue that seemed to take committee members by surprise was crown copyright, which captured considerable attention and became the subject of two supplemental opinions from the Conservative and NDP members as well as the basis for a private members bill from NDP MP Brian Masse. Why all the interest in crown copyright? This week’s Lawbytes podcast digs into crown copyright with two guests. First, Amanda Wakaruk, a copyright librarian at the University of Alberta and one of the country’s leading advocates on the issue joins me to explain the concept of crown copyright and why she thinks it needs to be abolished. I’m then joined by my colleague Professor Jeremy DeBeer to discuss the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision on Keatley Surveying v. Teranet, which was on the first opportunities for Canada’s highest court to grapple with the scope and implications of crown copyright. The podcast can be downloaded here and is embedded below. The transcript is posted at the bottom of this post or can be accessed here. Subscribe to the podcast via Apple Podcast, Google Play, Spotify or the RSS feed. Updates on the podcast on Twitter at @Lawbytespod. Show Notes: Copyright Act Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology Copyright Review Library and Archival Community Letter on Crown Copyright Keatley Surveying v. Teranet Credits: Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, May 30, 2019 House of Commons, June 3, 2019 Transcript: ...

Listen