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

October 19, 2021 00:26:21
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Episode 88: Ellen 'T Hoen on Waiving Patents to Support Global Access to COVID Vaccines

The global struggle for access to COVID-19 vaccines took a dramatic turn recently as the Biden Administration in the United States unexpectedly reversed its longstanding opposition to a patent waiver designed to facilitate access to vaccines in the developing world. The shift seemingly caught many by surprise. Pharmaceutical companies were quick to voice opposition and U.S. allies found themselves being asked to take positions. That was certainly the case in Canada, where the Canadian government has steadfastly refused to support the waiver with repeated claims that it had yet to make a decision. Ellen ‘t Hoen, is a lawyer and public health advocate with over 30 years of experience working on pharmaceutical and intellectual property policies. From 1999 until 2009 she was the director of policy for Médecins sans Frontières’ Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. In 2009 she joined UNITAID in Geneva to set up the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). Ellen is currently the director of Medicines Law & Policy and a researcher at the University Medical Centre Groningen. She joins the Lawbytes podcast this week to talk about the fight for a patent waiver and the implications of the Biden decision for global access to COVID vaccines. The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, 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. Credits: CNBC, Biden Administration Supports Waiver of Patent Protections for Covid Vaccines ...

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October 19, 2021 00:29:52
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Episode 90: Fenwick McKelvey on Bill C-10, Discoverability and the Missing Representation of a New Generation of Canadian Creators

Weeks into a high profile debate over Bill C-10, the issue of discoverability of Canadian content has emerged as a policy tug of war between supporters that want the CRTC to intervene by mandating the discoverability of Canadian content on sites such as Youtube and Tiktok and critics that argue the approach would raise significant freedom of expression and net neutrality concerns. But what exactly is “discoverability” and how would it impact both users and the thousands of Canadian creators that have already found success on digital platforms? Fenwick McKelvey is a communications professor at Concordia University who has written more about the discoverability and algorithmic media  than anyone in Canada. He has regularly participated in CRTC hearings and was the co-author of a leading study on the issue commissioned by Canadian Heritage. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about discoverability, his frustrations with its implementation in Bill C-10, and the potential consequences for Canadian creators. The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, 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. Credits: Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, May 14, 2021 ...

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October 19, 2021 00:32:48
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Episode 91: "This is No Way to Regulate" - Former CRTC Chair Konrad von Finckenstein Speaks Out on the CRTC and Bill C-10

Communications issues have been in the political spotlight in recent weeks with the controversial CRTC decision to reverse a pricing decision on wholesale broadband that swiftly led to calls for the resignation of Commission Chair Ian Scott as well as the ongoing battle over Bill C-10, which envisions granting extensive new powers to the CRTC. Konrad von Finckenstein is a former chair of the CRTC, having led the Commission during a similarly contentious time during debates over net neutrality. He has since been outspoken on communications policy issues, including arguing that Bill C-10 should be scrapped and re-written. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the CRTC, the recent decisions, and what he thinks a better approach to Internet and broadcast regulation would look like. The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, 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. Credits: Question Period, House of Commons, June 4, 2021 ...

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October 19, 2021 00:46:05
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Episode 92: A Conversation with Senator Paula Simons on Copyright, the Internet and the Future of Media in Canada

Earlier this year, Senator Claude Carignan introduced Bill S-225, a bill that purports to address concerns about the viability of the Canadian media sector by amending the Copyright Act. The Senate has been studying the bill in recent weeks with Senator Paula Simons serving as the bill critic and one of the leads on the issue. Senator Simons was a longtime journalist before being appointed to the Senate and while an ardent supporter of local journalism, she has been critical of the proposed legislation. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the state of journalism in Canada, why she doesn’t think the social media companies “stole” stories from the media, and what Canada should be doing to encourage innovation in the media sector. The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, 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: Bill S-225 Senator Simons Speech on Bill S-225, May 25, 2021 Geist, The Copyright Bill That Does Nothing: Senate Bill Proposes Copyright Reform to Support Media Organizations Credits: TRCM: Conservative Sen. Claude Carignan appears at committee for Bill S-225, June 2, 2021 ...

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October 19, 2021 00:35:32
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Episode 93: Lex Gill on the RCMP, Clearview AI and Canada's History of Surveillance

Earlier this month, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released a scathing report on the RCMP’s use of facial recognition technology, particularly its work with Clearview AI. The report was particularly damaging as the Commissioner found that the RCMP wasn’t truthful when it said it didn’t work with Clearview AI and then gave inaccurate information on the number of uses when it was revealed that it did. In fact, even after these findings, the RCMP still rejected the Privacy Commissioner’s findings that it violated the Privacy Act. Lex Gill is a Montreal-based lawyer where she is an affiliate at the Citizen Lab and teaches at McGill University’s Faculty of Law. She has also worked at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic. Lex joins the podcast to discuss the Commissioner’s findings and to explain why this is best viewed as part of a long cycle of surveillance that has often targeted social movements or vulnerable populations. The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, 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: OPC, Special report to Parliament on the OPC’s investigation into the RCMP’s use of Clearview AI and draft joint guidance for law enforcement agencies considering the use of facial recognition technology Credits: CityNews, RCMP Violated Privacy Act by Using Facial Recognition: Privacy Commissioner ...

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October 19, 2021 00:39:38
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Episode 94: Former CRTC Vice Chair Peter Menzies Reflects on the Battle over Bill C-10

The Liberal government strategy to push through Bill C-10 bore fruit last week as the controversial Broadcasting Act reform bill, received House of Commons approval at 1:30 am on Tuesday morning. Bill C-10 proceeded to receive first reading in the Senate later that same day and after a series of Senate maneuvers, received second reading from Senator Dennis Dawson the following day. That sparked Senate debate in which everyone seemed to agree that the bill requires significant study and should not be rubber-stamped. Speeches are likely to continue on this week after which the bill will be sent to committee. Given that the committee does not meet in the summer, an election call in the fall would kill Bill C-10. Peter Menzies is a former Vice-Chair of the CRTC and one of the most outspoken experts on Bill C-10. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to reflect on the last two months of the Bill C-10 debate, discuss the limits of CRTC regulation, and explore what comes next. The podcast can be downloaded here, accessed on YouTube, 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: Peter Menzies, Bill C-10: Control-Freak Ottawa Confronts the Future. And the Future is Losing Credits: House of Commons, June 21, 2021 ...

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