Archive for September, 2019

Kerr event

Celebrating Ian Kerr

This past week there were two notable celebrations of the life and work of Ian Kerr. First, Jotwell published a remarkable tribute featuring 12 short reviews of some of Ian’s most notable scholarship. The collection speaks both to Ian’s breadth of scholarship covering privacy, copyright, e-commerce, robots, and AI as well as his incredible impact with contributors from around the world. I was privileged to wrote about Ian’s 2005 chapter on digital rights management and anti-circumvention laws.

On Friday, September 27th, the University of Ottawa gathered together for a community celebration of Ian. The full video is embedded below. The event included musical performances and speeches from former students, colleagues, collaborators, and admirers. I was honoured to speak and I have posted my remarks below. The event also provided an opportunity to formally launch the Ian R. Kerr Memorial Fund, which will support students, events, and research. More information on the fund and how to contribute can be found here.

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September 29, 2019 1 comment News
“A Broad and Liberal Interpretation”: The Supreme Court of Canada Expands Copyright Users’ Rights

“A Broad and Liberal Interpretation”: The Supreme Court of Canada Expands Copyright Users’ Rights

The Supreme Court of Canada today released its decision in Keatley Surveying v. Teranet, a case that involves the application of the Copyright Act’s crown copyright provision to land surveys registered or deposited in provincial land survey offices. The Government of Ontario argued that crown copyright applies to the surveys. The surveyors argued that it did not and were seeking compensation for their inclusion in a database service run by Teranet under licence from the province. The court ruled in favour of the province, concluding that the surveys are covered by current crown copyright provision.

I’ll address the challenges with that decision in an upcoming post, though it is clear that the majority decision written by Justice Abella is open to legislative reform:

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September 26, 2019 5 comments News
Canadian wireless carriers by Michael Geist

Can Price Caps or Virtual Competitors Solve Canada’s Wireless Pricing Problem?

Responding to years of consumer frustration with the state of Canadian wireless pricing, Canada’s political parties have propelled the issue on to the election campaign agenda. The telecom giants will disagree, but study after study has found that Canadians pay more for wireless services than consumers in most other developed economies. But though just about everyone agrees we have a problem, my Globe and Mail op-ed notes there remains considerable debate over what to do about it.

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September 24, 2019 5 comments Columns
Broadband in a Box by Alan Levine (CC0 1.0) https://flic.kr/p/ZhwmCY

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 25: The CRTC Decision on Competitive Internet Pricing – A Conversation With George Burger

Last month, Canada’s telecom regulator, the CRTC, issued its final decision in a lengthy battle over the rates that independent Internet providers pay for wholesale access to the broadband networks run by big incumbents such as Bell and Rogers. The Commission slashed previous rates and made its decision retroactive, an approach that sparked anger and lawsuits from the incumbents who are now in Canadian courts seeking to overturn the ruling and stop it from taking effect. Meanwhile, several Canadian independent ISPs wasted no time in responding to the decision, dropping their consumer prices and neatly illustrating the impact of lower rates and more competition. George Burger, one of the founders of vMedia and a frequent commentator on Canadian telecom issues, joined me on the podcast to discuss the decision and the state of competition for Canadian Internet services.

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September 23, 2019 0 comments Podcasts
Ian Kerr, https://techlaw.uottawa.ca/news/ian-kerr-2019

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 24: A Tribute to Ian Kerr

The first episode of the new season of the Lawbytes podcast is dedicated to my good friend and colleague Ian Kerr, a giant in the law and technology field, who passed away on August 27th after battling complications arising from cancer. Ian’s generosity, warmth, and good humour touched the lives of thousands of people. Whether national privacy commissioners or first-year law students, he made time for everyone, offering encouragement, insight, and a deeply held view that everyone had an opportunity and responsibility to help shape our collective digital future. The Faculty of Law plans to celebrate Ian in an event scheduled for Friday, September 27th at 11:30 am. There is also an Ian R. Kerr Memorial Fund that will support scholarships, fellowships, activities and initiatives honouring his legacy.

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September 16, 2019 1 comment Podcasts