Latest Posts

Kerr Fellows

Honouring Ian Kerr’s Legacy: University of Ottawa Launches the Kerr Fellows Program

It has been nearly 100 days since our colleague and friend Ian Kerr passed away. During that time, scarcely a day goes by where I don’t think about Ian. Whether it is resisting the urge to send him a message seeking his advice or counsel, thinking about how he would have reacted to emerging developments, or passing by the closed door to his office, his presence is still strongly felt by the entire University of Ottawa and technology law communities. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve run into someone who I haven’t seen in awhile and their first response is to express their condolences and admiration for Ian. Indeed, seemingly everyone has a story of how Ian touched them or had a positive impact on their lives.

Read more ›

December 3, 2019 0 comments News
Fadi Chehadé President & CEO of ICANN speaks as part of the panel during the Ministerial meeting 'Addressing the challenges of a Hyper-connected world' at the 7th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) ann by Internet Society (Richard Stonehouse) (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/drosgZ

The LawBytes Podcast, 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.

Read more ›

December 2, 2019 0 comments Podcasts
GoldTV.biz block

Canadian Copyright Website Blocking Underway As TekSavvy Appeals Federal Court Ruling

Last week I wrote about a federal court ruling that opened the door to copyright website blocking in Canada without Parliament establishing site blocking rules or the involvement of the CRTC. The decision is 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. I concluded by noting that the case should be appealed and just over a week later, TekSavvy, the independent ISP that stood alone in contesting the blocking order, did just that. Even as the appeal was launched, however, the major Canadian ISPs began blocking access to the specific webpages identified in the court order.

Read more ›

November 26, 2019 7 comments News
Patent Halifax 1899 by Neil Turner (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/frWXRB

The LawBytes Podcast, 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.

Read more ›

November 25, 2019 2 comments Podcasts
Is your culture made of gold or fool's gold? by opensource.com (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/8pHJNc

Fool’s Gold: Why a Federal Court Judge Was Wrong To Issue a Website Blocking Order Against GoldTV

A Federal Court of Canada judge issued a major website blocking decision late Friday, granting a request from Bell, Rogers, and Groupe TVA to block access to a series of GoldTV streaming websites. The order covers most of the Canada’s large ISPs: Bell, Eastlink, Cogeco, Distributel, Fido, Rogers, Sasktel, TekSavvy, Telus, and Videotron. The case is an important one, representing the first extensive website blocking order in Canada. 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.

Read more ›

November 19, 2019 11 comments News