Committees

Assessing ACTA: My Appearance Before the European Parliament INTA Workshop on ACTA

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has mushroomed into a massive political issue in Europe in recent weeks with protests in hundreds of cities across the continent. Much of the focus has been on whether the European Parliament will give its approval to the agreement. The focal point of attention within the EP has been on the INTA committee, which holds a public workshop on the issue today. Interest in the workshop has been incredible – there are apparently 800 registrants with thousands more expected to watch the live stream.

Several months ago, I was approached to write one of several reports for the ACTA workshop. The report will be made public in the next couple of weeks, but I’ll be on the workshop’s first panel (along with Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Professor Christophe Geiger) to discuss my report and the agreement. The panel starts at 9:15 ET. I only have ten minutes for opening remarks, so the comments target a few of the findings from the report. A transcript of my planned remarks is posted with EP permission below:

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March 1, 2012 9 comments Committees, News

Why Isn’t YouTube Canadian?: My Appearance Before the Industry Committee

Earlier this month I appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, which is conducting a study on the e-commerce market in Canada. A transcript of the hearing is available here and audio of the hearing here.  My prepared opening remarks are posted below. The discussion that followed touched a wide range of issues including copyright reform and competitiveness in the wireless and broadband sectors.

Appearance before the Standing Committee on Industry
October 17, 2011

Good afternoon.  My name is Michael Geist. I am a law professor at the University of Ottawa where I hold the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. 

I appear before this committee today in a personal capacity representing only my own views.

I want to congratulate the committee for launching this study of e-commerce in Canada.  It is a critically important issue deserving of greater attention.  While the committee has identified some excellent questions, I’d boil the issue down to a single one:

Why have Canadian consumers embraced e-commerce, but Canada has failed to produce many significant global e-commerce success stories?

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October 31, 2011 10 comments Committees, News

CETA and Copyright: My Appearance Before the Standing Committee on International Trade

This week I was invited to appear before the Standing Committee on International Trade to discuss the ongoing negotiations of the Canada – European Union Comprehensive Trade Agreement (CETA). I’ve written about some concerns associated with CETA in the past (here, here, here, and here). The appearance comes just as speculation mounts that CETA is running into significant barriers with opposition from many groups and a lack of strong support at the provincial level.  While a trade deal that focuses on traditional trade barriers may make sense, the EU’s effort to re-write Canadian regulatory policy on issues such as intellectual property is why the deal should be scrapped or slimmed down.  My opening comments before the committee:

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February 18, 2011 13 comments Committees, News

Open Government: My Appearance Before the Standing Committee on Ethics, Accountability & Privacy

Last week I had the opportunity to appear before the Standing Committee on Ethics, Accountability & Privacy to discuss open government. My comments – and many of the questions that followed – focused on crown copyright and access to information.  The committee hearing stream can be found here.  My opening statement is posted below.

Appearance before the Standing Committee on Ethics, Accountability & Privacy
December 9, 2010

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December 13, 2010 8 comments Committees, News

The Bill C-32 Legislative Committee: My Opening Statement

I appeared before the Bill C-32 legislative committee as part of a hearing that addressed a wide range of issues including digital locks, fair dealing, and statutory damages.  I’ll post the full transcript once available, but in the meantime, the video can be streamed from the Parliamentary site and my opening statement can be found below.

Appearance before the Bill C-32 Legislative Committee, December 1, 2010

Good afternoon.  My name is Michael Geist.  I am a law professor at the University of Ottawa. As many of you know, I have been very active on copyright policy issues for many years.  In 2007, I launched the Fair Copyright for Canada Facebook group that grew to over 92,000 members with local chapters across the country.  Earlier this year, I edited “From Radical Extremism to Balanced Copyright: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda”, the largest academic study on Bill C-32 to-date, with peer reviewed contributions from 20 leading Canadian experts.

That said, I appear before this committee today in a personal capacity representing only my own views. 

While I am sometimes characterized as a copyright critic, the reality is that I am supportive of much of Bill C-32.  When the bill was first tabled, I described it as flawed but fixable, with strong support for many of the compromises found in the legislation.  That remains my view and I’m happy to talk about any aspect of the bill but want to focus my opening remarks on two issues – fair dealing and digital locks. 

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December 2, 2010 45 comments Committees, News