Committees

Full Transcript of My C-27 Committee Appearance

The full transcript of my appearance before the Industry Committee discussing Bill C-27 has now been posted online.

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June 25, 2009 1 comment Committees, News

Debating C-27: My Appearance Before the Industry Committee

Yesterday I appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology to discuss Bill C-27, the Electronic Commerce Protection Act.  The Conservatives, NDP, and Bloc have also demonstrated strong support for the bill.  The Liberals have been cautious, indicating that they support the principle but expressing "significant concerns" about specific provisions.  My opening tried to address some of those concerns and the dialogue that followed led to a lively debate.  My opening statement is posted below.  Audio of the hearing available here (the transcript is not yet online).

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June 12, 2009 2 comments Committees, News

Canada’s Telecom Crisis: My Appearance Before the Senate Transport and Communications Committee

Two weeks ago, I appeared before the Standing Committee on Transport and Communications to discuss the state of telecommunications in Canada.  The committee is conducting a study on the wireless sector and access to high-speed Internet.  The full hearing last over 90 minutes and the transcript has just been posted online.  My opening statement is posted below.

Appearance before the Senate Standing Committee on Transport and Communications
May 26, 2009

Good morning.  My name is Michael Geist.  I am a law professor at the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, where I hold the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law.  I am also a syndicated weekly columnist on law and technology issues for the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Citizen.  I served on National Task Force on Spam struck by the Minister of Industry in 2004 and on the board of directors of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, which manages the dot-ca domain name space, from 2000 – 2006.

I appear before the committee today in a personal capacity representing only my own views.  I grateful both for the opportunity to appear before you and for your decision to address this issue.  As you know, Canada was once a global leader in the telecom field.  Companies like Nortel led the world and – befitting a country with our geography – Canada consistently ranked toward the top on most telecom measures. No longer.  While RIM has carved out an important niche and become a household name, the Canadian telecommunications scene is in a state of crisis.  This is no exaggeration.  Following years of neglect by successive governments, the absence of a forward-looking digital agenda, and cozy, uncompetitive environment, we now find ourselves steadily slipping in the rankings just as these issues gain even more importance for commercial, educational, and community purposes.

I know that you are focused primarily on the wireless sector, but I think the problems within our telecommunications infrastructure are not so easily divisible.  I would like to briefly discuss three issues – wireless, broadband access, and net neutrality.

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June 8, 2009 26 comments Committees, News

The Importance of the the Privacy Act and its Glaring Inadequacies: My Appearance Before the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics

In 2008, I appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics to discuss the Privacy Act. Appearance Before the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, May 15, 2008 My name is Michael Geist. As you heard, I’m a law professor at […]

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May 15, 2008 Comments are Disabled Committees, News

Speaking to the Parliamentary IP Caucus

I have been critical of the Parliamentary IP Caucus, so I should be equally quick to praise where appropriate.  Tonight I was invited to appear before the caucus and given two full hours to make a presentation and participate in an engaging discussion on copyright.  The meeting was well attended with members from all four parties in attendance. 

My powerpoint slides are posted below (the first half of the talk covered the same ground as the Copyright Myths presentation I gave a couple of weeks ago).  My key messages centred on putting copyright reform in context and getting the key content issues right.  From context perspective, I highlighted:

  • the need to recognize both the importance and limits of copyright
  • the lack of recent consultation
  • how Canadian copyright law is not nearly as weak as critics suggest
  • why the WIPO Internet treaties provide great flexibility in implementation
  • why focusing on copyright may undermine the efforts to address commercial counterfeiting
  • how there are many voices expressing concern with a Canadian DMCA approach

I was also asked about my recommendations for reform.  I provided nine points:

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May 14, 2008 4 comments Committees, News