Fair Dealing by Giulia Forsythe (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dRkXwP

Fair Dealing by Giulia Forsythe (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dRkXwP

Copyright

Budget 2019 copyright page, https://budget.gc.ca/2019/docs/plan/budget-2019-en.pdf

Episode 30: “It’s Only Going to Get More Important” – Amanda Wakaruk and Jeremy deBeer on Crown Copyright in Canada

The Canadian copyright review conducted earlier this year heard evidence on a remarkably broad range of issues. One issue that seemed to take committee members by surprise was crown copyright, which captured considerable attention and became the subject of two supplemental opinions from the Conservative and NDP members as well as the basis for a private members bill from NDP MP Brian Masse. Why all the interest in crown copyright?

This week’s Lawbytes podcast digs into crown copyright with two guests. First, Amanda Wakaruk, a copyright librarian at the University of Alberta and one of the country’s leading advocates on the issue joins me to explain the concept of crown copyright and why she thinks it needs to be abolished. I’m then joined by my colleague Professor Jeremy DeBeer to discuss the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision on Keatley Surveying v. Teranet, which was on the first opportunities for Canada’s highest court to grapple with the scope and implications of crown copyright.

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November 4, 2019 0 comments Podcasts
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by World Bank Photo Collection (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldbank/25613452631

What Comes Next for Canadian Digital Policy Under a Liberal Minority Government?

In the closing months of the last Liberal majority government mandate, I spoke to a government official about the lessons learned from the prior four years. Their response?  If we knew then what we know now, we would have moved much faster on policy. The four years moves very quickly and if you don’t manage to lay the groundwork and introduce proposed legislation within the first 12 – 24 months, it becomes very difficult to enact given competing policy priorities, demands on committee time, Senate review, and a myriad of other challenges.

As I think about what comes next for Canadian digital policy under the new Liberal minority government, those words strike me as more relevant than ever. Even if the government runs more like a majority than a minority (which certainly seems likely on digital policy as no one is forcing an election over privacy or wireless pricing), the same ministers return to their portfolios (which may or may not happen) and the same committee structures return largely unchanged (which will not happen since that INDU chair Dan Ruimy was not re-elected), picking up where the government left off in June will not be easy. Further, the Liberal platform provides the roadmap for future reforms, but moving rapidly on these issues – particularly given expectations that a minority government’s mandate may run shorter than a majority – suggests that quick wins will be preferred to extensive legislative reform.

So what are likely next steps on digital policy?

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October 23, 2019 1 comment News
CBC Lawsuit vs. Conservative Party

The CBC Lawsuit, Fair Dealing and Future Reform: The Unexpected Arrival of Copyright in Election 2019

As the 2019 federal election winds toward voting day next week, copyright has unexpectedly arrived on the scene. Cultural groups have lamented for weeks that none of the national political parties have discussed copyright, placed it in their platforms, or otherwise committed to reforms. The likely reason – neatly articulated by OpenMedia’s Laura Tribe in this week’s Lawbytes podcast – is that there are no sharp divisions between the parties on copyright that might provide an electoral advantage. Instead, the government conducted an extensive copyright review which led to the Industry Committee’s June 2019 report. That committee, which heard from hundreds of witnesses representing all perspectives, generated a report that received all-party support and provides a roadmap for future reforms (the notable exception being on crown copyright).

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October 17, 2019 3 comments News
Elections Canada polling station 2015 by ishmael n. daro https://flic.kr/p/z3z7Su https://flic.kr/p/z3z7Su

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 27: Digital Policy and Election 2019 – Laura Tribe of OpenMedia on Where the Parties Stand

Digital issues were expected to garner attention in the 2019 Canadian federal election campaign. Over the course of the past few weeks, all the main political parties have had something to say about the high cost of cellphone prices in Canada and the prospect of implementing new taxes on tech companies. Laura Tribe, the Executive Director of OpenMedia, joined the podcast to talk about election 2019 and digital policies in a conversation that focused on wireless services and Internet taxes as well as privacy, intermediary liability, trade, and copyright.

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October 15, 2019 1 comment Podcasts
CBC Button by Rebecca Bollwitt https://flic.kr/p/9dwQhg (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

CBC vs. CPC: Why the CBC’s Attempt to Use Copyright to Stifle Expression Backfired Badly

The CBC’s copyright infringement lawsuit against the Conservative Party over the use of seven short video clips in a campaign ad and several Twitter postings sparked a torrent of criticism as even CBC supporters wondered what executives were thinking. My Globe and Mail op-ed notes that the public broadcaster claimed it was defending the independence of its journalists and journalism, yet the opposite predictably occurred, with many believing that the lawsuit itself demonstrated a political bias.

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October 14, 2019 8 comments Columns