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Uber Russia by Tati Tata (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/CotcDp

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 58: “An Earth Shattering Decision” – Marina Pavlovic on the Supreme Court of Canada’s Uber v. Heller Ruling

The Supreme Court of Canada recently released its much anticipated Uber Technologies v. Heller decision, a landmark ruling with significant implications for the validity of online contracts and for employment relations in the gig economy. The court rejected an arbitration clause in an Uber contract with its drivers, finding the clause unconscionable.

The decision unsurprisingly quickly caught the attention of many in the legal, technology, business, and consumer advocacy communities. Professor Marina Pavlovic is a friend and colleague at the University of Ottawa, who appeared before the Supreme Court representing the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic as an intervener in the case. She joined me on the podcast to discuss the decision and to explain why she believes it is an earth shattering ruling for online contracts in Canada.

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July 6, 2020 1 comment Podcasts
IMG_4345 by Julia Reda https://flic.kr/p/SPvBjc (CC0 1.0)

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 57: Julia Reda on What Canada Should Learn from the European Battle over a Copyright Link Tax

Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault recently suggested that the government’s support for news media should be replaced by copyright rules that would open the door to payments from internet companies such as Google and Facebook. Guilbeault indicated that a legislative package was being prepared for the fall that would include a press publishers’ right is that is commonly referred to as an internet link tax.

Julia Reda is a former Member of the European Parliament who for several years was the most active and visible politician in Europe when it came to copyright reform. That multi-year debate ultimately led to the adoption of a link tax and upload filters with a European directive. She joins me on the podcast to talk about that experience, why she believes a link tax harms freedom of expression and diversity of media, and what lessons Canada should draw from the European experience.

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June 29, 2020 2 comments Podcasts
linktaxmonopoly_1 by Boing Boing (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) https://boingboing.net/2018/06/18/licensing-news.html

Pay to Link?: Canadian Heritage Minister Guilbeault Backs Bringing the Link Tax to Canada

Last week, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault called into question his own government’s policies on supporting news media, suggesting that those programs should be replaced by copyright rules that would open the door to payments from internet companies such as Google and Facebook. Mr. Guilbeault indicated that a legislative package was being prepared for the fall that would include new powers for Canada’s communications regulator and what are commonly referred to as Netflix taxes and internet linking taxes.

My Globe and Mail op-ed notes the government’s support for new internet taxes should not come as a surprise. There were strong signals that the spring budget – postponed indefinitely due to the current public health crisis – was going to include expanding sales taxes to capture digital sales such as Netflix or Spotify subscriptions.

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June 23, 2020 11 comments News
Vie privée by g4ll4is (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dZ2FSw

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 56: Eloïse Gratton on Quebec’s Plan to Overhaul its Privacy Law

The state of Canadian privacy law has been ongoing source of concern with many experts concluding that the law is outdated and no longer fit for purpose. This is particularly true when contrasted with rules in the European Union that feature tough penalties and new privacy rights. It would appear that the province of Quebec has concluded that the waiting has gone on long enough. The provincial government recently introduced Bill 64, which if adopted would overhaul provincial privacy laws and provide a potential model for both the federal government and the other provinces.

Eloïse Gratton is a partner at the law firm of Borden Ladner Gervais in Montreal and recognized as one of Canada’s leading privacy law practitioners. She joins the podcast to break down Bill 64 and its implications for privacy enforcement, accountability and new privacy rights.

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June 22, 2020 2 comments Podcasts
Black Lives Matter Protest Times Square New York City June 7 2020 by Anthony Quintano https://flic.kr/p/2j9XJPT (CC BY 2.0)

The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 55: Mutale Nkonde on Racial Justice, Bias, and Technology

The world has been focused for the past several weeks on racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement, with millions around the world taking to the streets to speak out against inequality and racism. Technology and concerns about racism and bias have been part of the discussion, with some of the world’s leading technology companies changing longstanding policies and practices. IBM has put an end all research, development and production of facial recognition technologies, while both Amazon and Microsoft said they would no longer sell the technology to local police departments.

Mutale Nkonde
 is an artificial intelligence policy analyst and a fellow at both the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and at Stanford University’s Digital Civil Society Lab. She joins me on the podcast this week from a busy home in Brooklyn, NY to talk about this moment in racial justice and technology, racial literacy, and the concerns about bias in artificial intelligence

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June 15, 2020 1 comment Podcasts