Appearance before the Standing Committee on Ethics, Accountability & Privacy
December 9, 2010
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 â€œFrom Radical Extremism to Balanced Copyright: Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agendaâ€, 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 â€“ fair dealing and digital locks.
I am scheduled to appear before the Bill C-32 legislative committee this afternoon at 3:30 ET. The hearing will be streamed via audio and video.
The submission touches on a wide range of issues, including general concerns such as who leads the strategy, who pays for it, and the value in identifying openness as a general principle. It then discusses specific concerns around infrastructure (broadband networks, net neutrality, digital television transition, foreign investment), capacity to innovate (spam, security breach disclosure, Privacy Act, lawful access), and digital content (copyright reform, open data, open access, digitization, domain names).
Update: The submission has now been posted on the consultation website.