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

Bill C-32 Legislative Committee: My Appearance Scheduled for Today

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.

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December 1, 2010 18 comments Committees, News

The Digital Economy Strategy Consultation: My Submission

Last night I submitted my response to the government’s digital economy strategy consultation.  A text version is posted below. A PDF version can be downloaded here.

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.

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July 13, 2010 1 comment Committees, News