With yesterday’s Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage meeting with experts on Bill C-10 and its implications for freedom of expression, this is a special Law Bytes episode featuring my opening statement and engagement with Members of Parliament. The discussion canvassed a wide range of issues including how regulating user generated content makes Canada an outlier worldwide, the impact on net neutrality, and why discoverability requirements constitute speech regulation. There is a second post that features my opening statement to the committee.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 88: Ellen ‘T Hoen on Waiving Patents to Support Global Access to COVID Vaccines
The global struggle for access to COVID-19 vaccines took a dramatic turn recently as the Biden Administration in the United States unexpectedly reversed its longstanding opposition to a patent waiver designed to facilitate access to vaccines in the developing world. The shift seemingly caught many by surprise. Pharmaceutical companies were quick to voice opposition and U.S. allies found themselves being asked to take positions. That was certainly the case in Canada, where the Canadian government has steadfastly refused to support the waiver with repeated claims that it had yet to make a decision.
Ellen ‘t Hoen, is a lawyer and public health advocate with over 30 years of experience working on pharmaceutical and intellectual property policies. From 1999 until 2009 she was the director of policy for Médecins sans Frontières’ Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines. In 2009 she joined UNITAID in Geneva to set up the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). Ellen is currently the director of Medicines Law & Policy and a researcher at the University Medical Centre Groningen. She joins the Lawbytes podcast this week to talk about the fight for a patent waiver and the implications of the Biden decision for global access to COVID vaccines.
This past week Bill C-10, Internet free speech, and the government’s digital policy agenda went mainstream as a lead topic in government, the media, and among many Canadians. This week’s Law Bytes podcast departs from the standard format as I explain why the bill has suddenly become a hot topic, how the government has been inconsistent and at times incoherent in its attempts to justify the bill, and why the concerns regarding freedom of speech and CRTC over-regulation are absolutely justified.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 86: CCLA’s Cara Zwibel on the Free Speech Risks of Bill C-10 and the Guilbeault Internet Plan
The public debate on Bill C-10 recently took a dramatic turn after the government unexpectedly removed legal safeguards designed to ensure the CRTC would not regulate user generated content. The resulting backlash has left political columnists comparing Canada to China in censoring the Internet, opposition MPs launching petitions with promises to fight back against the bill, and Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault struggling to coherently answer questions about his own bill.
Cara Zwibel is the Director of the Fundamental Freedoms Program at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and one of Canada’s leading experts on freedom of expression. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk both about Bill C-10 and the free speech risks that may come from another bill that Guilbeault has been discussing that could include website blocking, a social media regulator, and mandated Internet takedowns.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 85: Céline Castets-Renard on Europe’s Plan to Regulate Artificial Intelligence
Last week, the European Commission launched what promises to be a global, multi-year debate on the regulation of artificial intelligence. Several years in development, the proposed rules would ban some uses of AI, regulate others, and establish significant penalties for those that fail to abide by the rules. European leaders believe the initiative will place them at the forefront of AI, borrowing from the data protection framework of seeking to export EU solutions to the rest of the world. Céline Castets-Renard is a colleague at the University of Ottawa, where she holds the University Research Chair on Accountable Artificial Intelligence in a Global World. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the EU plans, their implications for Canadian AI policy, and the road ahead for the regulation of artificial intelligence.