Bill C-18, the Online News Act, has been at the centre of growing firestorm in Canada following reports that Google has begun testing the removal of links to Canadian news services for a small percentage of its users. The issue is headed to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage later today with MPs likely to take turns berating Google executives. If you’re just catching up or don’t understand what the fuss is about, this Law Bytes podcast is for you. While the government tries to spin the bill as a big win for media of all sizes without concerns for the Internet, the reality is far different. But you don’t have to take my word for it. This podcast episode features clips of what Ministers, MPs, Senators, and government officials have already said at committee or in the Senate about the bill.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 158: In Their Own Words – Ministers, MPs, Senators and Government Officials on Bill C-18
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 157: Stephen Spong on the “Goblin Mode Gaslighting” of Canadian Copyright and Fair Dealing
Last week was Fair Dealing Week, a chance for a wide range of Canadians – educators, students, librarians, archivists, and creators – to celebrate the important role that fair dealing plays in facilitating both fair access and fair compensation to copyrighted works. I ran a series of posts on Canadian education, fair dealing and copyright that will continue into the coming week. This week’s Law Bytes podcast episode is part of that series as I’m joined by Stephen Spong, the director of the John and Dotsa Bitove law library and copyright officer at Western University. Spong used fair dealing week to write a piece that appeared in multiple press venues to lament what he termed “goblin mode gaslighting on copyright” and he joins me on the podcast to talk about fair dealing in practice, the ongoing policy debate, and the meaning of goblin mode gaslighting.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 156: Senator Paula Simons on Why the Government Should Accept the Senate’s Bill C-11 Fix on User Content Regulation
Bill C-11 is in the hands of the government as Canadians await a decision on which Senate amendments it will accept, which might be rejected, and then how the Senate responds. A key question involves a fix to the regulation of user content provision, which provides that sound recordings are in, but user content is out. Senator Paula Simons, an independent Senator from Alberta nominated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the Senate in 2018, co-crafted the compromise amendment and has been one of the most engaged and informed Senators throughout the Bill C-11 legislative process. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the hearings, her amendment, and what may lie ahead for both Bill C-11 and the upcoming Senate review of Bill C-18.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 155: Mark Swartz on the Harm Caused by Canada’s Copyright Term Extension
Many Canadians started the new year with an unwelcome surprise as they learned that Canada had extended the term of copyright by additional 20 years with no mitigation measures or efforts to limit the harmful effects of the policy. That the extension did not get much attention was seemingly by design as the government buried it in a budget implementation bill and posted no news releases on it. Mark Swartz is a Scholarly Publishing Librarian at Queen’s University and has been an active participant in copyright reform issues for many years. He recently published an op-ed in the Toronto Star and Hill Times identifying both the harms of term extension and potential mitigation measures. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about Canada’s approach to copyright term extension, the impact on the public domain, and what could come next.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 154: The House is Back – A Preview of Canadian Digital Policy as Parliament Resumes
The House of Commons and Senate return from a lengthy break this week and will likely run until late June with the occasional week or two off. Digital policy may not attract top line attention, but it has emerged as one of the government’s most active issues. This week’s Law Bytes podcast provides a preview of the upcoming session, looking at what may lie ahead for issues such as telecom policy, privacy reform, Bills C-11 and C-18, copyright, and trade policy.