One of Canada’s longstanding digital and economic policy concerns has involved innovation, with fears that the Canadian economy is failing to keep pace with other, more innovative economies. Some point to intellectual property as a critical part of policy equation, arguing that stronger IP laws would help incentivize greater innovation. Economists Nancy Gallini and Aidan Hollis recently released an interesting report for the Institute for Research on Public Policy examining the role of patents and patent policy in Canadian innovators’ decisions to sell their IP rather than continue to develop it in Canada, and the incentives driving this decision. Professor Hollis joins the podcast this week to discuss the report, its link to innovation policy, and what the government could consider to address ongoing concerns.
Episode 33: “Canadian Patenting is Not Going to Drive Anything” – Aidan Hollis on New Research on Patents and Innovation
Episode 32: Reflections from the Open Source Member of Parliament – A Conversation with Ex-MP David Graham
David Graham was not your typical Member of Parliament. A Liberal MP from the Quebec riding of Laurentides-Labelle, Graham brought a background in open source issues to Parliament Hill. Over his four years as an MP, Graham was seemingly everywhere when it came to digital policy. Whether in the House of Commons talking net neutrality, the Industry committee copyright review or the Ethics committee work on privacy, Graham emerged as the rare MP equally at home in the technology and policy worlds. Graham’s bid for re-election fell short, but this week he joins the Lawbytes podcast to reflect on his experience in Ottawa with thoughts on copyright, privacy, technology policy, and the use of digital tools for advocacy purposes.
Episode 31: Is Canadian Media in a Financial Crisis? – Marc Edge With a Different Take on What the Data Says
Is the Canadian media in a state of financial crisis? Stories on newspaper closures and journalist layoffs have become frustratingly commonplace in recent years, leading to increasingly vocal calls for policy reforms or public funding measures. But Marc Edge, a longtime journalist, editor, and professor at universities around the world, has studied the state of the industry for years and offers a different take. While he is quick to point out the crisis of journalism given cutbacks, he argues that a journalism crisis is not the same as a media crisis. He joins the podcast this week to discuss the historical development of the Canadian media and what the data tells us about the current situation in Canada.
Episode 30: “It’s Only Going to Get More Important” – Amanda Wakaruk and Jeremy deBeer on Crown Copyright in Canada
The Canadian copyright review conducted earlier this year heard evidence on a remarkably broad range of issues. One issue that seemed to take committee members by surprise was crown copyright, which captured considerable attention and became the subject of two supplemental opinions from the Conservative and NDP members as well as the basis for a private members bill from NDP MP Brian Masse. Why all the interest in crown copyright?
This week’s Lawbytes podcast digs into crown copyright with two guests. First, Amanda Wakaruk, a copyright librarian at the University of Alberta and one of the country’s leading advocates on the issue joins me to explain the concept of crown copyright and why she thinks it needs to be abolished. I’m then joined by my colleague Professor Jeremy DeBeer to discuss the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision on Keatley Surveying v. Teranet, which was on the first opportunities for Canada’s highest court to grapple with the scope and implications of crown copyright.
Episode 29: Partisan Posts, Social Media, and Misinformation – Taylor Owen on What Actually Happened Online in the 2019 Election
Coming into the 2019 federal election, there were widespread concerns regarding disinformation campaigns, foreign interference, social media advertising and manipulation, and fake news. The federal government enacted legislation designed to foster greater transparency on political advertising, but on the heels of elections elsewhere, the prospect of online harms to the electoral process appeared very real. Taylor Owen of McGill University set out to find out what was actually taking place online. He joined me on the podcast shortly after the election to discuss how social media was being used, political advertising trends, the role of fact checking, and the presence of misinformation and fake news.