Years of public consultation on Canadian digital policy hit an important milestone last week as Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains released the government’s Digital Charter. Canada’s Digital Charter touches on a wide range of issues, covering everything from universal Internet access to privacy law reform. To help sort through the digital charter and its implications, I’m joined on the podcast this week by Professor Teresa Scassa, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, where she holds the Canada Research Chair in Information Law and Policy.
Episode 13: Digital Charter or Chart: A Conversation With Teresa Scassa on Canada’s New Digital Charter
The free and open access to law movement is devoted to providing free and open online access to legal information. This includes case law, legislation, treaties, law reform proposals and legal scholarship. This week’s Lawbytes podcast highlights perspectives on free and open access to law from Australia and Canada. During a recent trip to Australia, I spoke with Professor Graham Greenleaf, one of the pioneers of the movement, who co-founded AustLII, the Australasian Legal Information Institute. Following in the footsteps of the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University, AustLII helped reshape legal publishing in Australia and played a pivotal role in bringing other countries’ legal materials online. The episode continues with a conversation with Xavier Beauchamp-Tremblay, the current CEO of CanLII, the Canadian Legal Information Institute, about the Canadian past, present and future of free and open access to law.
Episode 11: Reinterpreting Canadian Privacy Law – David Fraser On Cross-Border Data Transfers, the Right to De-Index, and the Facebook Investigation
Daniel Therrien, the Privacy Commissioner in Canada, is in the courts battling Google over a right to de-index. He’s calling for order making after Facebook declined to abide by his recommendations. And he’s embarked on a dramatic re-interpretation of the law premised on incorporating new consent requirements into cross-border data transfers. David Fraser, one of Canada’s leading privacy experts, joins the podcast to provide an update on the recent Canadian privacy law developments and their implications.
Copyright threats and lawsuits against individuals have been around in Canada since 2004, when they were rejected by the federal court. Those threats receded for about a decade, but now they’re back. Copyright notices, litigation threats, settlement demands, and actual lawsuits have re-emerged at the very time that the music and movie industries are experiencing record music streaming revenues in Canada and massive popularity of online video services. James Plotkin, a lawyer with Caza Saikaley in Ottawa, joins the podcast this week to help sort through what the notices mean, the implications of the threats and lawsuits, and where Canadian law stands on the issue.
Many Canadians follow telecommunications and broadcast issues at the CRTC from a distance – the cost of wireless services, the speed of their Internet access, the availability of broadcasting choice. Others engage more closely on issues such as net neutrality, Cancon regulation, or Netflix taxes. But there is one Canadian who doesn’t just follow the CRTC. She watches it through the use of access to information laws that present a perspective on the CRTC that would otherwise remain hidden from view. Monica Auer, the Executive Director of the Forum for Research and Policy in Communications, joins the podcast this week to talk about insider access, slow reimbursement of costs for public interest groups, the number of CRTC meetings, and the Commission’s seeming indifference to commissioning original research. The interview is interspersed with comments from current CRTC Ian Scott taken from one of his first public speeches after being named chair in 2017.