25 episodes

In recent years the intersection between law, technology, and policy has exploded as digital policy has become a mainstream concern in Canada and around the world. This podcast explores digital policies in conversations with people studying the legal and policy challenges, set the rules, or are experts in the field. It provides a Canadian perspective, but since the internet is global, examining international developments and Canada’s role in shaping global digital policy is be an important part of the story.

Lawbytes is hosted by Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law and where he is a member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society.

Law Bytes Michael Geist

    • Technology

In recent years the intersection between law, technology, and policy has exploded as digital policy has become a mainstream concern in Canada and around the world. This podcast explores digital policies in conversations with people studying the legal and policy challenges, set the rules, or are experts in the field. It provides a Canadian perspective, but since the internet is global, examining international developments and Canada’s role in shaping global digital policy is be an important part of the story.

Lawbytes is hosted by Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law and where he is a member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society.

    Episode 46: Matthew Herder on the Canadian Effort to Break Down Patent Barriers to Accessing Coronavirus Medicines

    Episode 46: Matthew Herder on the Canadian Effort to Break Down Patent Barriers to Accessing Coronavirus Medicines

    Bill C-13, the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act, was the Canadian government’s legislative response to the Coronavirus pandemic. In addition a host of economic measures, the bill included some unexpected patent law provisions designed to speed access to essential medicines, devices or treatments. Matthew Herder, the director of the Health Law Institute at Dalhousie University, joins the podcast discuss the new Canadian rules, the use of compulsory licensing to enhance access to medicines, and other innovative approaches to overcoming potential access barriers raised by intellectual property laws.

    • 33 min
    Episode 45: David Porter on the Benefits of Open Educational Resources as Millions Shift to Online Learning

    Episode 45: David Porter on the Benefits of Open Educational Resources as Millions Shift to Online Learning

    Millions of Canadians are at home, schools are closed, and Canada is undergoing an unprecedented shift to distance or online learning. Adapting course materials to the online learning environment can create significant new challenges for teachers and students alike. Open educational resources (OERs) provides a model for convenient, cost-effective access with no copyright barriers to worry about, expensive texts to purchase, or restrictions on adaptation, customization or re-use. David Porter, who has been a leader in open and distance learning since the 1990s, joins the podcast to discuss how the current shift to online learning places the spotlight on the benefits of OERs and open textbooks.

    • 23 min
    Episode 44: Michael Birnhack on Israeli Use of Cellphone Tracking to Combat the Spread of Coronavirus

    Episode 44: Michael Birnhack on Israeli Use of Cellphone Tracking to Combat the Spread of Coronavirus

    With experts warning that the Coronavirus pandemic may last well into next year, the urgency of limiting the spread of the virus is sure to increase. Cellphone and social media data will increasingly be viewed as a valuable source of information for public health authorities, as they seek to identify outbreaks in communities more quickly, rapidly warn people that they may have been exposed to the virus, or enforce quarantining orders. Israel has implemented a system that involves the collection and use of cellphone location data to identify at-risk individuals, who may receive text messages warning that they need to self-quarantine. That system has been challenged at the Israeli Supreme Court, which last week rejected elements of the plan and established a requirement of Israeli parliament approval for the measures. Tel Aviv University law professor Michael Birnhack joins me on the podcast to discuss the details of the measures and the civil liberties and democratic concerns they raise, even at a time of global crisis.

    • 24 min
    Episode 43: Heather Joseph on the Coronavirus and the Urgent Need for Open Access to Research Publications

    Episode 43: Heather Joseph on the Coronavirus and the Urgent Need for Open Access to Research Publications

    Over the past several weeks, our world has been upended by Coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. Given the head-spinning changes taking place in our society, there is a widely recognized need for immediate open access to the latest research and medical developments. Yet despite the fact that the public often funds research in the area, the conventional publishing model often places that information behind paywalls or subscription fees. Heather Joseph, the Executive Director of SPARC, joins me on the podcast this week to discuss the response from publishers, funders and other stakeholders to the urgent need for access to COVID-19 research and what the response tells us about the issue of open access to scholarly research more broadly.

    • 26 min
    Episode 42: What Does the Canada-US-Mexico Trade Agreement Mean for Digital Policy?

    Episode 42: What Does the Canada-US-Mexico Trade Agreement Mean for Digital Policy?

    The ratification of the Canada – US- Mexico Trade Agreement has captured considerable attention with several committees studying Bill C-4, the bill aimed at ratifying the deal. Over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to appear before two of those committees - the House of Commons Standing Committee on International Trade and on Industry, Science and Technology – where I discussed the digital law and policy implications the agreement. This week’s podcast features excerpts from those appearances, including my opening statement and the ensuing discussion with several MPs on copyright term extension, cultural policy, and privacy.

    • 26 min
    Episode 41: Nasma Ahmed With a Call for a Ban on Facial Recognition Technologies

    Episode 41: Nasma Ahmed With a Call for a Ban on Facial Recognition Technologies

    Facial recognition technologies have attracted mounting attention in recent weeks led by a New York Times report on Clearview AI, soon followed by revelations of police use of the service in multiple Canadian cities. There are now several privacy commissioner investigations into the situation. I’m joined on the podcast this week by Nasma Ahmed, a technologist and the Director of the Digital Justice Lab, who recently published an op-ed in the Globe and Mail with McGill’s Taylor Owen calling for a pause on facial recognition technologies.

    • 31 min

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