58 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
    • 5.0, 1 Rating

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 58: "An Earth Shattering Decision" - Marina Pavlovic on the Supreme Court of Canada's Uber v. Heller Ruling

    Episode 58: "An Earth Shattering Decision" - Marina Pavlovic on the Supreme Court of Canada's Uber v. Heller Ruling

    The Supreme Court of Canada recently released its much anticipated Uber Technologies v. Heller decision, a landmark ruling with significant implications for the validity of online contracts and for employment relations in the gig economy. The court rejected an arbitration clause in an Uber contract with its drivers, finding the clause unconscionable. Professor Marina Pavlovic is a friend and colleague at the University of Ottawa, who appeared before the Supreme Court representing the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic as an intervener in the case. She joined me on the podcast to discuss the decision and to explain why she believes it is an earth shattering ruling for online contracts in Canada.

    • 34 min
    Episode 57: Julia Reda on What Canada Should Learn from the European Battle over a Copyright Link Tax

    Episode 57: Julia Reda on What Canada Should Learn from the European Battle over a Copyright Link Tax

    Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault recently suggested that the government's support for news media should be replaced by copyright rules that would open the door to payments from internet companies such as Google and Facebook through an Internet link tax. Julia Reda is a former Member of the European Parliament who for several years was the most active and visible politician in Europe when it came to copyright reform. She joins me on the podcast to talk about that experience, why she believes a link tax harms freedom of expression and diversity of media, and what lessons Canada should draw from the European developments.

    • 44 min
    Episode 56: Eloïse Gratton on Quebec's Plan to Overhaul its Privacy Law

    Episode 56: Eloïse Gratton on Quebec's Plan to Overhaul its Privacy Law

    The state of Canadian privacy law has been ongoing source of concern with many experts concluding that the law is outdated and no longer fit for purpose. This is particularly true when contrasted with rules in the European Union that feature tough penalties and new privacy rights. It would appear that the province of Quebec has concluded that the waiting has gone on long enough as the provincial government recently introduced Bill 64, which if adopted would overhaul provincial privacy laws and provide a potential model for both the federal government and the other provinces.
    Eloïse Gratton is a partner at the law firm of Borden Ladner Gervais in Montreal and recognized as one of Canada’s leading privacy law practitioners. She joins the podcast to break down Bill 64 and its implications for privacy enforcement, accountability and new privacy rights.

    • 26 min
    Episode 55: Mutale Nkonde on Racial Justice, Bias, and Technology

    Episode 55: Mutale Nkonde on Racial Justice, Bias, and Technology

    The world has been focused for the past several weeks on racial justice and the Black Lives Matter movement, with millions around the world taking to the streets to speak out against inequality and racism. Technology and concerns about racism and bias have been part of the discussion, with some of the world’s leading technology companies changing longstanding policies and practices. Mutale Nkonde is an artificial intelligence policy analyst and a fellow at both the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and at Stanford University’s Digital Civil Society Lab. She joins the podcast this week to talk about this moment in racial justice and technology, racial literacy, and the concerns about bias in artificial intelligence.

    • 35 min
    Episode 54: Eric Goldman on Internet Platform Liability and the Trump Executive Order

    Episode 54: Eric Goldman on Internet Platform Liability and the Trump Executive Order

    The U.S. approach to Internet platform liability has been characterized as the single most important legal protection for free speech on the Internet. Over the past two decades, every major Internet service has turned to the rules to ensure that liability for third party content posted on their sites rests with the poster, not the site or service. Those rules have proven increasingly controversial, however, with mounting calls for the companies to take on greater responsibility for content posted on their sites. The issue captured international attention last month when U.S. President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order that heightens the pressure for change. Eric Goldman is a Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law in the Silicon Valley where he co-directs the High Tech Law Institute. He has written extensively about Internet liability and appeared before the US Congress to testify on the issue. He joins the podcast to discuss the history behind the U.S. approach, its impact, and the implications of the Trump Executive Order.

    • 36 min
    Episode 53: Welcome Development or Waste of Time? - A Conversation With Facebook Oversight Board Member Nicolas Suzor

    Episode 53: Welcome Development or Waste of Time? - A Conversation With Facebook Oversight Board Member Nicolas Suzor

    Last month, Facebook revealed the names of the first 20 members of the Facebook Oversight Board, a body charged with conducting independent reviews of content removals. The announcement received at best a mixed greeting - some welcomed the experiment in content moderation, while others argued that the board “will have no influence over anything that really matters in the world.” Professor Nicolas Suzor of the Queensland University of Technology in Australia was named as one of the first 20 members. The author of Lawless: The Secret Rules that Govern our Digital Lives, Nicolas has been critical of Facebook and other Internet platforms and raised concerns about the oversight board when it was first announced. He joins the podcast to discuss the oversight board, the initial criticisms, and his views on how the board can have a positive impact in addressing complex issues that strive to balance freedom of expression with concerns about online harms.

    • 39 min

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