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 74: Heidi Tworek on the Challenges of Internet Platform Regulation
The Lawbytes podcast took a breather over the holidays and into early January, but there seemingly is no break for digital policy issues. Over the past few weeks, Internet platforms have found themselves squarely in the public eye as company after company – from Shopify to Twitter to Facebook de-platformed former US President Donald Trump in response to the events in Washington earlier this month. Dr. Heidi Tworek of the University of British Columbia is one of Canada’s most prolific thinkers on Internet platform policies. She joins the podcast for a conversation about the role and responsibilities of Internet platforms, proposals for payments in the news sector, and insights what governments should be doing about better communicating with the public about the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Episode 73: The Broadcasting Act Blunder - Why Minister Guilbeault is Wrong
Canada is currently considering major reforms to how it regulates Internet services. Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault's Bill C-10 would dramatically reshape the Broadcasting Act by regulating foreign Internet sites and services with the prospect of mandated registration, payments to support Canadian content, confidential data disclosures, and discoverability requirements. The bill would also remove policies supporting Canadian ownership of the broadcasting system and reduce expectations about Canadian participation in film and television productions. This week’s Law Bytes podcast takes a closer look at the implications of the bill, examining key concerns discussed in my ongoing Broadcasting Act blunder blog series.
Episode 72: Emily Laidlaw on the Good, the Bad, and the Missed Opportunities Behind Canada's Privacy Reform
Canada’s new privacy bill is only a couple of weeks old but it is already generating debate in the House of Commons and careful study and commentary from the privacy community. As the biggest overhaul of Canada’s privacy rules in two decades, the bill will undoubtedly be the subject of deep analysis and lengthy committee review, likely to start early in 2021.Professor Emily Laidlaw of the University of Calgary, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity Law, joins the podcast with her take on the good, the bad, and the missed opportunities in Bill C-11.
Episode 71: Minister Navdeep Bains on Canada's New Privacy Bill
It has taken many years, but Canada finally appears ready to engage in an overhaul of its outdated private sector privacy law. Earlier this month, the Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains introduced Bill C-11, which, if enacted, would fundamentally re-write Canada’s privacy rules. To discuss the thinking behind the bill and the government’s privacy plans for privacy, Minister Bains joins the Law Bytes podcast as he identifies some the benefits of the bill, clarifies the reasoning behind some of the more controversial policy decisions, and provides a roadmap for what comes next.
Episode 70: "It's Massive Free Distribution" - Village Media's Jeff Elgie on Why His Company Opposes Lobbying Efforts to Establish a Licence for Linking to News Stories
News Media Canada, the lobby group representing the major newspaper publishers in Canada recently launched a new campaign that calls for the creation of a government digital media regulatory agency that would have the power to establish mandated payments by Internet companies merely for linking to news articles. But not everyone in the sector - or even within News Media Canada - agrees with the position. Jeff Elgie is the CEO and majority shareholder of Village Media, a digital-only media organization that operates local news and community websites throughout Ontario. He joins the Law Bytes podcast this week to talk about operating local news sites in the current environment, why he welcomes referral traffic from companies like Facebook and Google, and why though he respects News Media Canada, he hopes that a new association will emerge that better represents the diversity of news media in Canada.
Episode 69: Bram Abramson on the Government's Plan to Regulate Internet Streaming Services
Last week, Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault introduced Bill C-10, legislation that would significantly reform Canada’s Broadcasting Act. A foundational part of what he has called a “get money from web giants” legislative strategy, the bill grants new powers to Canada’s telecom and broadcast regulator (the CRTC) to regulate online streaming services. Bram Abramson is one of Canada’s leading communications law lawyers and managing director of a new digital risk and rights strategy firm called 32M. He joins the podcast to talk about the past, present and future of broadcast regulation, in particular what Bill C-10 could mean for the regulation of online streaming services.