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Law Bytes

Technology Podcasts

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.

Location:

Canada

Description:

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.

Twitter:

@lawbytespod

Language:

English


Episodes

Episode 193: The Online Harms Act is Nearly Here - A Backgrounder and Preview

2/26/2024
The government plans to introduce the Online Harms Act later today, bringing forward long-delayed legislation that will include new responsibilities and liabilities for Internet platforms alongside an extensive complaints and enforcement governance structure. What is likely to be Bill C-63 will focus on protecting children online and will be the most contentious of the government’s Internet regulation bills given the challenge of balancing safeguards with freedom of expression. This week’s Law Bytes podcast features a combined backgrounder and preview of the bill as I walk through the years of failed consultations, expert panels, changing ministers, and challenges in bringing it forward, highlight the key issues at stake, and contrast the online harms bill with Bill S-210, which seems destined to share the spotlight.

Duration:00:34:01

Episode 192: Kate Robertson on the Privacy, Expression and Affordability Risks in Bill C-26

2/12/2024
Bill C-26, alternately described as a cyber-security, critical infrastructure or telecom bill, remains largely below the radar screen despite its serious implications for privacy, expression, and affordable network access. The bill is currently being studied at a House of Commons committee that seems more interested in partisan political gamesmanship rather than substantive hearings. Kate Robertson is lawyer and senior research associate at the Citizen Lab in the Munk School at the University of Toronto who is a former criminal counsel and the co-author of one of the most extensive Bill C-26 committee submissions. She appeared last week at the committee studying the bill, but with limited opportunity to engage on the issues, she joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the bill, the concerns it raises, and some of the potential fixes.

Duration:00:36:56

Episode 191: Luca Bertuzzi on the Making of the EU Artificial Intelligence Act

2/5/2024
European countries reached agreement late last week on a landmark legislative package to regulate artificial intelligence. AI regulation has emerged as a key issue over the past year as the explosive growth of ChatGPT and other generative AI services have sparked legislation, lawsuits and national consultations. The EU AI Act is heralded as the first of its kind and as a model for Canadian AI rules. Luca Bertuzzi is a Brussels-based tech journalist who was widely regarded as the leading source of information and analysis about the unfolding negotiations involving the EU AI Act. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to explain the EU process, the ongoing opposition by some countries, and the future steps for AI regulation in Europe.

Duration:00:25:54

Episode 190: Debating Bill S-210 - Senator Julie Miville-Dechêne Defends Her Internet Age Verification Bill

1/29/2024
I’ve described Bill S-210, the Protecting Young Persons from Exposure to Pornography Act, as the most dangerous Internet bill you’ve never heard of as it contemplates measures that raise privacy concerns, website blocking, and extend far beyond pornography sites to include search and social media. The bill started in the Senate and having passed there is now in the House of Commons, where MPs voted in favour of it at second reading and sent it to committee for further study. Senator Julie Mivelle-Dechêne is the chief architect and lead defender of the bill. A former Radio-Canada broadcaster who was appointed to the Senate by Justin Trudeau in 2018, she joins the Law Bytes podcast to debate her bill as she provides her rationale for it and defends against the criticism and concerns it has sparked.

Duration:00:42:20

The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 189: The Year in Canadian Digital Law and Policy and What Lies Ahead in 2024

12/18/2023
Canadian digital law and policy in 2023 was marked by so many legislative battles that you needed a scorecard to keep track: Bill C-11 on online streaming, Bill C-18 on online news, and Bill C-27 on privacy and AI were the headliners, but there were notable developments on content regulation, competition, and a digital services tax. For this final Law Bytes podcast of 2023, I go solo without a guest to talk about the most significant developments in Canadian digital policy from the past year and to think a bit about what may lie ahead in 2024.

Duration:00:35:09

Episode 188: Consumers, Competition or Corporate Cash Grab? - My Bill C-11 Appearance at the CRTC

12/11/2023
The CRTC just concluded a three week hearing on Bill C-11 with its primary focus on the prospect of mandating interim payments by Internet streaming services. The result was predictable as just about everyone made their way to Gatineau to make their case for cash. I appeared for the first time before the CRTC where argued that it should prioritize competition, consumer choice and affordability, recognizing that the emerging system brings with it risks of market exit or higher prices. This week’s Law Bytes episode goes inside the Commission hearing for my opening statement and exchanges with the panel of Commissioners.

Duration:00:42:54

Episode 187: Jeff Elgie on What the Bill C-18 Deal with Google Means for the Future of the Canadian News Sector

12/4/2023
The Canadian government tried to salvage the Online News Act last week as its struck a deal with Google that will bring in $100 million to support the news sector and remove concerns about blocked news links. The government had to overhaul its own law in order to reach the agreement, tossing aside most of the core elements in favour of a fund-style single payment from Google. The reaction to the agreement from the news sector has been mixed at best with relative silence from many supporters and outright opposition from the likes of Torstar. So what to make the of the deal and what comes next? Jeff Elgie is the CEO of Village Media, one of the largest independent, digital-only news outlets in Canada. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to walk though his participation in the process, reaction to the agreement, and thoughts for the future.

Duration:00:30:39

Episode 186: Andy Kaplan-Myrth on the CRTC’s Last Ditch Attempt to Fix Canada’s Internet Competition Problem

11/27/2023
For many years, Canadians have lamented the state of competition for Internet broadband services, pointing to concerns regarding price and lack of choice. Earlier this month, the CRTC seemed to agree, admitting in a decision involving competitive access that it is “important that the Commission revise its approach to promote competition and protect the interests of Canadians.” Andy Kaplan-Myrth is Vice-President, Regulatory and Carrier Affairs at TekSavvy, one of the few remaining independent competitors in Canada. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the current state of competition, the recent CRTC decision, and what this might mean for the Canadian market.

Duration:00:34:24

Episode 185: Bill C-11 at the CRTC - A Preview of the Upcoming Online Streaming Act Hearing

11/20/2023
The much-anticipated Bill C-11 hearing opens this week at the CRTC. For the next three weeks, the Commission will hear from a wide range of stakeholders, including digital and legacy creators, Internet giants, telecom companies, and consumer groups. This hearing, which builds on an earlier consultation on registration requirements, will address issues that include mandated Internet streaming company contributions and discoverability requirements. What brought us to this moment and what lies ahead? This week’s Law Bytes podcast reviews the lengthy legislative process, the key players at the hearings, and how this consultation fits within the broader Bill C-11 framework.

Duration:00:24:31

Episode 184: Philip Palmer on the Constitutional Doubts About the Government’s Internet Laws

11/13/2023
Is the Canadian government’s Internet legislation constitutional? That question arose during the hearings on Bills C-11 and C-18, but has taken on a new urgency given the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent decision involving an Alberta challenge to federal environmental assessment legislation. With limits on federal powers back in the spotlight, the vulnerability of the legislation requires further examination. Philip Palmer is a former Justice lawyer who appeared before the House of Commons committee studying Bill C-11 to make the case that the law does not fall within the scope of federal powers. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to explain why and what it might mean for the Internet streaming and news laws.

Duration:00:30:54

Episode 183: Andres Guadamuz on the Battle Over Copyright and Generative AI

11/6/2023
Generative AI raises a host of interesting legal issues, but perhaps none will be more contentious than the intersection between copyright and services such as ChatGPT. The copyright questions apply both the creation of large language models used to train these systems as well as the copyright associated with outputs. These questions have sparked high profile class action lawsuits and government consultations on potential reform. Andres Guadamuz is a Reader in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Sussex and the Editor in Chief of the Journal of World Intellectual Property. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to explain the copyright implications of generative AI and to unpack the claims found in the copyright class action lawsuits.

Duration:00:37:02

Episode 182: Inside the Hearings on Privacy and AI Reform - My Industry Committee Appearance on Bill C-27

10/30/2023
After months of delays, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry and Technology has finally begun to conduct hearings on Bill C-27, which wraps Canadian privacy reform and AI regulation into a single legislative package. Last week, I appeared before the committee, making the case that the process is need of fixing and the bill in need of reform. The appearance sparked a wide range of questions from MPs from all parties. This week’s Law Bytes podcast takes you inside the committee hearing room for my opening statement and exchanges with MPs.

Duration:00:38:48

Episode 181: Is this Podcast About to be Regulated by the CRTC?

10/24/2023
Several weeks ago, the CRTC released the first set of what is likely to become at least a dozen decisions involving the Online Streaming Act, formerly known as Bill C-11. One of those decisions involved establishing which services would be required to register with the CRTC as part of new registration requirements in the law. That sparked an immediate public debate over the scope of the registration requirements and their potential applicability to podcasts. This week’s Law Bytes podcast tries to set the record straight: the registration rules - and even the forthcoming regulations - will not regulate what you can say on a podcast nor do they establish a government podcast registry. However, the registration rules and the forthcoming regulations will have a direct or indirect impact on podcasts.

Duration:00:18:46

Episode 180: Victoria Owen Sets the Record Straight on Canadian Copyright Law and Content Licensing By Libraries and Educational Institutions

10/16/2023
Since the Canadian copyright law reforms in 2012, education and libraries have increased spending on licensing and a non-partisan House of Commons study found no need to create new restriction on education and library copying rights. Yet given the misinformation flooding the copyright debate, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations recently spoke out in an effort to set the record straight. Victoria Owen, a leading expert on copyright and libraries, is the chair of the CFLA copyright committee. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the CFLA statement, the state of copyright law in Canada, and the significant content licensing by educational and library institutions.

Duration:00:37:04

Episode 179: Peter Menzies on Why the CRTC Feels Broken Right Now

10/2/2023
Last week, the CRTC issued the first two of what are likely to be at least a dozen decisions involving the Online Streaming Act. Those decisions are already sparking controversy, but as the Commission focuses on Bill C-11 and perhaps soon Bill C-18, there is mounting concern that its other responsibilities are falling by the wayside that its independence from the government is starting to show cracks. Peter Menzies is a former Vice-Chair of the CRTC and frequently commentator on broadcast, telecom and Internet regulatory issues. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the current state of the Commission, which has never seemed more important but also seemed more out of touch and incapable of meeting its duties.

Duration:00:34:00

Episode 178: Bianca Wylie on Canada’s Failing AI Regulatory Process

9/26/2023
It’s been a dizzying stretch since the launch of Chat GPT, with artificial intelligence regulation and policy bursting forward as top concern in Canada and around the world. From a Canadian perspective, Bill C-27 got most of its initial attention for its privacy provisions, but its inclusion of an AI bill – AIDA – has emerged as a huge issue in its own right. Meanwhile, the government has also quietly been pushing ahead with new generative AI guidelines that may debut this week. Bianca Wylie is a writer and an open government and public technology advocate with a dual background in technology and public engagement. She’s become increasingly uncomfortable with the AI regulatory process in Canada and she joins the Law Bytes podcast to provide her thoughts about AIDA, generative AI regulation, and a process she believes is in dire need of fixing.

Duration:00:50:22

Episode 177: Chris Dinn on Bill C-18’s Harm to Torontoverse and Investment in Innovative Media in Canada

9/18/2023
The Law Bytes podcast is back after a brief break, and with it, talk about the Online News Act or Bill C-18. All news – both Canadian and foreign – is blocked on Facebook and Instagram in response to Bill C-18 and the reports suggest that the move has had no real impact in use of the platform. Where it has had an impact, however, is on news outlets themselves, many of whom have experienced significant reductions in referral traffic, which invariably leads to less revenues.Much of the attention is on the big players, but the problem is particularly acute for smaller, independent news outlets. Chris Dinn is the founder and publisher of Torontoverse, a new Toronto news outlet that combines news with mapping technologies to create a different way of engaging with the news. The year-old site was growing quickly, but recently announced that it was slowing down in response to Bill C-18’s impact. Chris joins the podcast to talk about the business, the effect of the government legislation, and what he thinks should come next.

Duration:00:24:08

Episode 176: A Mid-Summer Update on Bills C-11, C-18, the Government’s Cabinet Shuffle, and the Brewing Battle over Digital Taxes

7/31/2023
Coming off a week in which the government engineered a major cabinet overhaul that saw Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez replaced by Pascale St-Onge, an escalation of the battle over digital stales taxes, and which featured significant news on both the Bill C-11 and Bill C-18 fronts, this week’s Law Bytes podcast provides a mid-summer update on recent developments. Barring some urgent news, the podcast will be taking a break in August and return in September.

Duration:00:16:51

Episode 175: Amy Salyzyn on the Benefits and Risks of AI to the Legal Profession

7/24/2023
ChatGPT has taken the world by storm in recent months with the potential of generative AI – both positive and negative – top of mind in just about every sector. That is certainly true for the legal profession, where AI tools are becoming increasingly common and courts and regulators try to grapple with the implications. Amy Salyzyn is a colleague at the University of Ottawa who has written extensively in the area of legal ethics, lawyer regulation, the use of technology in the delivery of legal services and access to justice. In the coming academic year she’ll be teaching a course on AI and the legal profession and she joins me on the Law Bytes podcast to talk about the latest on AI technology for law and the legal, regulatory and ethical challenges it brings.

Duration:00:30:56

Episode 174: Chris Waddell on the Missing Context for Bill C-18 and the Challenges Faced by Canadian Media

7/17/2023
The Online News Act has continued to create a political firestorm this summer with a legislative battle that leaves the future of some Canadian news organizations stuck in the middle between sabre rattling from the government and Internet platforms. Chris Waddell is a professor at and former director of the School of Journalism and Communication at Carleton University in Ottawa and also holds the university’s Carty Chair in Business and Financial Journalism. He’s worked at the CBC and the Globe and Mail, where he won two National Newspaper Awards. He joins the Law Bytes podcast to provide much needed context on the current moment in Canadian media and to offer some thoughts on what may lie ahead.

Duration:00:34:56