Michael Geist in October 2007
Michael Allen Geist
July 11, 1968
|Residence||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Education||University of Western Ontario, Osgoode Hall Law School, Cambridge University and the Columbia Law School|
|Occupation||Academic and Canada Research Chair|
|Employer||University of Ottawa|
Michael Allen Geist (born July 11, 1968) is a Canadian academic, the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa and a member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society. Geist was educated at the University of Western Ontario, Osgoode Hall Law School, where he received his Bachelor of Laws, Cambridge University, where he received a Master of Laws, and Columbia Law School, where he received a Master of Laws and Doctor of Law degree.He has been a visiting professor at universities around the world including the University of Haifa, Hong Kong University, and Tel Aviv University. He is also a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
Canada Research Chair (CRC) is a title given to certain Canadian university research professors by the Canada Research Chairs Program.
The University of Ottawa, often referred to as uOttawa, OttawaU or U of O, is a bilingual public research university in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is located on 42.5 hectares in the heart of Ottawa's Downtown Core, adjacent to the residential neighbourhood of Sandy Hill, adjacent to Ottawa's Rideau Canal.
The University of Western Ontario (UWO), corporately branded as Western University as of 2012 and commonly shortened to Western, is a public research university in London, Ontario, Canada. The main campus is on 455 hectares of land, surrounded by residential neighbourhoods and the Thames River bisecting the campus's eastern portion. The university operates twelve academic faculties and schools. It is a member of the U15, a group of research-intensive universities in Canada.
Geist is the editor of many books including Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era (2015, University of Ottawa Press), The Copyright Pentalogy: How the Supreme Court of Canada Shook the Foundations of Canadian Copyright Law (2013, University of Ottawa Press), From "Radical Extremism" to "Balanced Copyright": Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda (2010, Irwin Law) and In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law (2005, Irwin Law). He is a regular columnist in The Globe and Mail , the editor of several monthly technology law publications, and the author of www.michaelgeist.ca, a popular blog on the Internet and intellectual property law issues.
The Globe and Mail is a Canadian newspaper printed in five cities in western and central Canada. With a weekly readership of 2,018,923 in 2015, it is Canada's most widely read newspaper on weekdays and Saturdays, although it falls slightly behind the Toronto Star in overall weekly circulation because the Star publishes a Sunday edition while the Globe does not. The Globe and Mail is regarded by some as Canada's "newspaper of record".
Geist serves on many boards, including Ingenium,Internet Archive Canada, and the EFF Advisory Board. He is the chair of Waterfront Toronto's Digital Strategy Advisory Panel. He was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2018 and was awarded the Vox Libera Award for his contribution to freedom of expression by Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression (CJFE) in 2018. He has received numerous other awards for his work including the University of Ottawa Open Access Award in 2016, Kroeger Award for Policy Leadership and the Public Knowledge IP3 Award in 2010, the Les Fowlie Award for Intellectual Freedom from the Ontario Library Association in 2009, the EFF's Pioneer Award in 2008, and Canarie's IWAY Public Leadership Award for his contribution to the development of the Internet in Canada. Geist was named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 in 2002. In 2010, he was listed globally as one of the top fifty influential people in regard to intellectual property by Managing Intellectual Property. Canadian Lawyer named him one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
The Order of Ontario is the most prestigious official honour in the Canadian province of Ontario. Instituted in 1986 by Lieutenant Governor Lincoln Alexander, on the advice of the Cabinet under Premier David Peterson, the civilian order is administered by the Lieutenant Governor-in-Council and is intended to honour current or former Ontario residents for conspicuous achievements in any field.
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) is a Canadian non-governmental organization supported by Canadian journalists and advocates of freedom of expression. The purpose of the organization is to defend the rights of journalists and contribute to the development of press freedom throughout the world. CJFE recognizes that these rights are not confined to journalists and strongly supports and defends the broader objective of freedom of expression in Canada and around the world.
The EFF Pioneer Award is an annual prize by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) for people who have made significant contributions to the empowerment of individuals in using computers. Until 1998 it was presented at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., United States. Thereafter it was presented at the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference. In 2007 it was presented at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference.
Geist has received widespread public attention from mainstream and citizen media for leading the public response to Canadian copyright law.
According to Geist, in 2007, proposed Canadian legislation included the worst aspects of the 1998 U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In December 2007, Geist said the legislation will likely "mirror the DMCA with strong anti-circumvention legislation—far beyond what is needed to comply with the WIPO Internet treaties", and will likely contain no protection for "flexible fair dealing. No parody exception. No time shifting exception. No device shifting exception. No expanded backup provision. Nothing."
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a 1998 United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to copyrighted works. It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet. Passed on October 12, 1998, by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 28, 1998, the DMCA amended Title 17 of the United States Code to extend the reach of copyright, while limiting the liability of the providers of online services for copyright infringement by their users.
Widespread online and offline support, from activist and author Cory Doctorow to over 90,000 Facebook users, led to the tabling of the copyright legislation by Industry Minister Jim Prentice until 2008.
Cory Efram Doctorow is a Canadian-British blogger, journalist, and science fiction author who serves as co-editor of the blog Boing Boing. He is an activist in favour of liberalising copyright laws and a proponent of the Creative Commons organization, using some of their licences for his books. Some common themes of his work include digital rights management, file sharing, and post-scarcity economics.
Facebook, Inc. is an American online social media and social networking service company based in Menlo Park, California. It was founded by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard College students and roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. It is considered one of the Big Four technology companies along with Amazon, Apple, and Google.
Peter Eric James Prentice was a Canadian politician who served as the 16th Premier of Alberta from 2014 to 2015. In the 2004 federal election he was elected to the House of Commons of Canada as a candidate of the Conservative Party of Canada. He was re-elected in the 2006 federal election and appointed to the cabinet as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. Prentice was appointed Minister of Industry on August 14, 2007, and after the 2008 election became Minister of Environment on October 30, 2008. On November 4, 2010, Prentice announced his resignation from cabinet and as MP for Calgary Centre-North. After retiring from federal politics he entered the private sector as vice-chairman of CIBC.
Geist has continued to play a prominent role on copyright in Canada, with numerous articles,speeches, books, and appearances before House of Commons and Senate committees on the subject. In December 2010, he wrote a paper titled "Clearing Up the Copyright Confusion: Fair Dealing and Bill C-32" where he summarizes and critically examines some of the main issues of this bill.
Then in October 2011, when the Canadian government began attempts to pass a new bill on copyright reform, which included digital lock rules, called Bill C-11, he wrote "The Daily Digital Lock Dissenter" on his blog.This was a daily blog entry where he introduced former submissions to the government about how Canadians felt about the restrictive digital lock regulations in regard to Bill C-32 and based on the 2009 national copyright consultation. He argued that while Bill C-11 had some valid points, it was too restrictive because it did not take a balanced approach and it was "primarily about satisfying U.S. pressure, not public opinion".
Geist is considered an expertabout the intellectual property and digital trade issues associated with trade agreements such as the failed international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which he covered frequently on his blog, criticizing the negotiation process for lack of transparency and warning of possible negative consequences for Internet users. He was similarly active in assessing the implications of the Trans Pacific Partnership and reforms to NAFTA, later called the USMCA.
In 2011, Geist criticized the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC) history of inability to foster an atmosphere of competition that would allow third-party internet service providers (ISPs) to gain a foothold in the Canadian market. He did note, with the CRTC's usage based oral hearing on July 19, 2011, that they were making efforts to address this lack of competition and criticized Bell Canada and other major companies for their involvement in limiting smaller ISPs.Also in 2011, he wrote a study on the true transport costs of a gigabyte for a Canadian consumer from an ISP and concluded it was roughly a total of eight cents per gigabyte but this report was later denounced by the major ISPs, most notably Bell Canada.
Geist has been a vocal supporter of net neutrality in Canada, writing widely on the subjectand frequently discussing the issue in the mainstream media. In 2017, he appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics to explain the key concerns to Members of Parliament.
Geist is one of Canada's leading advocates on privacy protection. He is the editor of the Canadian Privacy Law Review and served on the Privacy Commissioner of Canada's Expert Advisory Board.He is the editor of the 2015 book, Law, Privacy and Surveillance in Canada in the Post-Snowden Era. He has regularly appeared before House of Commons committees to discuss privacy and potential reforms.
In 2018, Geist was a leading voiceopposed to a proposal to establish a website blocking system in Canada to be overseen by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. He wrote dozens of widely cited posts on concerns with the proposal. The CRTC rejected the proposal on jurisdictional grounds in October 2018.
Geist has received numerous awards for his work. He was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2018and was awarded the Vox Libera Award for his contribution to freedom of expression by Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression (CJFE) in 2018, University of Ottawa Open Access Award in 2016, Kroeger Award for Policy Leadership and the Public Knowledge IP3 Award in 2010, the Les Fowlie Award for Intellectual Freedom from the Ontario Library Association in 2009, the EFF's Pioneer Award in 2008, and Canarie's IWAY Public Leadership Award for his contribution to the development of the Internet in Canada. Geist was named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 in 2002. In 2010, he was listed globally as one of the top fifty influential people in regard to intellectual property by Managing Intellectual Property. Canadian Lawyer named him one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada in 2011, 2012, and 2013.
The copyright law of Canada governs the legally enforceable rights to creative and artistic works under the laws of Canada. Canada passed its first colonial copyright statute in 1832 but was subject to imperial copyright law established by Britain until 1921. Current copyright law was established by the Copyright Act of Canada which was first passed in 1921 and substantially amended in 1988, 1997, and 2012. All powers to legislate copyright law are in the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada by virtue of section 91(23) of the Constitution Act, 1867.
The National Do Not Call List (DNCL) is a list administered by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that enables Canadian residents to decide whether or not to receive telemarketing calls. It was first announced by the Government of Canada on 13 December 2004.
In Canada, appeals by the judiciary to community standards and the public interest are the ultimate determinants of which forms of expression may legally be published, broadcast, or otherwise publicly disseminated. Other public organisations with the authority to censor include some tribunals and courts under provincial human rights laws, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, along with self-policing associations of private corporations such as the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council.
File sharing in Canada relates to the distribution of digital media in that country. Canada had the greatest number of file sharers by percentage of population in the world according to a 2004 report by the OECD. In 2009 however it was found that Canada had only the tenth greatest number of copyright infringements in the world according to a report by BayTSP, a U.S. anti-piracy company.
Konrad Winrich von Finckenstein, QC is a Canadian public servant who has worked in the areas of trade, commercial, competition and communications law.
Ian R. Kerr was a Canadian academic who researched emerging law and technology issues. He held a Canada Research Chair in Ethics, Law, and Technology at the University of Ottawa.
Canada ranks as the 21st in the world for Internet usage with 31.77 million users as of July 2016 (est). This is 89.8% of the population.
Richard Warman is an Ottawa-based lawyer who is active in human rights law. Warman worked for the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) from July 2002 until March 2004. He is best known as the primary instigator of actions related to Internet content under Section 13(1) of the Canadian Human Rights Act against people including white supremacists, neo-Nazis.
TorrentFreak (TF) is a blog dedicated to reporting the latest news and trends on the BitTorrent protocol and file sharing, as well as on copyright infringement and digital rights.
An Act to amend the Copyright Act was a bill tabled in 2008 during the second session of the 39th Canadian Parliament by Minister of Industry Jim Prentice. The bill died on the Order Paper when the 39th Parliament was dissolved prematurely and an election was called on September 7, 2008. The Conservative Party of Canada promised in its 2008 election platform to re-introduce a bill containing the content of C-61 if re-elected.
The Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) is a legal clinic at the University of Ottawa focused on maintaining fair and balanced policy making in Canada related to technology. Founded in the fall of 2003 by Michael Geist, its headquarters is at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law, Common Law Section.
Net neutrality in Canada is a debated issue in that nation, but not to the degree of partisanship in other nations such as the United States in part because of its federal regulatory structure and pre-existing supportive laws that were enacted decades before the debate arose. In Canada, Internet service providers (ISPs) generally provide Internet service in a neutral manner. Some notable incidents otherwise have included Bell Canada's throttling of certain protocols and Telus's censorship of a specific website critical of the company.
The Electronic Commerce Protection Act (ECPA) is anti-spam legislation introduced in 2009 by the Government of Canada at the House of Commons.
VMedia Inc. is a Canadian telecommunications company and broadcast distribution provider. It offers VoIP telephone and home security services across Canada; DSL and cable Internet in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia; and IPTV television service in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.
An Act to amend the Copyright Act was a bill tabled on June 2, 2010 during the third session of the 40th Canadian Parliament by Minister of Industry Tony Clement and by Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore. This bill served as the successor to the previously proposed but short-lived Bill C-61 in 2008 and sought to tighten Canadian copyright laws. In March 2011, the 40th Canadian Parliament was dissolved, with all the bills which did not pass by that point automatically becoming dead.
File sharing in the United Kingdom relates to the distribution of digital media in that country. In 2010, there were over 18.3 million households connected to the Internet in the United Kingdom, with 63% of these having a broadband connection. There are also many public Internet access points such as public libraries and Internet cafes.
BMG Canada Inc v Doe, 2004 FC 488 aff'd 2005 FCA 193, is an important Canadian copyright law, file-sharing, and privacy case, where both the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal refused to allow the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) and several major record labels to obtain the subscriber information of Internet service provider (ISP) customers alleged to have been infringing copyright.
TekSavvy Solutions Inc. is a Canadian residential, business, and wholesale telecommunications company based in Chatham, Ontario. In most of the country, it is a wholesale-network-access-based service provider and voice reseller, connecting its service to existing last mile networks from telecom carriers Bell Canada and Telus Communications, and cable carriers Rogers Communications, Cogeco Cable, Shaw and Vidéotron. However, in parts of rural southwestern Ontario, the service is provided over TekSavvy's own fixed wireless network.
The Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act was a proposed amendment to the Criminal Code introduced by the Conservative government of Stephen Harper on February 14, 2012, during the 41st Canadian Parliament.
An Act to amend the Copyright Act, also known as Bill C-11 or the Copyright Modernization Act, was introduced in the House of Commons of Canada on September 29, 2011 by Industry Minister Christian Paradis. It was virtually identical to the government's previous attempt to amend the Copyright Act, Bill C-32. Despite receiving unanimous opposition from all other parties, the Conservative Party of Canada was able to pass the bill due to their majority government. The bill received Royal Assent on June 29, 2012 becoming the first update to the Copyright Act since 1997.