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Michael Geist
Works at University of Ottawa
Lives in Ottawa, Canada
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Michael Geist

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The government's surprise decision to include copyright term extension for sound recordings and performances in this week's budget is being painted by the music industry as important for Canadian artists. But sources suggest that the real reason for the…
The government's surprise decision to include copyright term extension for sound recordings and performances in this week's budget is being painted by the music industry as important for Canadian artists. But sources suggest that the real reason for the change is the result of direct lobbying from foreign record labels such as Universal Music and Sony Music, who were increasingly concerned with the appearance of public domain records from artists...
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One more Harper law that doesn't help Canadians.
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Michael Geist

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Randy Bachman, the well-known Canadian musician, found himself embroiled in a public fight with Prime Minister Stephen Harper last year when Harper used his song "Takin' Care of Business" as a theme song for a major speech. Bachman said he probably would…
Randy Bachman, the well-known Canadian musician, found himself embroiled in a public fight with Prime Minister Stephen Harper last year when Harper used his song "Takin' Care of Business" as a theme song for a major speech. Bachman said he probably would not have granted permission to use the song, since "I don't think he's taking care of business for the right people or the right reasons." Bachman was singing a different tune yesterday as the go...
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How is it that the Prime Minister doesn't go to jail when he violates copyright?
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The Nova Scotia government has been embroiled in a high profile controversy for the past week following its decision to slash tax credits available to film and television production in the province. The decision sparked an immediate backlash from the…
The Nova Scotia government has been embroiled in a high profile controversy for the past week following its decision to slash tax credits available to film and television production in the province. The decision sparked an immediate backlash from the industry, which staged a major protest last Wednesday across from the legislature in Halifax. While the government's approach is certainly open to criticism - abruptly cutting the tax credits with...
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No tax credit lives up to its hype. The best any gov't can hope for is that the economy will break even. The gov't, of course, would lose tax revenue.
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Michael Geist

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Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) starts tonight with events planned around the world. Last year, my daughter Jordan participated in the March of the Living, an annual event that brings thousands of people from around the world to the concentration…
Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) starts tonight with events planned around the world. Last year, my daughter Jordan participated in the March of the Living, an annual event that brings thousands of people from around the world to the concentration camps in Poland. The experience had a profound effect and since her return she has become increasingly active within the March of the Living organization including joining the Ottawa board of dir...
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For the past few months, I've received daily emails from people who have been sent a copyright infringement notification as part of Canada's notice-and-notice system. Most of the notifications come from CEG-TEK, a U.S.-based anti-piracy firm. Canadian…
For the past few months, I've received daily emails from people who have been sent a copyright infringement notification as part of Canada's notice-and-notice system. Most of the notifications come from CEG-TEK, a U.S.-based anti-piracy firm. Canadian Internet providers are now required by law to forward these notifications and CEG TEK has been taking advantage of a loophole in the system to include a settlement demand within the notification. So...
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Yet the primary reason governments implemented statutory damages is that proving actual damages can be very difficult. As Howard Knopf rightly notes, to suggest that rights holder might be able to prove significant actual damages in mass copyright litigation is “extremely far fetched.”

They can't prove any damages for non-commercial use. They would have to prove that someone would definitely buy their material, not that someone might.
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Michael Geist

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The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has released the long-awaited decision on Bell's targeted ads program. The Commissioner's press release soft-pedals the outcome - "Bell advertising program raises privacy concerns" - but the decision is clear: Bell's…
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada has released the long-awaited decision on Bell's targeted ads program. The Commissioner's press release soft-pedals the outcome - "Bell advertising program raises privacy concerns" - but the decision is clear: Bell's so-called relevant ads program violates Canadian privacy law. As I wrote earlier this year, the key issue in the case centered on whether Bell should be permitted to use an opt-out consent mechanism...
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Michael Geist

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On World Book and Copyright Day, it is worth noting how Graham Henderson, the President of Music Canada (formerly the Canadian Recording Industry Association) characterized the government's decision to extend the term of copyright in sound recordings and…
On World Book and Copyright Day, it is worth noting how Graham Henderson, the President of Music Canada (formerly the Canadian Recording Industry Association) characterized the government's decision to extend the term of copyright in sound recordings and performances: With each passing day, Canadian treasures like Universal Soldier by Buffy Sainte-Marie are lost to the public domain. This is not in the public interest.  It does not benefit the...
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The guy certainly has chutzpah. I hope a meteor doesn't land on him.
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Michael Geist

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The linkage between political funding and the major copyright lobby groups is not a new issue as for years there have been stories about how groups like the MPAA and RIAA fund politicians that advance their interests. Sites like OpenSecrets disclose the…
The linkage between political funding and the major copyright lobby groups is not a new issue as for years there have been stories about how groups like the MPAA and RIAA fund politicians that advance their interests. Sites like OpenSecrets disclose the spending, though it gets complicated given how much money comes from individual companies or corporate executives. While those sites tell the story of how much, the recent leak of Sony emails reve...
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Michael Geist

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The Wikileaks release of tens of thousands of Sony documents includes revelations about opposition to the copyright treaty for the blind, political fundraising, concerns about fair use in treaties, strategies to fund screening rooms in embassies to create…
The Wikileaks release of tens of thousands of Sony documents includes revelations about opposition to the copyright treaty for the blind, political fundraising, concerns about fair use in treaties, strategies to fund screening rooms in embassies to create a stronger will to protect studio interests, and personal calls to Prime Ministers (UK Prime Minister Cameron in this case) regarding the copyright law. The documents also show that Sony lobbied...
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Michael Geist

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Days after the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released its decision that found that Bell was violating Canadian privacy law with its targeted ad program, the communications giant advised that it is withdrawing its program and deleting all…
Days after the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released its decision that found that Bell was violating Canadian privacy law with its targeted ad program, the communications giant advised that it is withdrawing its program and deleting all customer profiles. A company spokesperson stated yesterday that Bell plans to re-introduce the program using an opt-in consent approach. That would likely require more than just a change to the pri...
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I get that nostalgic feeling when someone says "Bell". It brings me back to the time I asked them for better rates, and left when they said no.

39 hours later, they called — begging me (literally) to come back, offering incentives still short of what I switched to. Oh those were the days. (sigh...)
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Michael Geist

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As the launch of the Canadian anti-spam law neared last spring, critics warned that enforcement was likely to present an enormous challenge. Citing the global nature of the Internet and the millions of spam messages sent each day, many argued that…
As the launch of the Canadian anti-spam law neared last spring, critics warned that enforcement was likely to present an enormous challenge. Citing the global nature of the Internet and the millions of spam messages sent each day, many argued that enforcement bodies such as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Competition Bureau were ill-suited to combating the problem. My regular technology law column (Toron...
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Michael Geist

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Over the past two days, I've posted on the extremely disappointing review of Bill C-51 with Conservative MPs rarely asking substantive questions of critics and the difficulty the government had in finding expert supporters of the bill. The…
Over the past two days, I've posted on the extremely disappointing review of Bill C-51 with Conservative MPs rarely asking substantive questions of critics and the difficulty the government had in finding expert supporters of the bill. The clause-by-clause review of the bill held earlier this week was not much better. Not only did the Conservative MPs reject all opposition amendments, but the discussion remained acrimonious with attacks against b...
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One more reason not to vote Stephen Harper and his REFORM party back in to office. Elizabeth May as well as the NDP deserve credit for reasoned arguments against the way Bill C-51 has been packaged and being rammed through. The Liberals sadly are playing political games and not being critical enough of this dangerous Bill. 
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In his circles
157 people
Have him in circles
5,957 people
salah hassan's profile photo
Justin Ménard's profile photo
Gordon Grose's profile photo
bhottubhc dwhiber's profile photo
David Oilund's profile photo
Haib Raju's profile photo
Ritesh Tiwari's profile photo
Angelo Araujo's profile photo
Lester Tateyama's profile photo
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Law Professor
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  • University of Ottawa
    Law Professor, present
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Introduction
Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law.  He has obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees from Cambridge University in the UK and Columbia Law School in New York, and a Doctorate in Law (J.S.D.) from Columbia Law School.  Dr. Geist has written numerous academic articles and government reports on the Internet and law and was a member of Canada’s National Task Force on Spam.  He is an internationally syndicated columnist on technology law issues with his regular column appearing in the Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, and the BBC.  Dr. Geist is the editor of In the Public Interest:  The Future of Canadian Copyright Law, published in 2005 by Irwin Law, the editor of several monthly technology law publications, and the author of a popular blog on Internet and intellectual property law issues. Dr. Geist serves on the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Expert Advisory Board, on the Canadian Digital Information Strategy’s Review Panel, and on the Information Program Sub-Board of the Open Society Institute. He has received numerous awards for his work including the Les Fowlie Award for Intellectual Freedom from the Ontario Library Association in 2009, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 2008, Canarie’s IWAY Public Leadership Award for his contribution to the development of the Internet in Canada and he was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2003.
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