Questions for Prof. Michael Geist

I mentioned yesterday about the talk I went to Sunday. Professor Michael Geist spoke on the effectiveness of advocacy in changing public policy in his sphere of expertise. (That being trade law, intellectual property and privacy where it overlaps with technology.)

At the end of the talk there was a QA session. Half the questions were good. Half were not so good. But Geist’s answers to all were strong. As soon as the QA was done I started to think of questions I wanted to ask. Some are really basic.

1) if we want to explore more of these issues, as laymen in Canada, who should we follow?

2) since Intellectual property rights, like copyright, are so intertwined with international deals how much does our own national laws have an impact? On us and other countries?

3) if we were to sign the TPP, as it now stands (it is just a draft and not near signing), what would be our obligation to immediately change our laws? Our agreements are done by the gov’t and the laws by parliament so they could fail to align.

4) you spoke about how lawful access is often inserted in bills to combat true hazards like bullying, pornography and terrorism. Would these provisions, knowing they curtail our basic freedoms of search and seizure, provide any true benefit to law enforcement? The knee jerk reaction if to defend our freedoms, but realistically there are always limits.

5) what benefit does copyright provide the consumer in the modern era? Some creators offer copy left and Creative Commons licenses and still profit.

🙂 I’m sure if I searched his writings online, I’d find most of these answers. But I missed the opportunity to ask them face to face.


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