Wikinews/Interview of the month/February 2006 Questions

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This months Interview with Michael Geist will be taking place on Wednesday, 15 February 2006 at 19:00 UTC. Please place research, links, and any relevant information here.

About[edit]

A Canadian law professor, newspaper columnist, and blogger. Involved with the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC). Recently embroiled in a very public debate with MP Sarmite Bulte over her statements in support of expanding copyright law. An interesting interview on copyright law and tech policy, as well as Canadian politics, but especially in case the experience of participating in such a prominent, heated debate (with some name-calling and lots of heavy rhetoric).

Links[edit]

Questions[edit]

Intellectual Property/Copyright[edit]

  • Is there really a "pushback" emerging to the copyright-maximalist agenda? Does that pushback have any realistic chance of gaining ground, successfully fighting maximalism, or maybe even rolling back some of the excesses that have already taken place? What kind of scenarios could you imagine to reduce or roll back the maximalist gains in this area?
  • What do you think the Conservatives' version of C-60 will look like? Is there any chance the new bill will implement any changes advocated by/for educational institutions?
  • In the past, you have advocated for creating a fair use doctrine in Canadian copyright law, compared to the current fair dealing regime. What are the benefits of a fair use doctrine? Is fair use more or less relevant in the digital age?
  • You have also called for an end to Crown copyright. Should governments or intergovernmental organizations hold copyright on their works? (At Wikisource, Wikimedia's source text repository, a debate arose recently about copyright in UN publications.[1]) What, if any, IP rights should government control in their works? Is there a threat of government copyright being used to silence free speech?
  • What is the most important issue in IP policy today? Why should people care about IP?
  • What is your interpretation of the Sam Bulte case? What effect do you think it will have on Canadian politics and/or IP politics worldwide?
  • What do you think about decisions made by governments like Brazil, which has released its material to public domain? Other governments should do the same?

Internet: workings and future[edit]

  • What is your view on the latest two-tiered e-mail charging scheme proposed by Yahoo and America online to reduce spam?
  • Brian Burke v New York Post resulted in a Canadian Provincial Court claiming jurisdiction in a case due to the alleged internet defamation of the former by the latter. [2] In this case Canada (BC) claimed jurisdiction because the publishing on the internet targeted the entire english speaking world, and Mr Burke's reputation was injured in his locale therefrom, and so it is appropriate to try the case locally rather than in New York which is less convenient and would deprive him of "juridical advantage." Such logic would suggest the internet is extra-jurisdicial, and that any civil (or criminal?) case might be pursued anywhere it is legally more advantageous, such as Microsoft's pursuit of Lindows in Europe while delaying the case in the USA. Do you see such cases increasing in the future? Will this be a greater benefit for citizens, or those corporations whose legal budgets can afford searching for the most advantageous jurisdiction?
  • Do you think internet can be used to reduce the digital divide between developed and under-developed countries (or even inside the latter)?

Canada[edit]

In your view, are there misconceptions abroad about Canadian Internet and IP law? What are the key differences between Canadian law and law in other major jurisdictions?

Scripting[edit]

I'd like to welcome everyone to the February interview of the month. A couple of quick reminders:

We are still accepting nominations for the March and later interview of the months. You can make your nominations via http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikinews/Interview_of_the_month Polling for the March interview will begin on Monday, 20 February

During our last interview of the month we got a bit over-eager in wanting to jump in with questions, so this interview we will start with the channel being moderated. An open conversation will be going on in channel #wikinews-en (irc://irc.freenode.net/wikinews-en) where questions can be developed 'live' to be asked of our guest.

Our interview today is with Dr Michael Geist, legal scholar, author, columnist, and, yes, Journalist. Dr Geist is the Canada Research Chair in Internet and e-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa.

His website, http://www.michaelgeist.ca/, is part blog, part CV, part reference library, and a great place to lose a few hours of time when you're supposed to be rushing to meet a deadline. Like preparing for an interview.

Questions[edit]

We've had some interesting questions come in, and we'll be working on developing further questions as we go along. I will try to avoid interrupting your replies, but if you could indicate the end of your response that could help me out.

I'm going to start with some questions about the internet in general, about the internet and law and how the internet's legal aspects work.

  • Do you think internet can be used to reduce the digital divide between developed and under-developed countries (or even inside the latter)?
  • You recently addressed the two-tiered e-mail charging proposal from Yahoo! and America OnLine in a column (http://michaelgeist.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=71&Itemid=109&nsub=109). In addition, U.S. telecoms have suggested "priority traffic" - essentially a two-tiered internet backbone which would charge content providers for their sites to be served over the internet. Could you give us your view on these ideas as they relate to spam, and as they relate to the internet for the average user?
  • The Brian Burke v New York Post case is in your backyard. In this case a Canadian Provincial court claimed jurisdiction because the alleged harm occurred world wide, but BC (as the home of the claimant) was both more convenient to the claimant and represented a "juridical advantage." Does this suggest a future filled with strategic lawsuits, such as Microsoft's pursuit of Lindows? How does this affect the future of criminal cases involving the internet?

Staying on the Canada topic, your nation has some innovative approaches to copyright and intellectual property, such as the court's comparison of a xerox machine in a library with the p2p sharing of media files.

  • In your view, are there misconceptions abroad about Canadian Internet and IP law? What are the key differences between Canadian law and law in other major jurisdictions?
  • In the past, you have advocated for creating a fair use doctrine in Canadian copyright law, compared to the current fair dealing regime. What are the benefits of a fair use doctrine? Is fair use more or less relevant in the digital age?
  • You have also called for an end to Crown copyright. Should governments or intergovernmental organizations hold copyright on their works? (At Wikisource, Wikimedia's source text repository, a debate arose recently about copyright in UN publications.[3]) What, if any, IP rights should government control in their works? Is there a threat of government copyright being used to silence free speech?
  • What is your interpretation of the Sam Bulte case? What effect do you think it will have on Canadian politics and/or IP politics worldwide?
For the benefit of others, Sarmite (Sam) Bulte was a Liberal MP in the previous parliament who became a strong supporter of increasing copyright strength in Canada at the same time as gaining campaign donations from media producers such as the Canadian Recording Industry Association - sometimes described as the Canadian branch of the RIAA.
Sam Bulte lost her bid for re-election in the national poll in January.
  • What do you think the Conservatives' version of C-60 will look like? Is there any chance the new bill will implement any changes advocated by/for educational institutions?

Moving to more international topics, there have been some amazing decisions in the past year concering IP and copyright. Your A-Z list had some important ones, but we have two questions which we didn't see addressed there:

  • What do you think about decisions made by governments like Brazil, which has released its material to public domain? Should other governments should do the same?
  • Is there really a "pushback" emerging to the copyright-maximalist agenda? Does that pushback have any realistic chance of gaining ground, successfully fighting maximalism, or maybe even rolling back some of the excesses that have already taken place? What kind of scenarios could you imagine to reduce or roll back the maximalist gains in this area?