profile image

Michael Geist

Law professor, columnist, author

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 is an internationally syndicated columnist on technology law issues with his regular column appearing in the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Citizen. Dr. Geist is the editor of From "Radical Extremism" to "Balanced Copyright": Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda (2010) and In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law (2005), both published 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 many boards, including the CANARIE Board of Directors, the Canadian Legal Information Institute Board of Directors, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Expert Advisory Board, the Electronic Frontier Foundation Advisory Board, and on the Information Program Sub-Board of the Open Society Institute. He has received numerous awards for his work including the 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 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. In 2010, Managing Intellectual Property named him on the 50 most influential people on intellectual property in the world.

Click here to view Dr. Geist's complete biography.

SOPA: A Warning to Canada Lawmakers

As last night's Republican debate showed, even right-wingers are opposed to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). All of this raises the question of whether the federal government's approach and the reactions to Bill C-11 will be consistent with the U.S. trend. The devil, however, is in the details.
01/20/2012 05:33 EST
Wikimedia Commons

Black Wednesday: In Protest of SOPA, Darken the Web

Some of the Internet's leading websites, including Wikipedia and Mozilla, will go dark today to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The U.S. bills have generated massive public protest over proposed provisions that could cause enormous harm to the Internet and freedom of speech.
01/17/2012 11:17 EST
Flickr: jcmedina

Crystal-Ball Gazing: The Year Ahead in Tech Law and Policy

Technology law and policy is notoriously unpredictable but 2012 promises to be a busy year. My weekly technology law column offers some guesses for the coming months. January: The Supreme Court of Canada holds a hearing on whether Internet service providers can be treated as broadcasters under the Broadcasting Act.
01/11/2012 05:31 EST

Like Ernest Hemingway? Help Preserve Canada's Public Domain

If Canada enters the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, trade talks that could result in an extension in the term of copyright that would mean nothing new would enter the Canadian public domain until 2032 or beyond. Now is the opportunity to help preserve the public domain in Canada by speaking out against TPP copyright provisions.
01/10/2012 11:39 EST
AFP/Getty Images

The Real Story Behind TekSavvy's Pricing Changes: Competition

Rather than focusing on cost, the real story is competition. This announcement is precisely what the CRTC had in mind when it released its decision. TekSavvy is offering far better plans than the incumbents. For those consumers in Ontario frustrated with small caps or high prices, you have an alternative.
01/06/2012 02:35 EST

From A to Z: The Year in Canadian Tech Law & Policy

The past 12 months in law and technology were exceptionally active, with legislative battles over privacy and copyright, near-continuous controversy at the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and and an active Supreme Court of Canada docket. Here's a look back at 2011 from A to Z.
12/29/2011 10:55 EST

Government's Lawful Access Claims Stand on a Shaky Foundation

Canadians deserve better than deceptive claims and divisive name-calling. They deserve real judicial oversight before their personal information is disclosed and, given the costs (financial and otherwise), they deserve a full accounting on why lawful access is needed.
12/13/2011 04:53 EST

Digital Economy Strategy Is Government's Penske File

The lack of movement on the digital economy strategy is the government's "Penske File" -- the source of considerable discussion and much "work," but thus far few tangible results. (For non-Seinfeld watchers, the Penske file has become synonymous for a non-existent work project.)
12/01/2011 09:10 EST

Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network Calls for Graduated Response

While everyone is opposed to counterfeiting, the CACN is pushing for a massive public investment into private enforcement matters at the very time when the evidence suggests Canada already has strong legal rules against counterfeiting and a clear commitment from law enforcement to take appropriate action.
11/22/2011 12:53 EST

SOPA: All Your Internets Belong to U.S.

Stop Online Piracy Act's potential impact on the Internet is enormous as it cuts across the lifeblood of the Internet in the effort to target websites that are characterized as being "dedicated to the theft of U.S. property." Experts believe this standard could capture hundreds of legitimate websites and services.
11/16/2011 02:33 EST

Universal Music Sues Insurer to Pay for its Copyright Infringement in Canadian Class Action Lawsuit

Earlier this year, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association (now Music Canada) settled the largest copyright class action lawsuit in Canadian history by agreeing to pay over $50 million to compensate for infringing uses of sound recordings. The Canadian case has now settled, but Universal Music has filed its own lawsuit, this time against its insurer.
11/15/2011 05:08 EST

More Obama Sell-Outs of Canada

The pipeline decision is one of several U.S. decisions that have gone against Canadian interests in recent months. Whether it is the decision to apply new border fees for Canadian travellers or the imposition of Buy American rules (which the current U.S. Ambassador implausibly claimed was good for Canada), Canada has sustained successive losses on the economic policy front with the U.S.
11/14/2011 11:21 EST

Conservative MP Picks Digital Lock Issue

While most of the Conservative responses have stated that they believe Bill C-11 is balanced, Lee Richardson provided another reason for why the public should not be concerned by the digital lock rules. Essentially, Canadians should not be concerned because they can simply break the lock without fear of being sued.
10/27/2011 03:21 EDT