March 1 – Privacy & Facebook
It is hard to believe that the most popular social networking site, Facebook, did not exist a mere 4 years ago. Today, it boasts over 400 million users, with over 12 million residing in Canada. However, in a July 2009 report, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada found that Facebook was in breach of our privacy laws and made recommendations to correct the problem. This panel will explore the privacy concerns surrounding Facebook and whether the recent changes have addressed those concerns, including the effect of the Commissioner’s report.
Speakers: Harley Finkelstein, Jordan Plener (Brazeu Seller LLP), and Catherine Lovrics (Bereskin & Parr)
March 2 – Patenting Business Processes
A patent is a set of exclusive rights in respect of an invention, granted by the state to the inventor. Business method patents are a class of patents that disclose and claim a particular method of doing business, but there is considerable controversy over the appropriateness of such patents. How will future legislation deal with business methods patents, as they are often seen as radical departures from the traditional regime?
Speakers: Mark B. Eisen (Dimock Stratton) and James Longwell (Gowlings)
March 3 – Open Source Programming
Open source refers to the practice of sharing information in the development of a product. Applied to software, it refers to the sharing of source codes that is normally protected by copyright, while the resulting software is then released with an open license. Open source has become increasingly important due to technologies such as the internet that allow for easy distribution of information.
Speakers: Maya Medeiros (Bereskin & Parr) and Richard Owens (Stikeman Elliott)
March 4 – Copyright & Digital Rights
The balance between the protection of authors’ works and the dissemination of information by users is made ever more precarious by the emergence of technologies such as the internet and digital media. Do technology protection measures tip the scale too far in favour of copyright holders? Or are they an appropriate reflection of the balance?
Speakers: Brian Isaac (Smart & Biggar) and James Gannon (McCarthy Tétrault)