Monday, June 22, 2020

The World Intellectual Property Organization and the sustainable development agenda: new article

My article "The World Intellectual Property Organization and the sustainable development agenda" is now published.  This paper was developed as a keynote talk for the Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development Conference which took place on September 6, 2018 at the Queensland University of Technology.

The UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development is being taken up throughout the international system, including at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). This article examines WIPO’s approach to the sustainable development agenda in light of its past approaches to development. In the first part of this article, I outline some of the longstanding major critiques of the discourse of sustainability, noting that these critiques anticipated the current lamentable status of a sustainable development agenda for WIPO. Next, I discuss the history of development agendas at WIPO in the context of WIPO’s history and role at the centre of the global intellectual property system. I then ask what role intellectual property has to play in the SDGs. I conclude by suggesting that an adequate agenda for sustainable development is unlikely to be developed at WIPO and must, rather, come from outside.

Read the full article.

Citation: Bannerman, Sara. "The World Intellectual Property Organization and the sustainable development agenda." Futures 122(2020): 1-8.

Thanks to Professor Matthew Rimmer and the QUT IP and Innovation Law Research Program for their invitation to the conference. Thanks also to Emmanuel Appiah for his research assistance. This research would not have been possible without the support of, and funding from, McMaster University and the Canada Research Chairs program.

Friday, May 29, 2020

New book out: Canadian Communication Policy and Law

 My new book Canadian Communication Policy and Law has just been published!

The book is available in print and e-book formats and will be available for short-term rental on VitalSource starting in the fall.

“At last, a book on Canadian communication policy that thoroughly integrates critical theory including political economy, gender, and race-based approaches, as well as Indigenous and postcolonial analysis. Bannerman’s crystal-clear prose and exhaustive research provide readers with the definitive guide to who benefits from public policy in a digital age.”
    —Vincent Mosco, Queen’s University, Author of The Smart City in a Digital World

“With its robust attention to critical race theory and intersectionality, Bannerman’s book enriches scholarship in Canadian communication policy and law. The book tackles some of the most pressing communication and digital policy issues today, highlighting in particular the imbrication of power and politics and the importance of upholding the often-vexed nature of the public interest.”
—Leslie Regan Shade, Professor, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

 "This exciting and innovative new text from Sara Bannerman brings a diverse range of critical perspectives to bear on enduring issues and pressing concerns in communications policy, law, and regulation in the 21st Century. The scope is as ambitious as it is impressive. At each step of the way, Bannerman deftly guides readers through the hotly contested issues that will continue to shape the terrain of intellectual property, freedom of expression, privacy and data protection, telecommunications, broadcasting, and internet regulation for years to come.”
—Dwayne Winseck, Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University

“This work is immensely valuable in many respects—it offers an engaging introduction to a wide range of theoretical approaches that are made accessible through clear prose and compelling real-world examples. Unlike many introductory texts, which present perspectives on law and policy in a neutral fashion, this work offers a vigorous critique of Canada’s legal and regulatory communications framework—a regime that, while neutral in its face, serves to reinforce inequity and preserve the status quo.”
—Lisa Taylor, Associate Professor, School of Journalism, Ryerson University

“Sara Bannerman offers a unique primer on a range of Canadian policy and legal issues pertaining to media and communications; its expansive scope is unparalleled. What especially stands out about this book is its attention to the underlying power structures that shape policy and law, as well as its innovative approach to guiding readers through the process of legal research. This text is essential for anyone interested in how Canadian media and communications are shaped by law and policy.”
—Tamara Shepherd, Communication, Media and Film, University of Calgary

“Canada’s rapidly-changing communications system requires thoughtful analysis of both long-standing and emergent issues, from intellectual property law to telecommunications policy. Synthesizing decades of research and legal precedent, Dr. Bannerman unpacks core debates from various theoretical and normative standpoints, paying close attention to power relations and systemic bias, and offering readers a framework to engage in policy research. This is a valuable resource that connects communications policies with the lived experiences of the diverse individuals and groups who make up Canadian society.”
—Rob McMahon, Communications and Technology, University of Alberta



This essential resource examines the central issues in Canadian communication policy and law, including freedom of expression, censorship, broadcasting policy, telecommunications policy, internet regulation, defamation, privacy, government surveillance, intellectual property, and more. Taking a critical stance, Sara Bannerman draws attention to unequal power structures by asking the question, whom does Canadian communication policy and law serve?

The in-depth discussions consider fundamental theories for analyzing law and policy issues, such as pluralist, libertarian, critical political economy, feminist, queer, critical race, critical disability, postcolonial, and intersectional theories. Accessibly written and featuring further readings, a glossary, and a chapter on legal and policy research and citation, this book provides a superb introduction to the field for students in media studies and communications programs, while also synthesizing advanced critical analysis of key problems in Canadian communication policy and law.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Whom Do Law and Policy Serve?
Chapter 2: Introduction to the Canadian Legal System
Chapter 3: Freedom of Expression and Censorship
Chapter 4: Defamation
Chapter 5: Privacy
Chapter 6: Government Surveillance
Chapter 7: Intellectual Property
Chapter 8: Telecommunications Regulation
Chapter 9: Broadcasting Regulation
Chapter 10: Internet Regulation
Chapter 11: Access to Information
Chapter 12: Legal and Policy Research and Citation
List of Acronyms

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Political parties' data collection may turn voters off

My recent piece in The Conversation, written by Julia Kalinina, Nicole Goodman and I, explores our research on how electors respond to political parties' data collection practices.