Books Canadian Communication Policy and Law 

Canadian Scholars' (2020)

The book is available in print and e-book formats and will be available for short-term rental on VitalSource starting in the fall of 2020 .

“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

The Struggle for Canadian Copyright: Imperialism to Internationalism, 1842-1971 

UBC Press, 2013 [Companion Site]

First signed in 1886, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works is still the cornerstone of international copyright law. Set against the backdrop of Canada’s development from a British colony into a middle power, this book reveals the deep roots of conflict in the international copyright system and argues that Canada’s signing of the convention can be viewed in the context of a former British colony’s efforts to find a place on the world stage. In this groundbreaking book, Sara Bannerman examines Canada’s struggle for copyright sovereignty and explores some of the problems rooted in imperial and international copyright that affect Canadians to this day.

“some have argued that imperial and international copyright long ago stacked the deck…to keep Canada in this subordinate trade position, with ensuing cultural ramifications…[curtailing] both the publishing industry and Canadian autonomy.
These events were touched on in my book The Beginnings of the Book Trade in Canada [1985], but Sara Bannerman of McMaster University treats them in greater depth and in an appropriate international and political context.  These crises, “the struggle for Canadian copyright,” probe the question of how much autonomy a small nation retains in domestic, imperial, and international  law.”

“…the most thorough account of the remarkable story of…the struggle for Canadian copyright autonomy, never completely resolved…”
George L. Parker – Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada 52 no. 2 (2014): 457-459.

“The Struggle for Canadian Copyright is a rare contribution: a political history of imperial and international copyright from a Canadian perspective. Sara Bannerman has produced a richly researched, well-written, and original account.”
David Vaver – Emeritus Professor of Intellectual Property & IT Law at the University of Oxford and Professor of Intellectual Property Law at Osgoode Hall Law School

“The Struggle for Canadian Copyright is an excellent starting point for any individual looking to conduct research into the history of Canadian copyright…It is well written and clearly presented and draws attention to the historical significance of events and how they would shape Canadian policy in later years.”
Cindy Chow – Saskatchewan Law Review, vol. 77, 2014, pp. 119-121

The Struggle for Canadian Copyright is “un travail fondamental, parce qu’il ouvre un nouveau pan de la connaissance historique sur un sujet d’une grande importance. Il s’agit donc d’un ouvrage de référence qui ne nous épargne aucune des complexités et des incohérences particulières au domaine du droit d’auteur.” [Bannerman’s book will enlighten anyone who wishes to understand the origins of Canadian copyright policy. It is a fundamental work because it opens a new sphere in historical knowledge on a subject of upmost importance.It is a reference work that spares us none of the complexities and inconsistencies unique to the field of copyright (Bannerman’s translation).]
Claude Martin – Canadian Journal of Communication 40 no. 4 (2014)(3 pages).

“A much-needed summary of the various international copyright conventions, their changing terms, and their influence on Canadian policy over the last one hundred plus years.”
C. Ian Kyer – Counsel to the Toronto office of Fasken Martineau

International Copyright and Access to Knowledge

Cambridge University Press, 2016

The principle of Access to Knowledge (A2K) has become a common reference point for a diverse set of agendas that all hope to realize technological and human potential by making knowledge more accessible. This book is a history of international copyright focused on principles of A2K and their proponents. Whilst debate and discussion so far has covered the perspectives of major western countries, the author's fresh approach to the topic considers emerging countries and NGOs, who have fought for the principles of A2K that are now fundamental to the system. Written in a clear and accessible style, the book connects copyright history to current problems, issues and events.

"Sara Bannerman's thoughtful and compelling book is a must-read for all of those interested in the challenges of increasing access to knowledge. She offers historical perspective on the narrowing of the knowledge commons and identifies opportunities for positive change going forward." 
Susan K. Sell, George Washington University

'Sara Bannerman sheds new light on copyright history, from the perspective of its relationship to Access to Knowledge (A2K). Her ground-breaking research provides new insights into the problems of access to scientific knowledge and news, the importance of translations and the copyright challenges of the developing world, access to the collections of cultural institutions, and the histories of institutions and interest groups influencing copyright.' 
Graham Greenleaf, University of New South Wales, Australia

'This timely and important book carefully documents the growing erosion of the principles of access in the international copyright system. It provocatively reframes the development debate as one seeking to reclaim alternative visions and models. The book further underscores the potentially important roles of developing countries, indigenous communities, nongovernmental organizations and other nondominant players. A must-read for anybody who cares about development in the international intellectual property regime!' 
Peter K. Yu, Director, Center for Law and Intellectual Property, Texas A&M University

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