Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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384 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
May 2020
Print ISBN: 9781773381725


Canadian Communication Policy and Law provides a uniquely Canadian focus and perspective on telecommunications policy, broadcasting policy, internet regulation, freedom of expression, censorship, 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?

Key theories for analysis of law and policy issues—such as pluralist, libertarian, critical political economy, Marxist, feminist, queer, critical race, critical disability, postcolonial, and intersectional theories—are discussed in detail in this accessibly written text. From critical and theoretical analysis to legal research and citation skills, Canadian Communication Policy and Law encourages deep analytic engagement. Serving as a valuable resource for students who are undertaking research and writing on legal topics for the first time, this comprehensive text is well suited for undergraduate communication and media studies programs.


  • includes a practical chapter on how to do legal and policy research and how to cite legal sources
  • contains in-text pedagogy including suggested readings and a comprehensive glossary

Related Titles

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

Sara Bannerman

Sara Bannerman, Canada Research Chair in Communication Policy and Governance, is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at McMaster University in Canada. She researches and teaches on communication policy and governance and directs McMaster’s Communications Governance Observatory. She has published two books on international copyright: International Copyright and Access to Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and The Struggle for Canadian Copyright: Imperialism to Internationalism, 1842–1971 (UBC Press, 2013), as well as numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on international copyright, privacy, and other topics in new media, traditional media, and communications theory.

Canadian Communication Policy and Law (prerelease), Canadian Communication Policy and Law


“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

"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.”

“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.”

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