This semester, I was given the opportunity to work at the Motion Picture Association – Canada (MPA-Canada) as part of Osgoode’s IP Law and Technology Intensive Program (IP Intensive). The time I spent at MPA-Canada has been, without a doubt, the highlight of my time in law school. Being able to immerse myself completely within an organization that aligns with the areas of law I wish to pursue and practice in the future has been a great way to build my professional experience. More than that, being able to work directly within the film and entertainment industry has allowed me to get practical hands-on experience that perfectly complements my studies.
Around the globe, the film and television industry drives the creative economy. MPA-Canada serves as the voice and advocate of the major producers and distributors of movies, home entertainment and television programming in Canada and is an affiliate of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The majority of my work at MPA-Canada focused on online copyright infringement, which allowed me to get an in-depth experience on the practical ways in which this issue is dealt with in the film and television industry. More broadly, I have been able to work heavily with copyright matters and get a full understanding on how the Copyright Act works across various creative industries.
Some of my work focused on the Copyright Act and its interaction with the newest form of online piracy – IPTV boxes and Internet streaming devices. This was a great introduction into the internship. I was able to focus on the Copyright Act, but also able to work with other pieces of legislation and see how they all play into one another, such as the Broadcasting Act, Telecommunications Act, and Criminal Code. Being able to get this “full picture” perspective right from the start definitely helped me complete the intensive with a broader point of view.
Aside from the work itself, it has been interesting to work in an in-house environment where there are multiple different roles that help the organization run. Moreover, given that MPA-Canada is a national organization that acts as part of a global team, as part of the organization, you are able to see the broader effects and impacts of your work. Being able to work in this type of environment helped me understand IP issues from not only a Canadian perspective, but also globally. This type of perspective is extremely beneficial and helpful as it has given me the opportunity to brainstorm ways that Canada can use a global approach to deal with certain IP and technology issues that it is facing today.
If working at MPA-Canada has taught me just one thing, it is that disruptive technologies are impacting and will continue to impact the creative industries unless we find new and innovative ways to deal with the problem. However, through completing my internship with MPA-Canada, I now know the ways to think about seemingly impossible IP issues and deal with them in a creative and innovative manner. This is an experience and skill-set that I will carry with me throughout my legal career, and have MPA-Canada and IP Osgoode to thank for it!
Written by Alessia Monastero. Alessia is a JD candidate at Osgoode Hall and was enrolled in Osgoode’s Intellectual Property Law and Technology Intensive Program. As part of the program requirements, students were asked to write a reflective blog on their internship experience.