Reflections on My IP Intensive Placement with Canadian Heritage


Aaron Dishy is a 3L JD Candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School. This article was written as a requirement for Prof. Pina D’Agostino’s IP Intensive Program.


In completion of Osgoode Hall’s Intellectual Property & Technology Law Intensive Program (IP Intensive), this semester I participated in a ten week placement with the Copyright Policy Branch of Patrimoine canadien – Canadian Heritage (PCH). This short reflection will emphasize the value of this experiential opportunity and help anyone interested in an IP Intensive placement with PCH to get a sense of what to expect.

PCH: the whip-smart analysts supporting Canada’s copyright framework

PCH is a federal department that supports cultural production in Canada. It has a diverse portfolio that considers subjects like arts markets in Canada, author and publisher rights, GLAM institutions, and the preservation of our official languages.

The Copyright Policy Branch is made up of legal and policy analysts responsible for ensuring that our copyright framework supports creativity, innovation, and access. To fulfill this mandate, the branch conducts dynamic research and consultation. They collaborate with government departments, artists, authors, equity-deserving groups as well as the public.

Beyond a new appreciation for acronyms, a placement with any PCH team is sure to provide you with a chance to view Copyright Act processes in action. This may be of great interest to those of you looking to practice law at the intersections of art, authorship, and technology.   

The IP Intensive: a critical resource for young IP professionals in Canada

The IP Intensive is different from other courses. It is a bilateral effort that involves our law school and government stakeholders interested in safeguarding IP innovation in Canada. The idea is simple. Law students are provided with educational opportunities in sectors that engage IP. Those students then increase access to IP legal expertise and amplify public awareness of IP issues.

In this way, the IP Intensive is a rare opportunity. Students are entrusted with the valuable knowledge and networks required to succeed, but also provided with an opportunity to apply those developing legal skills. It is a meaningful academic capstone for any student pursuing IP law in Canada.

Key Recommendation: Bring Your Whole Self to the Job

The key recommendation I have for a student entering a legal internship at PCH is that you bring your whole self to the position. Departments like PCH make space for individual perspectives and research interests. If those interests include the realities of a specific arts market or equity-deserving group, do not hesitate to share your valuable insights.

In my case, I found PCH very accommodating, in allowing me to incorporate my past professional experience as an archivist within some of the legal research I pursued.

It led me to develop (what I believe is) a specialized legal response to the question at hand.

Conclusion

Osgoode Hall’s IP Intensive is an invaluable summative experience for law students interested in IP in Canada. Its focus on experiential learning is complimented by enriching placements at departments like PCH.

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