Jon’s Bio



Jon Festinger, Q.C. (LL.B., B.C.L. 1980 McGill University) is a Vancouver, British Columbia based counsel and educator. He is an SFU Professor of Professional Practice and a faculty member of the Centre for Digital Media (, as well as Honorary Industry Professor in the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London ( Jon has taught media, entertainment and communications law topics at the law school at UBC, now known as the Allard School of Law, for over two decades, as well as teaching at various times at the UBC Graduate School of Journalism, the Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law, and the University of Victoria Faculty of Law.

He is the author of the first edition of “Video Game Law” published by LexisNexis in 2005, co-author of the 2nd Edition published in 2012 (, and  Co-Editor (with Professor Gaetano Dimita and Dr. Marc Mimler) of the Interactive Entertainment Law Review (Edward Elgar Publishing Jon was “Guest Editor” and author of “Introductory Essay: Digital Media, Video Games, and the Law” a special issue of the University of British Columbia Law Review at (2013) 46:3 UBC L Rev 615, and the author of “Mapping the Electronic Highway: A Survey of Domestic and International Law Issues” at (1995) 29:2 UBC L Rev 199.

A graduate of McGill University’s Faculty of Law, Jon began his legal career in private practice, in turn becoming General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of WIC Western International Communications and its subsidiaries including Canadian Satellite Communications Inc. (“Cancom”), Senior Vice President of the CTV Television Network and Executive Vice President, Business & General Counsel of the Vancouver Canucks. Jon practices law through Festinger Law & Strategy and is Media & Copyright Counsel to Broadband TV. He is Chair of the Board of viasport B.C., a Trustee of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, Vice Chair of the Board of The IBD Centre of BC, a member of the Law Society of British Columbia’s Rule of Law & Lawyer Independence Advisory Committee,  and an Advisory Board Member of the Global Reporting Centre. Jon has been a Trustee of the Simon Fraser University Foundation, Chair of the Board of Ronald McDonald House British Columbia, a Director of City Opera Vancouver, a Director of the eatART Foundation, a Trustee of the Jack Webster Foundation, a Director of the CKNW Orphans Fund, a Director of the Vancouver Board of Trade, a Director of the British Columbia Association of Broadcasters, a Director of Canadian Women in Communications (national), Chair of the Canadian Bar Association Media & Communications Law Section (national), a member of the “Working Group on Canadian Programming and Private Television convened by the Minister of Canadian Heritage in 1994 and which authored “The Future of Canadian Programming and the Role of Private Television: Keeping Canada on the Information Highway”, and a Director of the McGill Legal Aid Clinic in 1979 and 1980.

Teaching @ UBC:

Allard School of Law, Adjunct Professor: “Video Game Law” ( fall 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, spring & fall 2013, fall 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018; “Communications Law 2.0″( spring 2017, 2018 and 2019; “Business Organizations” ( fall 2016;”Legal Constraints on (Digital) Creativity” ( spring 2015; ”Media & Entertainment Law”, 1994/95 academic year, and spring 2012 (with Adjunct Professor Bill Allman); “Media, Entertainment and Communications Law”, fall 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005; “Topics in International Law and Transactions: International Law of Communications, Media & Entertainment”, spring 1996 and 1997; “Media Law”, fall 1995 and 1996; “Topics in Public Law: Broadcast & Entertainment”, spring 1993 and 1994.

Allard School of Law, Instructor: “Sports Law”, fall 2010 & 2011 (with Professor Joe Weiler); “Media & Entertainment Law” spring 2011 & 2013 (with Professor Joe Weiler); “Entertainment & Sports Law”, spring 1992 (with Professor Joe Weiler and Brian Burke).

Course Author: “Law 508, Business Organizations” a distance education course, 2014.

Committee Member (with Professor Joost Blom, Q.C. & Professor Graham Reynolds) for successful PhD candidate Amy Lai (copyright/parody law), 2015 – 2018.

Faculty of Arts/Bachelor of Media Studies, CDM Faculty: “Foundations of Digital Media” fall 2017 & spring 2019.

Graduate School of Journalism, Adjunct Professor: “Media Law” ( fall 2014; “Ethics and the Law”, fall 2004.

UBC Emerging Media Lab (, Faculty in Residence 2018/19.

Teaching Elsewhere:    

Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, Simon Fraser University FCAT & Centre for Digital Media: “Surviving as a Creative Entrepreneur” spring 2015 (with Professor Howard Jang); “Foundations of Digital Media” fall 2012 & 2013, spring 2015, fall 2015 (all with Dr. Richard Smith & Rory Holland), fall 2016 (with Dr. Richard Smith & Steven Rechtschaffner), fall 2017 (with Dr. Richard Smith & Linda Brown-Ganzert).

Honorary Industry Professor, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London.

Sessional Lecturer, Faculty of Law Thompson Rivers University: “Sports Law 2 (Professional Sports)”, spring 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 & Fall 2017; “Entertainment Law” spring 2016, 2017 & 2018, fall 2018; “Challenges of In-House & Corporate Counsel” spring 2019; “Video Game Law” fall 2018; “Communications Law” fall 2015, 2016, spring 2018 & 2019; “Digital Media Law”, fall 2015 & 2016, spring 2015 & 2018; “Business Associations” (with Leon Getz, Q.C.), spring 2014.

Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria Faculty of Law: “Media, Entertainment and Communications Law”, spring 2006; “Video Game Law”, fall 2005.

Academic Talks & Panels (recent):

1. Third Edition of “More Than Just A Game: Games and Interactive Entertainment Law International Conference”,  The Centre for Commercial Law Studies, The School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, April 6, 2017 at Stationers Hall, London U.K.; Presentation on “Trusting Ourselves: Freedom of Thought in Virtual Realities.”

2. Second Edition of “More Than Just A Game: Interactive Entertainment & Intellectual Property Law” at The Centre for Commercial Law Studies, The School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, April 8, 2016; Presentation on “Legal Contradictions in Video Game Worlds: Copyright through the Post-Structuralist Looking Glass.” Draft iteration presented at a Faculty Seminar at the Allard School of Law, UBC on March 16, 2016.



3. “Pitblado Lectures” (55th edition) organized by the Law Society of Manitoba, The Manitoba Bar Association, and The University of Manitoba Faculty of Law (, “From Blackacre to Blackberry: Redefining Property and Ownership”, November 6 & 7, 2015; Presentation on Legal Contradictions Manifest in the Digital World as well as member of panel “Is This Property In 2015?” with Allison Fenske (Legal Aid Manitoba, Public Interest Law Centre), Dr. Mary Shariff (University of Manitoba Faculty of Law) and moderator Professor Lisa Fainstein(University of Manitoba Faculty of Law).

4. “Press Start:Culture, Industry, and Innovation in Japanese Gaming” conference at UBC February 27, 2015; Presentation on “Legal, Normative & Cultural Perspectives on Mods and Modding of Japanese Video Games”

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5. “Relevance for Creative Digitization & the Internet” at the “Roundtable on the Diversity of Cultural Expressions – Impacts and Implications of the UNESCO Convention Ten Years After and Ten Years Ahead: The View From BC”, Simon Fraser University, February 25, 2014

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6. “Brown Bag Seminar” at Georgia Tech University on “Legal Constraints on Digital Creativity; Digital Media Demands on Legal Creativity”, September 19,2013

7. Penn Law IP Symposium 2013 “Creation Nation: IP & The Rise of Prosumerism” March 29, 2013, Philadelphia Pa.: Presentation and panel on “Game Development & Modification” with Prof. Greg Lastowka (Rutgers Law) & Mark Methenitis

Industry Talks & Panels (selected):

1. Intellectual Property Institute of Canada & McGill University School of Continuing Studies Intellectual Property Summer Program “Copyright Master Class”, presentations on “Online, Cloud Computing, Software and Computer Games” (2016) and “Social Media, Virtual Reality, and Computer Games” (2017); Also Assistant Course Director for 2017 edition of the program, and Course Director for 2018 edition;  August 3-5, 2016, August 2-4, 2017, Montreal, Q.C.

2. OBA Entertainment, Media & Communications Law, and Information Technology & Intellectual Property Law sections program on “Video Game Law”; Presentation on “Crafting Effective EULA’s & ToS'”, June 9, 2017

3. The Law Society of Upper Canada 2017 Entertainment & Media Law Symposium, April 27, 2017; Presentation on “Old Media v. Social Media” as part of the panel “#BraveNewWorld: How to Practice Social Media Law”

4. “Press Start:Culture, Industry, and Innovation in Japanese Gaming” conference at UBC February 28, 2015; Panel on “Working with Japanese Game Companies: Best Practices” (audio)

5. Vancouver International Film Festival panel discussion on the film “Bye Bye Blues” and orphan rights in copyright law, with Professor Joel Bakan and Professor Colin Browne, November 12, 2014 (audio)

6. Full Indie Summit 2014, Presentation on “Law-ification” August 10, 2014

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7. The Law Society of Upper Canada 17th Biennial National Conference “New Developments in Communications Law and Policy” May 1 & 2, 2014; Presentation on “Social Media Memes & Legal Realities”

8. Full Indie Vancouver,  Presentation of “Candy Crushing on Flappy Birds: Originality in Video Games” April 29, 2014

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9.“The Battle of the Living Room: Video Game Consoles as Media Centers” with Kraig Marini-Baker (Davis Wright Tremaine LLP), Alan Bruggeman (Microsoft), Anoop Desai (Electronic Arts). Part of Law Seminars International 3rd Annual Seattle Conference on Gamer Technology Law, October 4, 2012.

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10. Tools of Change for Publishing Conference: Talk on “Rights of Creation: Legal conundrums & Ethical Paradoxes” October 20, 2012, Vancouver B.C.

11. The Law Society of Upper Canada “Entertainment & Media Law Symposium 2011″ April 15 & 16, 2011, Toronto, Ont.; Keynote Address “The Three Faces of Convergence”

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1.Presentation to the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Association of Canadian Legal Education Directors on “Acceleration to Authenticity: Emerging Trends in Online Legal Education” with Will Engle (UBC CTLT), September 7, 2017, Vancouver B.C.

2. CTLT Institute presentation on “Increasing Student Engagement Through Open Educational Resouces” with Christina Hendricks (UBC Philosophy) & Will Engle (UBC CTLT), May 26, 2015, Vancouver, B.C.

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3. Open UBC Week panel on “Reclaiming the Open Learning Environment” with Will Engle & Brian Lamb,October 23, 2013

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4. UBC CTLT Institute, Panel on “Open Courses, Open Pedagogies” with Professor Christina Hendricks & Professor Jon Beasley-Murray, May 27, 2013

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On Lawyering:

1. Panelist at “Becoming a Trusted Advisor: How to Build your Business Toolkit” hosted by the BC Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and the firm of Stikeman Elliott, where the tools and best practices used by in-house counsel were discussed. The discussion considered both operational and strategic business skills from three perspectives: in-house counsel, external counsel, and c-suite executives.

2. Sadovnick Partners is a leading talent search firm based in Los Angeles California. They conduct an interview series which is accessible through their website ( Below is a two part video interview, each section being approximately 16 minutes long that largely focuses on media lawyering.



Articles (recent):

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It  was truly a great honour to be profiled as part of “Team Open” by Creative Commons in December 2014. There are many reasons why, but most obviously because it has everything to do with the collaborative efforts around modeling the Video Game Law course in an open way. I understand that my inclusion relates almost entirely to initiatives which are due to the contributions and support of so very many students, guest speakers, colleagues, staff and administration at both the Allard School of Law, UBC and  at the Centre for Digital Media, as well as the unflinching efforts of the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology. For more information about the open pedagogic design of the course click on:

Finally it is impossible not to be mindful of the incredible contributions to world made Creative Commons as an organization and by its founders including Professor Lawrence Lessig and Aaron Swartz.  The vision and focus of the rest of Team Open is a humbling reminder of both what is possible and what is left to be done.  To read the Team Open article click on the image below (and don’t forget to donate to Creative Commons if you are able).

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While on the theme of “open” here is a YouTube video and related article where I get to share my views on the subject. Both were skilfully put together by the UBC Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

As far as milestones for the course go, being covered by a legitimate video game website also ranks right up there. Most important my wife Corinne liked it and thought it had me down.  Thanks to Justin Gifford for being entirely too kind. Apologies in advance to the entire Commonwealth of Australia…

Click on image below to get to the article.

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Also in the category of making me look and sound much too good comes this interview with the new website BasedGamer which originates here in Vancouver.

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Not to mention this cool video produced VR Chat about our Project Oculus experiment during the 2014 edition of Video Game Law.

Was also part of the Canadian Lawyer cover story for October 2014 “The Next Frontier: Global Trends And Technology Are Driving The Evolution Of Law”. Click on the image below to get to the article.


Wrote a short article on “Why Video Game Law Is Important” which landed me on the cover of the February 2015 issue of BarTalk, the monthly publication of the Canadian Bar Association, B.C. Branch. Click on the image below to get to the issue.

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Appeared on the cover of the February 2015 issue of Lexpert magazine and in an article on sports law. Click on the image below to get to the article.

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Finally, and at least in part because if there was one language I always wanted to learn it was Italian, here is a short piece which I won’t understand until I finally act on my original intention to learn that language.

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Address & Telephone:

Jon Festinger, Q.C.
Centre for Digital Media
Suite 110 – 577 Great Northern Way
Vancouver, B.C. V5T 1E1

work: 604-568-9192
mobile: 604-837-6426