Canadian broadcasters are trying very hard to dispel their "old media" image. At the industry’s annual conference in Calgary Nov. 13, Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ president/CEO Michael McCabe and CAB chair Daniel Lamarre presented their vision of the future, one that rolls out the welcome mat for new media companies and promotes the advantages of broadcasters and online developers working more closely together. Below are some of the highlights from their 2000 Leadership Report. One year ago in Montreal, we put before this convention FuturePlan, our Blueprint for the Digital Age. Four months later, we webcast the launch of the CAB Strategic Plan 2000-2005 – a plan designed to set the policy framework for broadcasters to succeed in the coming world (CNM, April. 6/00). In the eyes of both decision-makers and our own members we have moved from "old media" to leading edge. The world we described in our blueprint is emerging faster than imagined. The pace of technological change is accelerating and our industry is moving rapidly to respond to and take advantage of that change. Broadcasters are moving to strengthen their ability to serve their audiences. They are consolidating within their own media and across new media platforms. Radio owners are taking advantage of the multiple licence ownership policy. TV companies are finding new partners to focus on content - on screen, online and in print. Stronger copyright laws New technologies bring opportunities. But they bring challenges as well. During the past year, CAB led a joint Canadian/American effort to strike down iCraveTV, a rogue Internet service that took our signals without permission or payment, and tried to use them to compete with us for advertisers and audience (CNM, March 22/00). We succeeded then, but a new contender threatens (CNM, Sept. 20/00). What that battle told us is that Canadian copyright law is not strong enough to protect Canadian services and Canadian content. In this respect, we are out of step with most other advanced industrial nations. If we do not strengthen our law, we will undermine all of the progress we have made in developing a Canadian broadcast industry with unique Canadian content. We also risk becoming a haven for copyright pirates, subject to market retaliation and international sanction under the World Trade Organization. If content is king, copyright law is the army that defends it. The CAB is leading the effort for Canada to get its own house in order and play a central role on the international stage to modernize copyright law for the Internet age. Interactive media leaders This convention is billed as "on-air-on-line." In our Strategic Plan we said that broadcasters had to become leaders in "online" or "interactive" media. That is exactly what you are doing in your own businesses. This convention is another step in that process. We hope that it exposes you to new ideas, new technologies and new people and that it opens the door to new business. To members of the interactive media community who are with us for the first time, we welcome you. We have much to do together. To focus our common interests and coordinate our actions, we will be launching, tomorrow, the CAB Interactive Media Forum – as a unique part of the CAB alongside our current board structure, open to both our existing members and new media content players. We see it as a new chapter in an evolving CAB – one that will help the industry make that leap into the future. A year ago, noted futurist, Ken Goldstein, helped us identify the technologies and trends that are changing our world and our businesses. We have asked him to take another look, one year later, and tell us about some of the emerging issues we should be watching. Strategic planning is an ongoing task and as Ken has indicated, the cycle is becoming ever shorter. The new questions he raises will be key to our deliberations here in Calgary and in the year ahead.