CTF funding guideline changes raise new media questionsWhile the new media community is generally applauding recent changes to the Canadian Televison Fund guidelines, which now include multimedia projects, at least some digital producers are concerned the new rules put converged digital/TV projects at a disadvantage to pure television plays. The controversy surrounds a rule change that makes new media projects eligible, but ranks projects based on a new, converged budget. The change is as follows:"The LFP (licence fee program) will consider funding the new media component of televsion projects that apply. The LFP will not support any new media component that focuses on promotion, marketing, administrative processing, or other aspects of the project unrelated to the storytelling and/or narrative element that enhances the experience for the viewer."In order to support the new media component as described above, applications must provide separate budegets for each component and an integrated budget combining both. The LFP requires that licence fee thresholds be met against the integrated budget. Consequently the project will be ranked using the integrated budget."The EIP (equity investment program) will consider applications for multi-platform projects on the same basis as the LFP. If the new media component of the project is better suited to Telefilm Canada's Multimedia Fund, EIP will work with the producer to ensure the most beneficial approach for financing of its multi-platform project."While one new media project, Snap Media's Degrassi project, has already received CTF funding, other producers are concerned that broadcasters' reluctance to fund digital components at the same level as TV components will put converged projects in jeopardy of being ranked lower than pure-play TV projects. CTF points are assigned on the basis of how much broadcasters contribute to the projects, and a converged budget with lower funding for the new media component could result in a non-level playing field for projects that integrate multiple platforms.More information on the new, reworked CTF guidelines can be found at http://www.canadiantelevisionfund.ca/.Industry, Heritage to go on road to hear copyright concernsThe departments of Canadian Heritage and Industry Canada have announced a series of cross-country consultations on the broad issue of copyright reform. The consultations are a follow-up to last fall's invitation to submit written comments on the departments' draft reform proposals (CNM, Sept. 20/01). An email sent to those who had submitted comments reads, in part, "our intention is to present a forum for soliciting your views and concerns on the issues identified in the discussion paper and therefore your continued participation is important to the success of this round of copyright reform. We will be sending you a formal invitation shortly which provides further details, along with relevant documentation."The departments have proposed five full-day consultation sessions, held on the following dates: Halifax on March 8; Vancouver on March 15; Montreal on March 21; Toronto on March 26; and Ottawa on April 11. Blue Zone unveils 3G wireless applications for VODVancouver's Blue Zone Inc. has announced that it will showcase a line of wireless video-on-demand news applications at this year's 3GSM World Congress in Cannes. Blue Zone's mobile applications integrate its MediaBZ platform with PacketVideo's recently released pv3 Mobilemedia system.Key Media sells publications to St. Joseph Corp.Formerly Key Media Ltd.-owned magazines Toronto Life and Wedding Bells have been sold to St. Joseph Corp., the company that already owns Elm Street, Canadian Family, Saturday Night and Shift. The National Post reports that some layoffs may occur at those titles, which target national advertisers.Microsoft, Macromedia team on ITV development supportGiants Microsoft Corp. and Macromedia have announced joint plans to offer support to developers creating for the Microsoft TV platform using Macromedia tools. Benefits to developers will include new discounts, and additional tools and training.musicmusicmusic allies with Emergent Systemsmusicmusicmusic inc. has formed a strategic alliance on undisclosed terms with Vancouver's Emergent Systems Corp. to add systems integration to musicmusic's Canada-wide offering. The company says it can now offer industrial sound services customers a complete service including installation, music programming and advertisement insertion. Emergent will continue to be based in Vancouver, and will open a satellite office at musicmusicmusic's production offices in Toronto.Road Scholars renewed for second season on YTVElectric Entertainment, an eNblast productions inc. subsidiary, has announced the renewal of its Road Scholars show for a second season with an increase in licence fees. The show is an eight-episode series of half-hour programs targeting 15-25-year-olds which airs on YTV. Sextant International has agreed to syndicate the first and second seasons worldwide. The series has a companion web site at www.roadscholars.ca where audience members can discover more about the show's hosts, see outtakes from the show, and post messages to a community bulletin board.Vancouver's Beat launches urban-themed web siteHot Tomali Commuications has built a new site for Vancouver's The Beat 94.5 FM. The site, at www.thebeat.com, includes contests, music industry news and a sample mix of the urban sounds found on the radio station. Notably, the site will be advertising-free. "The typical radio web site has so many commercial features, whereas TheBeat.com is an intentionally advertisement-free zone with a totally fresh perspective," remarks Hot Tomali president/creative director Thomas Stringham. The web firm promises resonance with the site's intended audience, and Stringham explains, "to make a true connection with this audience, you need to immerse yourself in their culture. But, hey, none of our staff complained about getting paid to read Maxim, Source and Playboy while listening to hip-hop music."Guzzo Cinemas unveils new siteTerrebonne QC's Guzzo Cinemas has launched a new site to promote its in-theatre offerings. Promising an end to "the days of drab colors and pictures, where web surfers accepted monotony as the norm," the site will offer visitors the opportunity to change the background as they surf.Noise lands Toyota contract for youth campaignVancouver's noisemedia inc. will produce an interactive CD-ROM for Toyota USA's Certified Used Vehicle division targeted at the youth market. The CD will feature Flash animation created by noisemedia's interactive and animation divisions to promote the 2000 Celica. Aimed at a young, entertainment-minded consumer, the noisemedia design team created a "mix your own Celica" feature using an animated DJ mixing board as the navigation tool to select various parts and customizations. Noisemedia has also produced an online viral marketing campaign and "mini-site" in conjunction with the CD-ROM.Works great, less costly, Rogers and Shaw intro Internet LiteRogers Cable Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. have each unveiled an "Internet Lite" product, which provides speeds between current high-speed rates and dial-up. The cable companies are looking at gaining subscribers who have been using dial-up. The Shaw service is priced at $24.95/month for its cable subscribers and $29.95/month for non-subscribers and includes a cable modem rental. The Rogers service, to be introduced in April, will be priced at $24.95/month including a cable modem rental. Rogers' service will offer 128 kbps download/64 kbps upload speeds. The Internet Lite product is a different service than the two-tier high-speed system the cablecos are considering. For more information on that, see the Feb. 11/02 edition of CNM affiliate publication, Network Letter.DTI scores two Asian in-flight game dealsMontreal's DTI has secured two contracts to provide in-flight video game services for both Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines. Company officials say DTI now controls 30% of the market for its services, double the 15% it controlled six months ago. Both contracts are long-term.