CNM People

Phil Baker, formerly of Ontario’s Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology (MEST) where he was responsible for overseeing the Interactive Digital Media Fund, is now president/CEO of the Optical Regional Advanced Network of Ontario. Inquiries about the MEST’s program partnerships, information and technologies branch are now being referred to Dick Ko or David Kennedy.

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CNM Short Takes

Correction
A Dec. 11 story on Bill C-11 incorrectly ascribed to Canadian Association of Broadcasters senior VP of legal affairs Erica Redler statements that the legislation might shut down Aliant Telecom Inc.’s TV on my PC service. The article should have reflected that only the over-the-air portion of the transmissions would be affected. CNM apologizes for the error.

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CATA, Internet providers association ally

The Canadian high-tech industry’s lobby group is joining up with the ISP association to further the aims of both Ottawa-based organizations. The deal between the CATA Alliance and the Canadian Association of Internet Providers (CAIP) was announced earlier this week.

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WIPO broadcasters treaty approaching controversial conclusion

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is marching toward a new treaty on broadcasters’ rights despite a controversial new U.S. proposal on protecting webcasters’ rights, as well as Canadian opposition to extend exclusive retransmission rights to free over-the-air television transmissions. The chairperson of WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights has served notice that February will be the final deadline for the submission of new draft treaties and that he hopes outstanding issues can be wrapped up at a summer 2003 meeting to work toward a diplomatic conference to finalize a document in May or June 2004.

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Moontaxi strikes deals with Standard, Universal in move to offer downloads

One of Canada’s pioneering music subscription services is preparing to go into the new year with an important strategic alliance and new business deal with the Universal Music Group ready in its arsenal. Moontaxi Media, which launched its subscription service in November, has recently signed a deal with Universal to be its download affiliate in Canada and is preparing a marketing blitz for 2003 with new partner Standard Radio Inc.

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Private copying explodes in 2001/2002 according to collective’s evidence

Private copying of music has exploded in the past two years according to a survey, obtained by Canadian NEW MEDIA, to be entered into the blank tape levy hearings slated to begin in mid-January (CNM, Sept. 6/02). The survey of 12,197 Canadians, conducted by Gatineau QC’s Réseau Circum between July 2001 and June 2002, could provide powerful ammunition to proponents of a hike in the levy and extension of the tariff to devices such as MP3 players. The report is a follow up to one submitted in the 2000 Copyright Board of Canada hearings into the same tariff (CNM, Nov. 15/00).

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Million dollar Telefilm new media envelope under scrutiny as producers call for change

Telefilm Canada has quietly undertaken a review of the Canada New Media Fund’s distribution assistance envelope amid criticism from producers that the program is misguided, Canadian NEW MEDIA has learned. Consultant David Ellis of Omnia Communications Inc. has been sounding out opinions on the program intended to help reduce the cost of buying interactive content to bodies such as content aggregators, portals and others. But many producers say the funding would best be spent on production to help lower the cost of licensing content to begin with.

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Law Society’s Supreme Court bid welcomed as important review of users’ rights

Copyright experts have welcomed news that the Supreme Court of Canada has agreed to hear an appeal in the case of CCH Canadian Ltd. et. al. vs. the Law Society of Upper Canada, saying the outcome will help clarify the crucial issue of fair use of copyrighted works. This month the highest court agreed to hear the appeal launched by the Law Society after the Federal Court of Appeal ruled last May the group was in violation of copyright laws for its legal decision fax service (CNM, May 31/02). The Supreme Court case will mark the first time the body will consider fair use issues, bound to be an important element of future digital copyright cases. The court has also agreed to hear the cross-appeal launched by the publishers including CCH.

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