In a move that has generated no small amount of controversy, former head of the Société professionnelle des auteurs et de compositeurs du Québec Francine Bertrand-Venne has been named a full-time member of the Copyright Board of Canada. Sources tell Canadian NEW MEDIA that the move is unusual in that she has been working on behalf of creators for seven years on one side of the users rights/creators rights debate. William Vancise, a Saskatchewan judge, has been named part-time chairman of the board, replacing John Gomery who has resigned his seat to head the inquiry into the Liberal party sponsorship scandal. Stephen Callary and Sylvie Charron were both reappointed to the board.
CIPPIC wins status in file-sharing case
The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) has been granted intervenor status in the record labels’ appeal of last March’s unsuccessful suit against Internet service providers (CNM, April 16/04). The labels had sought the identity of 29 people they accuse of being music pirates from ISPs, but Federal Court of Canada judge Konrad von Finckenstein ruled that they didn’t make a strong enough case to warrant forcing ISPs to divulge subscriber information. CIPPIC’s status will be important in the upcoming appeal. Von Finckenstein went to great lengths in his original decision to discuss the legality of file-sharing, one of the hooks upon which the Canadian Recording Industry Association is hanging its appeal. ISPs are widely perceived to be neutral on the issue of copyright in this instance, and it falls to CIPPIC to make the user rights case in this debate.
Industry Canada announced April 11 the creation of a Spam Task Force, a ministerial committee to combat unsolicited commercial email. The 10-member body is charged with finding ways to reduce unsolicited email, which is estimated to account for about 60% of overall email traffic.
A new convergence project from DECODE Entertainment in partnership with the U.K.’s Hat Trick Productions promises to introduce some new tricks to the company’s bag. DECODE, which has become known recently for its young adult and children’s programming, is set to unleash a quirky, cheeky animated comedy on Teletoon in Canada and Channel Four in the U.K., Bromwell High. Along with the show, which marks a departure from its recent tamer fare, DECODE has licensed an interactive component to the British broadcaster. Some components from the show’s digital companion have been licensed to Teletoon.
Delvinia Interactive Inc. head Adam Froman says the company’s new AskingMedia research tool has proven the utility of using broadband Internet tools to conduct market research. The company was recently the recipient of an Excellence Behind the Scenes award at the 2004 Professional Marketing Research Society conference in recognition of two experiments using the application for Nissan Canada and Expedia.ca, in partnership with Millward Brown Goldfarb.
Electronic Arts (EA) is growing more quickly than anticipated in its new Montreal studio, but its presence is causing an uncomfortable price war for talent in the area, according to one smaller player. Last summer, the games giant announced plans to open a large studio in the heart of Montreal, with the intention of hiring 50 to 80 project staff every 12 months for four years (CNM, Aug. 28/03). Montreal studio GM Alain Tascan tells CNM that 50 developers are already employed at the site, and that it will likely exceed 100 by the end of the year.
The Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) new media steering committee is conducting a study on new media education in Canada. Focusing on content creators – people who use new media to create products or art – the study will explore how education affects workers in the field country-wide.