A Quebec court has ruled key restrictions in the Radiocommunication Act against decoding satellite signals and the sale or possesion of circumvention devices unconstitutional, though it has suspended that declaration for one year. Justice Danielle Côté, in a 100-page decision handed down from the Court of Quebec on October 28, struck down sections 9(1)c and 10(1)b of the act, saying the one-year suspension of his ruling will give Parliament time to complete its examination of the delivery of ethnic programming.
The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports.
Kevin Goldstein has been pomoted to director, regulatory affairs, at CHUM Ltd. Goldstein will continue to play an important role in CHUM’s day-to-day dealings with the CRTC, and in all matters relating to regulatory issues, policies, licence renewals and applications.
Molson launches new online radio station
Molson Canada has launched a new online streaming music service dubbed "Junction Radio" on its iam.ca site. The service is being powered by IcebergRadio.com, and offers five channels of tunes: current alternative, hip hop "hot", alternative, active rock and top 40. A spokesperson for Molson says the site is aimed at younger beer drinkers, those of age to 24. A trademark application for the "Junction Radio" name was filed by Molson on October 19. The station has been launched fast on the heels of the new FatPipeRadio.com service sponsored heavily by Molson and aimed at college and university students. The FatPipeRadio initiative features 11 diferent stations, as well as features such as webcasts, concerts and contests (CNM, Sept. 8/04).
Culture met commerce at a recent briefing event held in Toronto for senior Canadian Heritage officials and organized by the Canadian Film Centre, with the end result that some producers in the audience left expressing concern that too much focus was being placed on artist rather than audience. At the McLuhan International Festival of the Future, a gathering of about 40 CFC Habit@t students, government regulators, new media producers and funding agency representatives heard three very different panel presentations exploring interactive new media, with a focus on the role of audiences in art, and moving beyond the web/television convergence model.
The copyright industry continues to feel the effects of the watershed Théberge and CCH Supreme Court of Canada decisions as a body of cases continues to build on the subject of electronic content. The latest decision, by the Court of Appeal for Ontario and handed down on October 6 sees the court cite both cases in denying a cross-appeal by The Globe and Mail of a lower court ruling that the newspaper does not have the right to publish freelance news articles in online databases without compensating the authors. The appeal court’s decision is heavily influenced by CCH, in particular – unsurprising, since the court asked the parties what the impact of CCH would be on their case given that it was handed down following hearing arguments in the case. As one copyright expert told Canadian NEW MEDIA: "when the Supreme Court talks, Canadian courts listen."
The federal government will likely find it easier to acquiesce to the requests of Canada’s new media sector as those companies benefit from the help of a professional lobbyist and the loose coalition of regional associations formed recently shows signs of becoming a more powerful voice on Parliament Hill. The as-yet unnamed group recently held a series of meetings in Ottawa arranged with the help of The Strategy Group’s Beatrice Raffoul, and will likely be back in town in the near future to press its concerns at the highest ministerial levels.
Apple Corp. has announced that it intends to launch its Apple iTunes online music store in Canada in November. The announcement, made October 26 in San Jose as part of the launch of iTunes in several countries in Europe, is surprising since negotiations with the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA) have not been concluded, and there is no indication that the Canadian music labels have signed agreements with Apple, either, for rights to their repertoires.