CNM Short Takes

Sequel for Grande Ourse to see illico component
The sequel to Reeves Interactive’s Grande Ourse series, l’Héritière de Grande Ourse will launch on CBC French-language television on January 6, this time with an interactive game for Vidéotron illico subscribers. The ITV component was funded with a grant from the Fond Vidéotron. The illico piece is being produced with Net Communications, in-house at Vidéotron. The web content accompanying the series will be released in timed fashion as new episodes air.

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Xenophile continues to explore ITV with awards shows, ReGenesis

Xenophile Media partner Patrick Crowe says two successful tests of its interactive television technology during the Genie and Gemini awards shows could pave the way for deals with bigger content holders in the U.S. The company used Bell ExpressVu LLP’s OpenTV satellite platform last fall to enhance the broadcast of Canada’s film and TV award shows (CNM, April 30/04) by incorporating a proprietary serving technology dubbed SCALE. SCALE, which stands for synchronized content for live events, presented trivia and other contests and background information on the nominees, while soliciting interactive viewer feedback. Acknowledging that the two shows are relatively small on the list of global mega-events such as the Oscars, Crowe says they were ideal testbeds for the company’s technology and creative direction.

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Bravo takes chance on Toothpaste short opera follow-up and interactive

Already flying high on critical praise for its forward-looking approach to digital enhancements for its youth-oriented MuchMusic TV station, CHUM Ltd. will next year take a creative chance on attracting a new audience to interactive content for its arts TV station Bravo! Next spring, Toronto-based Marblemedia will begin a viral and guerilla campaign to draw web surfers to ITV content connected to a new series of comedic operatic shorts dubbed Burnt Toast. Set to debut in the summer of 2005, the series of shorts are a follow-up to the cult hit Toothpaste and will also be broadcast next year by CBC. The content was funded by the broadcasters, Bravo!FACT, and the Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund.

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Privacy commissioner likely to weigh in on digital rights managment issue

Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart has waded into the debate over copyright reform in agreeing with a public interest group that digital rights management (DRM) protection could be a cause of privacy concerns. Her involvement comes at the urging of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), which wrote her about the consequences it sees in strong anti-circumvention of technological protection measures (TPM) legislation.

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Appeals court rules MP3 players now exempt from private copying regime

The Federal Court of Appeal has confirmed the Copyright Board of Canada’s controversial year-old private copying decision with respect to zero-rating and its constitutionality (CNM, Dec. 19/03). However, the court has reversed the board’s decision on the matter of levies on non-removable memory. The decision has led to widespread discussion about the legal status of music downloading. Some state that a ruling by Konrad Von Finckenstein last April that downloading is protected under the private copying regime is now no longer valid.

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CCR People

Edward Rogers has had his employment contract as president and CEO of Rogers Communications Inc. extended to June 2008 from December 31, 2006. The extension was granted at a December 15 meeting of the company’s board of directors.

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