Wednesday, July 13, 2005   Hip Interactive faces liquidationToronto-based video game company Hip Interactive Inc. faces liquidation by interim receiver Ernst & Young Inc. after falling into insolvency. The company announced on July 11 that it had appointed the receiver after failing to arrange third-party financing that would have enabled it to pay its bills. The board of directors has resigned. A media release announcing the bankruptcy states: “At this time, it is not clear the level of recovery that the company’s unsecured creditors will realize; although it is not expected that the company’s shareholders will receive any proceeds of such liquidation.” On July 7, an Edmonton AB company, SplitFish GameWare, announced that it might be interested in acquiring the company. Hip responded to the release by stating that “it has no information regarding the financial strength of SplitFish, nor has it received any written proposal from SplitFish.” Discussions between the two companies were confirmed, however.CHUM appeals satellite radio decisionCHUM Ltd. and Astral Media Inc., joined by a number of smaller radio groups, have appealed a CRTC decision that saw the partnerships of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., Standard Broadcasting Radio Inc. and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., and another by XM Satellite Radio and Canadian entrepreneur John Bitove, granted licences to operate a satellite radio service in Canada (CNM, June 24/05). The decision angered many in the Canadian cultural community by setting low Canadian content thresholds. CHUM and Astral had proposed a terrestrial-based subscription radio service that was also licenced, but which observers say will be unlikely to compete with the two U.S.-backed competitors. CHUM and Astral note in their notice of appeal that: “The low threshold of Canadian content requirements imposed on U.S. supported satellite licensees is a dramatic departure from historical broadcasting precedent. If allowed to stand, this will inevitably cause significant harm to not only Canadian artists and radio broadcasters, but to the Canadian broadcasting system as a whole.” Within hours of announcing its appeal, CSR responded with its own media release, accusing CHUM and Astral of trying to protect a “MUCHmonopoly.” The release asserted that CHUM had made an attempt to buy a majority interest in CSR, something CHUM head Jay Switzer denied in yet another media release that same day. The final word in the volley was had by CSR in a media release in which CSR head John Bitove tersely noted that: “We stand by the comments made in our media release earlier today.” Canadian NEW MEDIA affiliate Canadian Communications Reports will have full details in its next full issue.Q4 Canadian Heritage contracts releasedCanadian Heritage has disclosed its fourth quarter contracts with various parties for goods and services. Among the noteworthy are to: The Creators Rights’ Alliance (ref#45143786) - $21,400.00 for research; Lab)idéeclic! (ref#45144299) - $24,877.50 for professional services; Lab)idéeclic! (ref#45144381) - $85,744.45 for exposition services; Canadian Music Publishers (ref#45144511) - $64,200.00 for research; The Creators Rights’ Alliance (ref#45144902) - $21,400.00 for professional services; Delvinia Interactive Inc. (ref#45145215) - $24,610.00 for communications research services; Canadian Research Alliance for Community Innovation and Networking, University of Toronto (ref#45145962) - $15,000.00 for research; FAD Research (ref#45146616) - $22,470.00 for professional services; and, Charles Zamaria (ref#45149371) - $23,540 for professional services. History of the Internet goes live at CBCThe CBC has posted a brief history of the Internet online that traces the medium from “early dreams of global information networks to the dominance of the World Wide Web.” The site includes radio and television clips from CBC’s archives on subjects from ARPANET to MP3s. The history is available at http://archives.cbc.ca/IDD-1-75-1738/science_technology/internet.Alberta privacy decision touted as win for privacy by CIPPICThe Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) says a July 8 decision by the Alberta Privacy Commissioner in favour of a man upset about keystroke logging at work is a win for employee privacy. The man lost his job as a computer technician at a public library after he discovered and complained about a keystroke logger on his computer. The library argued the logger was necessary to monitor computer use to ensure efficiency by employees and that they are not used for personal purposes. According to CIPPIC, the privacy commission ruled that there was insufficient reason not to notify employees of the logging, and that other methods are available to accomplish the same ends. Pippa Lawson, head of CIPPIC, noted in a news release that: “While (the decision) is specific to the Alberta Freedom and Privacy Act, the general principles applied by the Commissioner in his reasons are more broadly applicable – that is, employers should be open about any employee monitoring they are engaging in unless they have clear justification for covert surveillance, such as suspected fraud. Moreover, they should use methods of monitoring that collect no more information than they need. Even if this case had been brought under different privacy legislation, we think the result would have been the same. CIPPIC provided legal advice to the man, Dan Armeneau, who represented himself in the hearing.FUN Technologies teams with U.S. cablecoFUN Technologies, Toronto, has announced a deal with an unnamed “major U.S. cable provider” to develop new ITV applications. Subsidiary SkillJam will take charge of the initiative.