Cable wants CRTC to stop CTV campaign

Well, the fighting and bickering continue between CTV and the cable companies. Now cable is demanding that the CRTC bring CTV’s multi-media campaign to an end. Later on in the story, it notes that the CRTC has signalled it wants the two sides to go to a mediator to resolve the argument over carriage fees for over-the-air broadcasters. Fat chance of that working the way the two sides have dug in their heels over this issue.

Globe and Mail, May 23 2009

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More bloggers being sued for defamation

The Wall Street Journal reports that the number of  lawsuits filed against US bloggers has jumped from 12 in 2003 to 106 in 2007. Bloggers take note: New Media is subject to the same laws as MSM, including defamation and copyright. Also note this is a US article; in Canada we don’t have shield laws or First Amendment rights, and  our civil law is much different than the US. Some provinces, however, do have laws protecting citizes from SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) that big companies use to prevent citizen advocacy and protest.

Wall Street Journal, May 21 2009

CTV launches multi media campaign for carriage fees

Under the banner “save local tv”, CTV has launched an ad campaign and website (link below) to further its argument that over-the-air broadcasters (primarily it and Global) be allowed to charge the same fee to cable and satellite subscribers that the specialty, digital channels charge, like TSN and Discovery. This would level the playing field for all television tetworks, they argue. They skirt around, but refer to, another solution: subscribers should pay a fee for every channel they want to watch, and not have to have them bundled into a package with two or three duds they will never watch. Argue for this one folks, and cite CTV:

To protect consumers, we are calling for a review of how cable and satellite companies bundle and bill consumers for the TV channels you choose. We support consumer choice.

savelocal.ctv.ca, May 20 2009

Quebecor folds Canoe into Sun papers

Quebecor announced today in a news release replete with corporate jargon that Canoe is moving into the Sun newspaper chain. From this will emerge synergies, multidisciplinary teams, launching from multiple platforms and so on. I wish they just admitted they had a bad model and are working to fix it. As for launching from multiple platforms, I vaguely recall Conrad Black saying that the new Hollinger was going to do that after the sale of Southam to the Aspers. Since then, the only launching from multiple platforms Lord Black has been doing is launching appeals from his Florida prison cell.

Marketwire, May 13 2009

MSM fall for Wikipedia hoax

An Irish student put a phony quote in  Wikipedia obit on Oscar-winning composer Maurice Jaure to see if any MSM would use it. They did in droves and most (but not all) have apologized. The point? To reinforce the notion that MSM and the blogosphere should check the facts before logging on to one site and going with it, particularly an open site like Wikipedia. Teachers and professors advise their students to go on Wikipedia if they want, but only to use it as a starting point to more authoritative sources. Media and bloggers should do the same.

Canoe/AP, May 11 2009

Another option for CanWest

The Aspers are apparently in talks with three groups of investors, who would solve CanWest’s debt problems for an equity share in the company (which means the Aspers would bring in the investors as partners.) And an Australian group would take its Australian net off CanWest’s hands, but likely at a vulture price. One of the groups looking at investing in CanWest is Brookfield Asset Management, of which I am a shareholder. Brookfield, a commercial property manager, tends to take a long-term, Warren Buffet  view of its properties, looking beyond current troubles to the potential of a company in 1o or 20 years. Ditto for the other two, Fairfax and Onyx. The Aspers will have to eat some crow and cede some management control, but at least the operations would continue to function.

Globe and Mail, May 11 2009

A legal take on Twittering in court

The Law Times has an interesting take, very supportive, on the recent Ottawa decision to allow blogging and twittering during a trial in Ottawa (as well as a link to the site that will allow you to follow the reporters’ comments.) Apparently the privilege is not just for journalists; any observer can join in, though the usual laws around libel etc. will apply to all bloggers.

Law Times, May 101 2009