Ahead of Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly’s hotly-anticipated speech Thursday, outlining her cultural policy vision, more than 270 representatives from the Canadian creative community have signed an open letter calling on the federal government to subject internet giants like Netflix, Amazon, Google and Facebook to the same business conditions as Canadian companies. Spearheaded by the Quebec English-language Production Council, the move follows recent comments from Quebec culture minister Luc Fortin that he won’t rule out a provincial tax on foreign over-the-top (OTT) services. Quebecor Inc. president and CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau also called on the feds this week to stop subsidizing U.S. digital media providers.
After a rough launch plagued with audio and picture quality problems, sports streaming service DAZN will partially refund customers and offer a month of free service. The UK-based company, that owns exclusive video rights to NFL Sunday Ticket and NFL Red Zone in Canada, said in an email to subscribers that it will offer monthly users $20 and its annual subscribers $12.50. Bent on becoming the Netflix of sports, DAZN experienced similar issues when it launched J. League soccer coverage in Japan.
The Ottawa Citizen has discovered that Google search algorithms can link to stories on individuals whose identities are protected under court-ordered publication bans. The Citizen found that in six high-profile cases searching the name of a young offender or victim linked to media coverage of their court cases, even though their names did not appear in the actual articles. Searches using Bing and Yahoo didn’t link the names with the same consistency.
Jim Pattison Broadcast Group is launching a new free, online local news and information site serving Northern BC. CKPGToday.ca will feature news, sports, community updates, weather, classified ads and obituaries, powered by the CKPG-TV Prince George news team.
CMRRA-SODRAC Inc. (CSI), the music collective representing music rightsholders in Canada, is challenging a Copyright Board of Canada decision certifying royalties payable to songwriters and music publishers for the reproduction of musical works by online music services, including downloads, on-demand streaming and webcasting. CSI has filed an application for judicial review before the Federal Court of Appeal, saying it does not agree with a reduction in the royalty rates for streaming services and the virtual elimination of minimum rates for subscription services or those offered on a free or ad-supported model. President Alain Lauzon also argues that the tariff, which applies to the years 2011-13, was largely based on scant evidence available at the time of the hearing, conducted before most of today’s online music services began operation in Canada.