Sunday, January 31, 2010

The CBC MUST BE DESTROYED

...or at least annoyed.

Yesterday, it was revealed that CBC has recently adopted a highly Draconian approach to protecting the copyright on its on-line news stories. They have decided to employ iCopyright, the American copyright bounty hunters used by Associated Press. iCopyright demands a monthly/annual fee for each CBC piece you quote on your site; you have to host the entire piece, not bits and pieces of it; you can't criticize the story's author, or the CBC, and so on.

Ridiculous stuff.

By nightfall, Canadian bloggers had already begun to strike back. The inevitable Facebook group opposing the move had sprung up, and people were already considering means of punishing CBC for, essentially, attempting to sell you the right to fair comment that you already possess. Probably the most interesting idea for a punitive response comes from Devin Johnston at Law Is Cool:

There is one thing that I will change as a result of CBC’s new iCopyright policy. From now on, whenever I link to CBC, I will use the the rel=”nofollow” construct. This attribute instructs search engines like Google not to index the link as part of its PageRank algorithm. Essentially, the links don’t help their destination sites to achieve higher rankings in search engines. I already use this construct when linking to sources such as the Conservative and Liberal parties (being a New Demcorat, I want to ensure that I’m not giving any advantage, however trivial, to my political opponents). From now on, CBC will not get the trivial benefit they enjoy in terms of search engine ranking when I link to them. This practice will continue until CBC adopts a more balanced and realistic approach to copyright.

Other approaches under discussion are letters to MPs (CBC is after all taxpayer funded), letters to the CBC, or making a conscious effort to avoid CBC versions of whatever story you wish to right about.

If CBC wants to remove itself from the cultural conversation, let them.

PS. A very good walk-through of the new contract and its implications here.

PPS. Although iCopyright looks to be a bit of a toothless tiger. Look at the bottom of the G&M piece you've quoted. Hit the license button and see where it takes you. Has ANYONE ever been hassled by these guys...or for quoting AP, for that matter?

13 comments:

justanothermarxistscam said...

"The CBC must be destroyed"

The first intelligent thing I've read on this blog.

RuralSandi said...

justanothermarxistscam - you don't read much do you.

Face it, it's a Con scam to try to destroy it - new head of CBC is a Harper Con supporter.

Canajun said...

Ridiculous indeed.

Two things come to mind 1) Has anyone ever been charged for improper use of CBC copyright materials? (If it's been in place for a year you'd think someone would have by now.); and 2) It would be worth an access to information request to CBC to determine how much this is costing and how much benefit (revenue) has accrued.

Sad really because CBC is about the only Canadian MSM news source worthwhile these days.

Lizt. said...

RuralSandi..you are so right.It is Harper's doing. I noticed they spend a lot more time on Conservatives, than they used to and that is Harper's hand, which, one of these times. is going to e bitten off.

Fat Arse said...

Just a quick question for anybody smarter than I: Does this new development apply in any shape or form to those of us who may wish to cite interviews we hear on our local CBC stations?

For example: If my local CBC radio station interviews Tory pit-bull Vic Toews and he says something insane during the course of the interview like, for instance: "All welfare recipients, criminals, and homeless people should be neutered, it is only right that they should all be prevented from procreating." - am I allowed to cite it in a blog post? Or, if one sees/hears something on the 'The National' that catches their eye, are they allowed to refer to the content of the broadcast directly even if there exists a companion digital story (and/or transcript) of the piece on the CBC website?

In all seriousness, guidance appreciated.

Jason Cherniak said...

They can make any claims they want. The question is whether it's legal.

Wouldn't posting the entire article be the real infringement of copyright? Is not quoting a segment and linking to it similar to quoting a source in an academic paper? Are all academic papers now infringing copyright? I don't do this sort of law so I'm not positive whether it's been to court yet, but I have my doubts.

Mark Francis said...

Jason,

It's been all the way to the SCC. We have strong rights here. See Law is Cool @ http://lawiscool.com/2010/01/30/cbc-and-copyright/

CanadianSense said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Walker Morrow said...

Just out of curiousity, if one of us were to volunteer to utterly ignore this new BS 'copyright', post something from the CBC, and then criticise it, would that blogger recieve support from some of y'all?

Because I'm thinking about doing just that.

Ti-Guy said...

if one of us were to volunteer to utterly ignore this new BS 'copyright', post something from the CBC, and then criticise it, would that blogger recieve support from some of y'all?

Well, normally I'd say yes. But given the "us" you're referring to are quite possibly the same people who've been denouncing the CBC as the Communist Broadcasting Corporation for years, I'd suggest baby steps first, like posting a coherent analysis of some the issues this confused approach to protecting intellectual property highlights. What you're proposing is a stunt, the good faith of which I have reason to question.

Walker Morrow said...

"Well, normally I'd say yes. But given the "us" you're referring to are quite possibly the same people who've been denouncing the CBC as the Communist Broadcasting Corporation for years, I'd suggest baby steps first, like posting a coherent analysis of some the issues this confused approach to protecting intellectual property highlights. What you're proposing is a stunt, the good faith of which I have reason to question."

Fair enough, although by 'us' I meant the people who are angry about this.

And as for a coherent analysis vs. a stunt, there's no reason why they both can't happen :)

As for 'good faith', I suppose I can understand why you might be leery. But all the same, I am seriously tempted to violate the CBC's CR policies right now - they're a public broadcaster; their content should be open to the public. Anything else is worthless. The fact that I think the CBC isn't worth the initials notwithstanding.

JM said...

Here's a facebook group on the subject, let's get the word out as much as possible!

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=290986227896

Maria said...

In finding suit or dress pant choose the best that give you discount and free shipping in all $99 above.