Bell Media removes two CTV News videos used in fair dealing copyright debate

Bell Media has removed two videos of CTV News footage from YouTube, citing supposed copyright violations:

ATTENTION
We have received copyright complaint(s) regarding material you posted, as follows:

  • from Bell Media about Harper is “flirting with fascism” with “nefarious scheme”: CTV Don Martin
    Video ID: 2PbZh8CUNk8
  • from Bell Media about CTV rails against government plan to enforce ‘fair dealing’ copyright exception
    Video ID: q0DImpG_ve8

The videos were uploaded by Canuck Politics as part of the current copyright debate involving fair dealing exceptions for political advertising.  As with the use of news footage in political ads, the Copyright Act indicates the use of such news footage “for the purpose of criticism or review does not infringe copyright”.

Bell Media has joined a secret consortium of Canadian broadcasters organized by the CBC for the purpose of denying political parties their free speech right to use news footage in political advertising.  This attack on free speech by broadcasters comes despite the fair dealing exceptions codified in section 29.1 of the Copyright Act, and despite ample case law upholding freedom of expression over copyright concerns.

The removal of videos by CTV Bell Media appears to be part of a larger scheme to deny fair dealing copyright exceptions to individual Canadians, in addition to political parties.

Clearly the removed videos are an embarrassment to CTV, but this does not justify their abuse of copyright law to stifle political debate in Canada.

Links to removed videos:

 Links:

CBC behind broadcasters’ refusal to allow ‘fair dealing’ copyright exception for political ads

Access to information requests reveal Peter Mansbridge and the CBC are behind a recent letter to political parties from a consortium of Canadian broadcasters warning TV networks will refuse to air political ads containing news content used without their express authorization.

Peter Mansbridge and CBC are behind broadcasters’ refusal to air political ads

“In anticipation of the upcoming elections, we wish to advise that effective immediately our organizations will not accept any political advertisement which uses our content without our express authorization. Additional, we will not accept and will cease to broadcast any political advertisement if notified that such advertisement uses any other broadcaster’s content without its authorization.”

The threat from the media consortium is contrary to exceptions provided in Section 29.1 of the Canadian Copyright Act which states “fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review does not infringe copyright”.

The CBC’s own legal analysis highlights this applies to political advertising according to case law.

Links:

CTV rails against government plan to enforce ‘fair dealing’ copyright exception for political ads

October 8 and 9, 2014

CTV National News led its evening broadcast with an exclusive report of “a campaign of dirty tricks” by the Conservative government.

< Video censored by Bell Media >

CTV admonished the Harper government for what they called a “covert” plan to enforce existing fair dealing exceptions in Canadian copyright law, claiming this would give the Conservatives a “competitive edge”.

CTV incorrectly claims the government amendment would “bypass copyright law”.  In fact the Canadian Copyright Act already provides a “fair dealing” exception for criticism or review:

29.1 Fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review does not infringe copyright if the following are mentioned:

(a) the source; and

(b) if given in the source, the name of the

(i) author, in the case of a work,
(ii) performer, in the case of a performer’s performance,
(iii) maker, in the case of a sound recording, or
(iv) broadcaster, in the case of a communication signal

The government’s proposed amendment indicates it is “for greater certainty” in enforcing the existing fair dealing exceptions in the Copyright Act.

The government move comes after a May 6 letter from a consortium of broadcasters indicating they would no longer adhere to the fair dealing exception included in Section 29.1 of the Copyright Act, warning networks will refuse to air political ads that contain content used without their express authorization:

As news organizations, the use of our content in political advertisements without our express consent may compromise our journalistic independence and call into question our journalistic ethics, standards and objectivity.

Accordingly, in anticipation of the upcoming elections, we wish to advise that effective immediately our organizations will not accept any political advertisement which uses our content without our express authorization.  Additional, we will not accept and will cease to broadcast any political advertisement if notified that such advertisement uses any other broadcaster’s content without its authorization.

CTV’s political affairs host Don Martin delivered a scathing critique of the government’s plan.

Harper is “flirting with fascism” with “nefarious scheme”: CTV Don Martin

< Video censored by Bell Media >

Links:

Canadian Parliament divided over ISIS / ISIL combat mission

“It has never been the Canadian way to do only the most easy and praiseworthy of actions and leave the tough things to others.”

- Prime Minister Stephen Harper

“Canada, for our part, should not rush into this war.”

- NDP leader Thomas Mulcair

“The Liberal Party of Canada cannot and will not support this Prime Minister’s motion to go to war in Iraq.”

- Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau berates Harper over ISIS mission

“Instead of being honest and up front with Canadians, he dissembled.  Instead of being open and transparent, Mr. Harper gave his own version of events … He remains secretive, and with a purpose.”

- Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau

QP drama with Thomas Mulcair, Paul Calandra and House Speaker

September 23 – 26, 2014

Mulcair questions House Speaker’s neutrality over Calandra’s non-answers

Speaker Andrew Scheer chastises Mulcair, urges MPs to elevate tone of debate

Conservative MP Paul Calandra makes tearful apology to House of Commons