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.  Additionally, 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 >

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