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. 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.

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.


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