Tag Archives: media boycott

Broadband Tax?

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The RIAA has recently settled a number of actions related to DRM issues.  However, don’t expect them to stop.  This blog has pointed out (and rightly so) that we should expect the RIAA to start to lobby the US government to impose a blanket broadband tax to penalize everyone for pirates.

A similar thing was tried by the Canadian version of the RIAA.  Here’s a Slashdot story (there are some great discussions there and are worth reading). Given that it was as late as Dec 2008, it’s obvious that SOCAN and ACTRA are still trying to make this work.  By the way, the core info source for all of this is Michael Geist .

I’m opposed to this kind of measure.  Once you agree to a tax on broadband use for the music industry, you immediate suffocate the use of the web.  More importantly, you provide precedent for every other whiner to say, ‘hey, I’m losing money to because of that damn interweb thingy.  Where do I line up for my hand out?’  Video game producers.  TV shows.  Music companies.  Journalists.  Newspaper publishers.  Thousands of other organizations will be knocking on the doors of government expecting a handout.

Let’s talk about the real issue for a moment.  All of the major publishers of content are suffering because people aren’t paying attention to them any more.  Whether you’re a big label selling new pop ‘idols’ or a newspaper or TV network that’s censoring important news, you’re suffering because you can’t shape opinion as easily as you used to.  This sucks for these folks because they’re no longer able to manipulate the public the way they want to.

So they lobby to have the Internet ‘shaped’.

The emergence of digital media as competition to analog thinking is a massive issue and will have an impact on how all of us use the Internet.  Copyright rules and content control are superficial arguments for keeping the cash-flow strong with Canada’s mainstream media.  We already see it with restrictions on access to sites like Hulu in order to appease the CTVs and Global’s of the world and we’ll see much, much more in the future.

One day, the RIAA, SOCAN and other publishers will realize that the gig is up and that they should try to find a different way to play with the public.

Until they do, I maintain that it’s really important that we all find ways to boycott traditional media outlets (and spread the word).

Last dig:  if we’re going to have a tax on anything, let’s start with a decent carbon tax, OK?

All the Best for 2009!

Well folks, 2008 was … interesting.

I lived through what felt like Canada’s first tumble into dictatorship, thanks to Steve.  I watched the opposition parties collapse into one blend of bad policy to be picked up by another dictator-wanna-be.

In the media world, I’ve help initiate a media boycott against the like of Bell, Rogers and Canwest that I hope will pick up speed in 2009.

I’ve seen things change in the US, but I’m afraid that they won’t change enough.

And I’ve watched the capitalist system that most of us at least respect fall into disrepair not because of some trifling philosophical detail, but because everyone at the top are too blind with greed to realize that they are running the whole damn thing into the ground.

After that, I’m not going to try to recap what happened in the world that I tried to report on during 2008.  All I can say is that I did my best, tried to check my emotion at the door (although I feel my best posts were when I was most irate) and share stories that would help all of you feel energized about our futures, despite what some clowns are telling us to think/feel/do.

What I did want to take a second to reflect on was the good that happened to me:

  1. I’m alive (some friends passed this year and they’re sorely missed)
  2. I’ve got a family that I can count on
  3. I’ve got some cash flow (although like everyone out there, I’d be excited if it was bigger)
  4. We’re doing our best to get our debts under control, despite the economy
  5. I should have more chapters for my book "Excited Delirium" posted within the next week or so
  6. I will post some short stories early in the new year
  7. I plan to start another couple of books during 2009.  One will comment on the direction that the economy should take and the other will be another attempt at fiction.

In short:  life is good and I’m hoping to give more than I get in 2009.  Please comment freely and tell me how I can do better.

CBC To Be Cut By $200 Million?

We know the Harpercrites hate the public and we know they hate public broadcasting even more.  Maybe it was Peter Mansbridge and his ‘daring’ questioning of our repugnant leader just a few weeks ago.

"Is a coalition really such a bad thing?"

"Die Peter, Die".  (Could it be that he really meant to say "The Peter, The"?).

Anyways, this broadcast spells out that the CBC is likely to lose $200 million in funding from the federal government. This kind of a cut would sabotage the effectiveness and ability of the CBC to properly and professionally report on activities in Canada and abroad.

The shame is beyond belief, despite the fact that I haven’t been a great friend of the CBC lately.  Of course, the lack of desire of the CBC to show some strength has been severely hampered by the constant threats and it’s likely that they’ll all continue to cower in fear that the rumours come to light.

As Canadians, we need to continue to steel ourselves to the resolve to boycott all other media sources, including CTV (Conservative TeleVision) or ConWest and throw as much support as we can behind the CBC, given that it at least gives a minor semblance of public fairness in reporting and media coverage.

And don’t forget to write your opposition MPs.  Don’t bother with the Cons:  they could care less about what you think.

P.S.  Don’t forget that if the Cons ever got a majority, the CBC would be vaporized, amongst a broad swath of a number of other Canadian institutions.

Conservative TV: Canada’s Tory Voice (CTV)

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Job creation by the Conservatives now total 39.  18 bloated Senate positions and 21 new seats for the province of Ontario, all in the hope that the people of Ontario will continue to be blind to the fact that Harper is blind to manufacturing in this country.

And now that Mike Puffy has been assigned to a greater power , we certainly know the reason why:  the CTV has been Canada’s Tory Voice or the Conservative TV network for years.

Please, people:  do yourself a favour and do us all a favour by boycotting the CTV network, Bell Canada and other harbingers of the Harpercrites.

In the interim, I really must give lots of credit to these guys for this logo:

Conservative TV:  Canada's Tory Voice

From Media Complacency to Harper Regime

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Canadian mainstream media companies are not doing themselves any favours.

CTV has absolved itself of any objectivity, along with friends at Canwest, calling into question the role of mainstream media in Canada.  We see in their stock prices that the market doesn’t agree with them, so why do they continue to mis-lead the Canadian public?

Are they simply mouthpieces for the Harper regime?  Or are they as Harpercritical as their dictator himself?

In a video cited by Impolitical , we get a sense of this bias. Lloyd Axworthy is asking Craig Oliver "can’t they get past this" and Oliver responds "Get on with the budget".

Both Axworthy and Craig Oliver fail to recognize that we do not have a functioning government and that if there is a crisis (take your pick:  Listeria outbreak, Tar Sands leak, massive unemployment … oh yeah … those have already been brought to us by the Harper regime), who will respond ?

As a form of protest, I recommend that we organize a media boycott on several levels:

  1. Turn off all CTV / Canwest programming and cancel the Globe, the National Post and other media sources that are simply mouthpieces to the Harper regime.
  2. Cancel cable and satellite services/subscriptions.  We’ve been cable-free for nearly a decade.  Since we’re being told that we need to ‘tighten our belts’ start with paid media channels that insult your intelligence.
  3. If you buy media, stop placing ads with Bell or Canwest.
  4. If you need phone communications, consider Skype or other open-source VOIP programs.
  5. Do not link to them.  If you have a story from them that you can’t resist posting, copy and paste it to your own blog.  If you want video, try to get it from YouTube first.
  6. Support local / independent media.  rabble.caThe TyeeThe Dominion . Progressive Bloggers
  7. Your suggestions below (please post your ideas of how we can encourage people to avoid Harper lies perpetuated by mainstream media).