April 19th, 2012 // 5:53 pm @ Erik Westermann
Earlier this week Canada Post decided to sue a website for copyright infringement. Canada Post claims it is the exclusive copyright holder of Postal Codes – the website in question crowd-sourced their postal code database (which it gives away free) over eight years. A foolish use of tax-payers’ dollars – [sarcasm] although lawyers do buy expensive stuff that the rest of us have to fix, clean, and otherwise have the honour of handling for them, so maybe the lawyers’ new-found source of incomes will be used for the greater good [/sarcasm].
Now Rogers and company (meaning, many other media companies that don’t include Rogers – have be careful what we say here in Canada) have decided their monopoly over Canadian media is being threatened by the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – a crown corporation [owned by the government] that runs a number of well-known radio and television stations, and produces a broad range of programming].
CBC’s free music streaming service called CBCMusic.ca allows listeners to play and listen to a broad range of musical genres for free, via the internet. Rogers, Quebecor, Cogeco, and others claim that CBC’s public funding of CA$1.2 billion per year, plus the fact that the CBC is a non-profit organization give it an unfair advantage in a marketplace monopolized dominated by profit-driven services.
The companies also say the CBC is violating its mandate and thus should close the service.
The offensive move by the companies saying that the CBC is going against its mandate does not have any basis. Here’s part of CBCs mandate:
“The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as the national public broadcaster, should provide radio and television services incorporating a wide range of programming that informs, enlightens and entertains”
…it also includes this little tidbit:
“…the programming provided by the Corporation should] be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means and as resources become available for the purpose”
The problem is, of course, profit. How can private, monopolistic competitive, organizations compete with a service that’s not for profit?!