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[P]
What's wrong with the CBC

By brunes69 in Media
Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:12:15 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Up until recently I have been a staunch supporter of the CBC, it's ideals, the reason for it's existence. However, recent events have made me question whether or not this once fine institution has fallen victim to the ruthless grasp of corperate greed in North America.


What is the CBC:

To those unware (likely all non-Canadians), the CBC is the Canadian Broadcasting corporation. It is much like the BBC in the UK - a publicly funded company (aka a Crown corporation, mandated by Parliament, which runs numerous enterprises including CBC Radio One, Two, and Three (nationwide radio stations), CBC Televison, CBC Newsworld, the CBC website, and the corresponding French language equivalents of the previous (RCI, etc.).

Unlike the BBC, the CBC is not funded through a television levy. The CBC receives direct funding from the government (almost a billion dollars last year) to carry on it's operations. In addition, unlike the BBC, CBC Television airs commercials during most regular programming (with exceptions being during live news events and popular live sporting events).

Why I Used to Believe In The CBC

Many Americans (at least, most I have conversed with on the subject) can not fathom the concept of a publicly funded news organization. They instantly assume that any such organization would reek of bias, and would inevatibly lead to a state-run propeganda machine.

However, as any viewer who live in the UK or Canada knows, (or elsewhere with a publicly funded news organization and a free press) these organizations are in fact normally the most un-biased in reporting the news (especially about the government). The reason? While the CBC depends on the government for it's funding, it's employees are not elected. It is a corporation like any other - except that it is not required to turn a profit, only to try to break even. Thus, it is partially immune to the types of ratings-grabbing sensationalist news gathering you can see on other cable news outlets such as CNN. Since the members of the CBC are really accountable to no one but the viewer, they can be free to explore every angle of a story.

The Problem (AKA Why I Don't Believe Anymore)

Liking the CBC and it's view of the news, I have for some time subscribed to an RSS feed of the site. Since the CBC does not yet provide it's own feed, a third party, Sarah and Leo.com, have been creating the feed, I assume a screen scraping script of some fashion. Recently, the CBC issued a cease and desist order to the site, claiming copyright violation issues.

Now, there are several things wrong with this, from my point of view:

  • Firstly, the people creating the feed are Canadians. Since the whole organization who created the material is funded (and essentially owned) by the People of Canada, the People of Canada should have unlimited rights on its use.
  • Secondly, even if the first assertion did not follow, it is questionable if a collection of hyperlinks into a site even violates copyright law in Canada. At a minimum, the Canadian Government's On-Line Initiative brings this into question when it states that numerous US courts have found that "hyperlinking does not itself contravene copyright law and is not illegal as long as it is clear to whom the linked page belongs". I do not see how it could be made any more clear, the title of the RSS feed attributes the CBC directly.
What can I do?

Unfortunately, not much, other than show my support for the underdog. I have written a harsh letter to Maggy Larouche, New Media Distribution manager, but received nothing but a brief reply stating that sometime in the future the CBC will be offering their own RSS feed. This does not, however, remedy the situation, and from my point of view, it never will. As I said in my letter (see below) - even *if* the CBC gets it's own feed, I still see no reason why it even should have issued this cease-and-desist to Sarah and Leo, who were only doing what I see as a public service, and paying for it out of their own pocket.

This whole thing leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth.

Actions To Take?

What can I suggest? Well, maybe if enough people spoke up, the CBC would listen. Below, I post the email I wrote, which I also sent to the Heritage Minister (who is responsible for the CBC's budget). Feel free to use it as a template. Also feel free to CC your MP when you send the email.

To: maggy_larouche@radio-canada.ca
CC: Frulla.L@parl.gc.ca

To all concerned,

I recently became aware that one of my favorite sources of news as a Canadian, "Sarah and Leo's CBC RSS Feed", was taken down as a result of the CBC issuing a cease-and-desist. ( http://www.sarahandleo.com/weblog20040919.htm )

I must say that I join with Sarah and Leo on this issue whole-heartedly, and the actions of the CBC both shock and perplex me. The RSS feed:

  • Was not generating any fiscal benefit for Sarah and Leo ( quite the opposite, they had to pay the costs of bandwidth for the distribution of the feed )
  • *Was* generating increased traffic to the CBC web site
  • Was not distributing any copyrighted CBC information.
  • Was only seeking to provide a cultural benefit to all Canadians, at home and abroad.

I find the position being taken by the CBC very disapointing and I do not feel it reflects our values as Canadians. It states directly in the CBC mission statement ( http://cbc.radio-canada.ca/htmen/mandate.htm ) that the CBC seeks to:

iii. actively contribute to the flow and exchange of cultural expression,

...

iv. be made available throughout Canada by the most appropriate and efficient means and as resources become available for the purpose

Now, I see how the RSS feed helps to further these goals. What I do not see is how asserting the CBC's copyright in this matter to have the RSS feed removed helps further these goals, or any in the CBC's mandate. In fact, this action is diametricaly opposite to the mandate of the CBC as set out in the 1991 Broadcasting Act.

I know from reading Sarah and Leo's site that the CBC plans to start it's own RSS feed eventually. This is all well and good, however, I do not see why the CBC feels this is justification for this rash and inconsiderate act.

Without this RSS feed, since I no longer have a reliable way to access the latest CBC headlines, I will no longer be visiting the CBC webs ite. Furthermore, I will not be watching any CBC televison programs, or listening to any CBC radio programs, until this issue is resolved in Sarah and Leo's favour. I would encourage my other fellow Canadians to do the same, and I would encourage Sarah and Leo to start a petition and to send it to the Heritige Minister and their local MPs in hopes of resolving this matter.

CC: <My MP>
CC: The Hon. Liza Frulla, Minister of Canadian Heritage

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Poll
Should the CBC be allowed to force removal of the feed?
o Yes, it's their content they can do as they please. 17%
o Only when they eventually provide their own feed to the public 6%
o Never. The public funded them so the public owns the content. 68%
o Screw CBC, I'm busy watching Bleu Nuit! 8%

Votes: 47
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o recent events
o BBC
o Crown corporation
o mandated by Parliament
o the CBC website
o almost a billion dollars last year
o RSS
o Sarah and Leo.com
o cease and desist
o the Canadian Government's On-Line Initiative
o Maggy Larouche
o Also by brunes69


Display: Sort:
What's wrong with the CBC | 88 comments (67 topical, 21 editorial, 4 hidden)
I love the CBC (3.00 / 8) (#3)
by Verbophobe on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:38:53 AM EST

And I think that you're being a little too extreme with your critisism of the station's actions.

Like any new technology, RSS is only vaguely understood, if at all, by most internet-savvy users.  In contrast, PR officials probably haven't even heard of the term or the concept before this specific incident, and this is why they are reacting in a way that is, essentially speaking, counter productive to their purpose.

That being said, saying things like "this once fine institution has fallen victim to the ruthless grasp of corperate greed in North America" is a touch extreme.  Sure, they made a mistake, and sure, it's a good thing that you sent a letter expressing your dissaproval of their actions.  But you're making it seem that doomsday has passed, and the horsemen of the apocalypse are on their way, and that CBC will never be the same again.  As far as I'm concerned, The National, tonight, was the same as it was last night, and the night before.

So my only advice, really, is to tone down the alarmist, defeatist and pessimistic tone you're using.  The article would perhaps be better suited for a rallying tone, one that would incite us to write to our own MPs and the CBC itself, showing our collective disapproval of their recent decision.

Naturally, since you didn't put this through the edit queue, you won't be able to change any of this, which, unfortunately, sucks for you.

Proud member of the Canadian Broadcorping Castration

Me too (none / 0) (#22)
by brunes69 on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:42:48 AM EST

Like any new technology, RSS is only vaguely understood, if at all, by most internet-savvy users. In contrast, PR officials probably haven't even heard of the term or the concept before this specific incident

While true, I imagine that the Distribution Manager of New Media, who is the person we were addressing, understands it quite well.

you're making it seem that doomsday has passed, and the horsemen of the apocalypse are on their way, and that CBC will never be the same again. As far as I'm concerned, The National, tonight, was the same as it was last night, and the night before.

As I made clear in the article, I still do and always have respected the CBC's programming. It is not the programming that falls into question here - it is the prospect of falling far short of the company's mandate.

So my only advice, really, is to tone down the alarmist, defeatist and pessimistic tone you're using. The article would perhaps be better suited for a rallying tone

It is meant as a rallying tone. You need to curb this kind of thinking while it is in its early stages, since it grows like a fungus throughout a company.

Naturally, since you didn't put this through the edit queue, you won't be able to change any of this, which, unfortunately, sucks for you.

I likely wouldn't have changed the article substantially anyway, since if I did not want to make a "rallying cry" as you put it, I would likely not bother writing and posting the article at all.

---There is no Spoon---
[ Parent ]

heh (2.00 / 2) (#28)
by reklaw on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:26:35 AM EST

While true, I imagine that the Distribution Manager of New Media, who is the person we were addressing, understands it quite well.

(stifles laughter)
-
[ Parent ]

Well if he's wrong they will change (none / 0) (#58)
by auraslip on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 06:48:58 AM EST

if not...
well then he's right
124
[ Parent ]
at least the US got this one right (2.75 / 8) (#7)
by Delirium on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 02:52:27 AM EST

The US federal government cannot apply for copyright protection on works it creates. They are automatically in the public domain. I'm not sure why other countries insist on encumbering what is by rights a public asset with unjustified copyright restrictions.

Coroporate extensions can, though (3.00 / 6) (#13)
by curien on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 05:25:13 AM EST

So the US Post Office, which I suppose is analogous to the CBC in this respect, can retain copyright and register trademarks.

--
This sig is umop apisdn.
[ Parent ]
I suppose that's true (none / 1) (#36)
by Delirium on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 09:55:29 AM EST

Come to think of it, so does PBS in the US. At least USGS map data and satellite imagery and stuff is in the public domain though, which is a start.

[ Parent ]
You try redistributing (none / 1) (#75)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 10:42:56 PM EST

PBS shows like This American Life and see how far you get.

PBS is a non-profit corporation, not a government agency.


I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

State Broadcasting (2.50 / 2) (#16)
by minerboy on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:51:45 AM EST

Many Americans (at least, most I have conversed with on the subject) can not fathom the concept of a publicly funded news organization. They instantly assume that any such organization would reek of bias, and would inevatibly lead to a state-run propeganda machine. - Well, we have C-Span, which broadcasts congress, political events, etc. usually without any commentary, and are completely unbiased, and PBS which is sort of biased, but focuses on programming that is not mainstream or educational, things like British Comedy, Dr. Who, Frontline, Nova. What we Don't get is a Government Broadcasting company for popular events, ports, etc. Last, we think of state broadcasting as pravda, Islamic republic news, etc.



C-Span is different (none / 1) (#21)
by brunes69 on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:36:12 AM EST

We have C-Pac which does the same thing. While these networks do serve a usefull function, they are obviously not the same sort of general-purpose Television and news networks as the CBC/BBC are. And as you point out, PBS is publically funded.


---There is no Spoon---
[ Parent ]
PBS is publically funded (2.66 / 3) (#44)
by demi on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:24:56 PM EST

but not by the government. The majority of its funding comes from private donations, and grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (not the gov't either). Some PBS affiliates are partially funded by state/local/muni governments.

[ Parent ]
-1, "corporate greed" (1.14 / 7) (#17)
by Esspets on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:53:33 AM EST

That's like saying "human greed" or "pursuit of foodstuffs".


Desperation.
where year do i live in again? (none / 1) (#59)
by auraslip on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 06:50:58 AM EST


124
[ Parent ]
lol bbc unbiased? (1.07 / 14) (#20)
by noogie on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 07:27:54 AM EST




*** ANONYMIZED BY THE EVIL KUROFIVEHIN MILITARY JUNTA ***
Having access to Bell ExpressVu... (2.00 / 4) (#26)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:16:29 AM EST

This is one USian that would like to point out that canadian TV is just plain weird. Dempster's White bread, in the foil bag for freshness?

Future Shop? WTF?!?!!

Though I do get a kick out of watching canadian news of the politicians up there taking cracks at our own.

All very weird, I imagine it's all very like the metropolis that Bizarro lives in...

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

Well... (3.00 / 2) (#29)
by ShawnD on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:38:31 AM EST

That bread is the same as Wonderbread. There is much better stuff on the next shelf.

Future Shop is just Best Buy with commissioned salepeople.



[ Parent ]
actually, Future Shop IS Best buy... (3.00 / 3) (#51)
by Run4YourLives on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:33:25 PM EST

they were bought out recently.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Yeah. (none / 1) (#63)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 10:47:38 AM EST

They had a really big FutureShop gift certificate.


___
If you can read this signature clearly, you are sitting too close to your monitor.
[ Parent ]
Wow. Talk about role reversal. (2.00 / 2) (#74)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 10:40:10 PM EST

I thought the cosmic rule was that Canadian companies bought American retail chains and bankrupted them. (Federated, for example.) Is Best Buy aiming for a little pay back?

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]
what? (none / 1) (#76)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 10:57:28 PM EST

Dude, since free trade all of our companies are American now... Even the damn Hudson's Bay Company (The Bay), a company older than both of our damn countries is probably going to be bought by Target in the next little while.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Interesting (none / 1) (#82)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 04:41:52 PM EST

Apparently things have flipped in the past 7-8 years; I remember that Federated (which owns Bloomingdales and several other US chains) was owned by a Canadian company in the 1990s. Apparently when they emerged from bankruptcy that changed, because everything I can find now says they're based in Ohio.

Does this mean I'll be able to go to Target and pay for goods with beaver pelts?

I'll tell you why I don't listen. I can only read so much of your stupid a-- b--- s--- before I lose all faith in the future of humanity and start sort
[ Parent ]

Uh huh (3.00 / 8) (#35)
by Miniwheat on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 09:29:17 AM EST

Yeah, it's like it's a whole other country up there or something.

Go figure.


[ Parent ]

Wrong recipient (2.70 / 10) (#32)
by justAnotherProphet on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:59:39 AM EST

Don't bother writing to a distribution manager, write to the CBC's Ombudsman. After all, their job exists to satisfy customer complaints. It'll get sent to all the appropriate people within the CBC.

No. (2.14 / 7) (#40)
by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 11:17:12 AM EST

What's wrong with the CBC is that they persist in airing absolute crap. On the radio half, they switch around popular shows, and keep around an unfortunate amount of dead wood (*cough* "Dead dog cafe comedy hour" *cough*) ... and let the rest of the shows stagnate. When was the last time Double Exposure, Royal Canadian Air Farce, or This Hour has 22 Minutes were funny?

Hint: Years ago.

I can't even watch CBC television anymore, the made-for-tv movies and homegrown series' are just depressingly bad. The only show that appeals (and I use "appeals" loosely) to youth audiences is Street Cents, airing ancient episodes of the Simpsons and some ghetto quiz show doesn't cut it.

I wonder what their target audiences are.


___
localroger is a tool.
In memory of the You Sad Bastard thread. A part of our heritage.
Dead Dog Cafe Moment (none / 1) (#62)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 10:46:07 AM EST

Tom and Jasper are out in a blinding snowstorm. A train whistle sounds in the distance.

Tom: "What was that?"

Jasper: "I think it was wolves."

Train whistle sounds again, much closer now, bearing down on their position.

Jasper: "Oooh, and they sound really happy."


___
If you can read this signature clearly, you are sitting too close to your monitor.
[ Parent ]
Re: No. (2.50 / 2) (#71)
by skeptik on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 05:19:30 PM EST

CBC Newsworld is the best TV news channel I've seen. Its like the BBC only not so bland. I have heard international journalists (such as Gwynn Dyer) say that the CBC, particularly the CBC in Quebec, as one of the least restrictive/biased/censoring news channels in the world.

They have a huge selection of programming, including Hockey Night in Canada, Venture, The Passionate Eye, Play, CFL, and others: http://www.cbc.ca/programguide/program/programAToZ.jsp

Their website and Internet radio broadcasts are also really good, IMO.

I wonder what their target audiences are.

Candians. Duh.



[ Parent ]
Huh? (2.66 / 3) (#83)
by MKalus on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 06:26:21 PM EST

<blockquote>I can't even watch CBC television anymore, the made-for-tv movies and homegrown series' are just depressingly bad. The only show that appeals (and I use "appeals" loosely) to youth audiences is Street Cents, airing ancient episodes of the Simpsons and some ghetto quiz show doesn't cut it. </blockquote>

I don't know how old you are, but personally I enjoy the CBC, be it the national or even shows like "Da Vinci's Inquest" or ">Play" etc.

Personally for news I prefer them to, I can't stand Global who hope that they can find someone being chased down the 401 in their spiffy News Helicopter but nothing ever seems to happen which must be really frustrating, they try so hard to do "american newscasting".
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Heh. (none / 0) (#85)
by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad on Sat Oct 02, 2004 at 12:17:32 AM EST

I can get Davinci's Inquest from.. I forget if it's Showcase or Bravo that airs it. News I can get online, and from enough sources that I can average out any bias/incorrectness. The *only* show I like on CBC television (and even that I rarely watch) is ZeD.


___
localroger is a tool.
In memory of the You Sad Bastard thread. A part of our heritage.
[ Parent ]
Ah ZeD (none / 1) (#86)
by MKalus on Sat Oct 02, 2004 at 12:09:56 PM EST

Yes, quite good.

But Bravo wouldn't have Da Vinci's Inquest if it weren't for the CBC, and yes you can get the news online, but we were talking about TV here so the online option is sort of "off the map" so to speak.

In reality I think that the CBC is overall pretty good, of course there is always room for improvement, but if I compare the CBC to the "commerical" stuff that is available on the airwaves they get two thumbs up.

Though what I don't get is why they have to blow so much money on things like "The Lord of the Rings" leave the Hollywood crap to the commercial broadcasters and rather have another documentary like they did recently about Oil.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

CBC vs. PBS (2.25 / 4) (#41)
by cronian on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 11:50:47 AM EST

Isn't CBC just a better funded version of PBS? I don't know a whole lot about CBC, but I can tell you some things about PBS. Them and a lot of their affiliates are idiots, and they aren't really accountable to anyone. Their news is pretty good, but they've been working on moving it to the right.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
not really (none / 1) (#45)
by guyjin on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 03:20:29 PM EST

As the article states, the CBC runs commercials (but isn't dependant on them); PBS has donators who are acknowledged at the beginning and end of the show; years ago, corporations could pretty much have text-only acknowledgements; nowadays they're only a few steps away from commercials. But at least they aren't in the middle of programs.

Also, I don't beleive that the CBC does telethons like PBS does.
-- 散弾銃でおうがいして ください
[ Parent ]

PBS has Nova (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by dteeuwen on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 10:41:02 AM EST

CBC has Red Green.

That's why PBS is better.

(Crap, doesn't PBS have Red Green, too? PBS sucks...)

_________

Down the slopes of death he rides
The eight hooves pound like drums
Darkness reigns the crumbling sky
Invasion has begun


[ Parent ]

Yeah, that show is retarded. (none / 0) (#67)
by waxmop on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 02:50:11 PM EST

If that show is what the CBC produces, then we should nuke Canada.

The PBS station used Red Green to fill dead air after odd-length episodes of Dr. Who. That show reeked.

Next we should talk about why Are You Being Served is on the air so damn often.
--
Limberger is the angeldust of cheese.
[ Parent ]

CBBrown almost worked for Red Green (2.66 / 3) (#81)
by nlscb on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 03:35:10 PM EST

See here. That show represents everything bad about Canada - too pc, too cheap, too dumbed down. It's sad because there is a lot of fantastic content on CBC. It's Hockey and Olympic coverage are outstanding, to the point CBS sued local cable providers in border cities such as Buffalo and Seatlle for carrying the CBC coverage of 1998 Nagono games beacuse CBC was kicking their ass in the ratings. Plus, rent the Newsroom - it's everything Red Green is not.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange
[ Parent ]

Not quite.. (2.50 / 2) (#65)
by Kwil on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 01:44:29 PM EST

..because CBC is allowed to take commercial advertising, they're not totally beholden to the government or the whims of donators.

While this means they don't have to run as much bad programming as PBS (really, how much Lawrence Welk do their donators really watch?) it also means they have less excuse for the bad programming they do run (really, how much Wind up Anne's Gables do we have to endure?)

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Wrong Premise, Wrong Logic (2.40 / 5) (#42)
by sudog on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:03:55 PM EST

You state:
Firstly, the people creating the feed are Canadians. Since the whole organization who created the material is funded (and essentially owned) by the People of Canada, the People of Canada should have unlimited rights on its use.
This is false just on its face. Unlimited is extremely broad--is taking choice quotes out of context, presenting them serially and then attributing those quotes to the CBC okay when the message is completely subverted?
Secondly, even if the first assertion did not follow, it is questionable if a collection of hyperlinks into a site even violates copyright law in Canada. At a minimum, the Canadian Government's On-Line Initiative brings this into question when it states that numerous US courts have found that "hyperlinking does not itself contravene copyright law and is not illegal as long as it is clear to whom the linked page belongs". I do not see how it could be made any more clear, the title of the RSS feed attributes the CBC directly.
Hyperlinks are not the issue, and it looks like you didn't read the article you linked to in the intro. CBC complained NOT just about hyperlinks, but of headlines and leads. In other words, they don't want some anonymous gomers repackaging CBC-created content. Is this so wrong? Wouldn't it be better for these people to publish the scripts they use to screen-scrape CBC as an alternative to the RSS feed itself, so each person can see their own private versions however they wish?

It would be better for "Sarah and Leo" to provide people with the tools to pull in CBC content themselves rather than trying to pump their own site up with CBC-created content. It's not like the viewers have no access to this information: all we have to do is visit CBC's site and it's right there.

Here's a translation of what you wrote: I own CBC, and since they don't want me to repackage their content on my own site so I can get more visitors, they suck--even though they do provide a necessary, useful service to Canadians everywhere.

Way off (none / 1) (#73)
by brunes69 on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 09:00:15 PM EST

Hyperlinks are not the issue, and it looks like you didn't read the article you linked to in the intro. CBC complained NOT just about hyperlinks, but of headlines and leads.

Have you ever used RSS feeds? All it is is hyperlinks. Specifically, the only "content" that they published is 5 hyperlinks to news stories with their headline as the link, a headline basically the same as 100 others at news.google.ca. I don't see how or why any self respecting organization would claim any kind of copyright on its headline alone - how could they ever even enforce that? If that rule actually did exist the outlets would be constantly stepping over eachother with duplicate headlines.

It would be better for "Sarah and Leo" to provide people with the tools to pull in CBC content themselves rather than trying to pump their own site up with CBC-created content.

"Pump up their site? Firstly, there is no link for their site in the RSS feed, assuming you found the feed thorugh an RSS aggregator service (like I did, at my.yahoo.com), you'd have to search on Google if you even wanted to know where it came from. I would hardly call that "using the feed to pump their site".

Secondly, sure, it would be great if they provided the screen scraper script. But really, anyone who knows perl could write that in 5 minutes or less so who cares. The point of the article is that the CBC, as a public institution, has no business engaging in this BS.

Is this so wrong? Wouldn't it be better for these people to publish the scripts they use to screen-scrape CBC as an alternative to the RSS feed itself, so each person can see their own private versions however they wish? It would be better for "Sarah and Leo" to provide people with the tools to pull in CBC content themselves rather than trying to pump their own site up with CBC-created content. It's not like the viewers have no access to this information: all we have to do is visit CBC's site and it's right there.

---There is no Spoon---
[ Parent ]

Sigh... (2.00 / 2) (#80)
by sudog on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 01:07:20 PM EST

Have you ever used RSS feeds? All it is is hyperlinks. Specifically, the only "content" that they published is 5 hyperlinks to news stories with their headline as the link, a headline basically the same as 100 others at news.google.ca. I don't see how or why any self respecting organization would claim any kind of copyright on its headline alone - how could they ever even enforce that? If that rule actually did exist the outlets would be constantly stepping over eachother with duplicate headlines.

RSS feeds can contain much more information than just hyperlinks. For an example, please visit the following URL, since you appear too lazy to do your own research: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/blogs/gems/tech/rss2sample.xml. The complaint CBC had was that whats-their-pickles were ripping off headlines AND leads. The two in combination. Duh.

A particularly unique headline combined with a lead is enough for copyright infringement if they are copied precisely and automatically, every time.

Secondly, sure, it would be great if they provided the screen scraper script. But really, anyone who knows perl could write that in 5 minutes or less so who cares. The point of the article is that the CBC, as a public institution, has no business engaging in this BS.

You're wrong of course, but since you've already closed your mind shut like a steel trap because you think we're attacking you personally, there's nothing I can say to dissuade you from this. Apparently you missed my earlier point about unlimited-use...



[ Parent ]
Also, don't advocate mass-email bombings. [n/t] (2.50 / 4) (#43)
by sudog on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 01:05:05 PM EST



Corporate Greed? (2.25 / 4) (#48)
by karb on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 04:54:14 PM EST

Maybe in Canada it's different, but in the US government-funded organizations are fairly greedy too, and that has absolutely nothing to do with profits. It isn't hard to imagine that the eventual RSS feed the CBC will provide will only come as the result of extra funding from the Canadian government for that purpose.

And, as for 'un-biased', pshaw. The BBC, NPR, and (assumedly) the CBC are certainly high-brow, however, which is at the same time the justification for and the irony of their public funding.
--
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?

What's with the canada articles? (2.50 / 2) (#52)
by Run4YourLives on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 06:36:56 PM EST

And seriously, grow up. It's an RSS feed, not the fricken gestapo.

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
Everybody Loves Canada! (none / 1) (#54)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:16:34 PM EST

Even if you just love to make fun.

Who would bother hating Canada?

So it's an excuse to kick around something other than the US election we can all mutter about without instant flamewars.


___
If you can read this signature clearly, you are sitting too close to your monitor.
[ Parent ]
Grow Up. (2.05 / 17) (#53)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Wed Sep 29, 2004 at 08:14:09 PM EST

Let me get this straight: the CBC's legal beagles at barking at some RSS hippies for bilking their precious newsy cyber-content wihtout curtsying first, and so you no longer "believe" in the CBC?

My God, if life were only made up of such trifling disillusionments as this we'd have wall to wall idealists clogging the pipes!

Listen, son: the CBC is a Crown corporation, run by boards of directors of overpaid businessgnomes protected by squadrons of law dogs, advised by grant-sucking soft scientists of media, communication and culture. Decisions are made slowly, expensively, by politicking and by curried favour, by swelled committees representing every stripe of ethics, ethnics and sodomy. Reports are issued, debated, documentarified, unearthed from archives, broken as a news story, debated on the chat shows, and ultimately forgotten.

It is a lumbering, fat, starving, dysfunctional animal.

And you expect it to tap dance around an emerging technology as if it were a corporeal personification of your due as a citizen?
You, sir, are worse than Hitler.


___
If you can read this signature clearly, you are sitting too close to your monitor.
Actually (3.00 / 3) (#69)
by theantix on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 03:22:33 PM EST

I do believe the record will show quite clearly who is worse than Hitler.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
(3) Encourage (none / 0) (#88)
by Stavr0 on Mon Oct 18, 2004 at 03:43:10 PM EST

-1 for intentional Godwin triggering.

Net sum: (2) Neutral
- - -
Pax Americana : Oderint Dum Metuant
[ Parent ]

You're making a mountain out of a molehill (3.00 / 4) (#64)
by I Hate Yanks on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 11:58:00 AM EST

A C&D maybe a bit over the top but it's nothing to get upset about. The CBC haven't changed the way that they are funded and they are still the great unbiased (caveat emptor) news source that they always were.


Reasons to hate Americans (No. 812): Circletimessquare lives there.

Publishing = Control (none / 1) (#68)
by cdguru on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 03:18:59 PM EST

The issue with this, and many other seemingly obvious things on the Internet, is that a lot of people do not equate their republishing of content as control over that content. This is first and formost what any publisher is concerned with.

You can argue that Sarah and Leo were not altering the content in any way - that is immaterial. They could alter it - it is physically possible. Even not altering the content directly, but subtlety adding new items to provide additional context. All of these things offer the republisher the opportunity to alter the message. No publisher wants that and will fight to prevent it from happening.

An example of this would certainly be simply framing articles from a web site, enclosing those that are "left leaning", "progressive-friendly" and such with a nice pastel graphic and enclosing "right leaning" content with a red and yellow striped graphic. Obviously this would garner an immediate cease-and-desist letter from any publisher. If it isn't obvious to you, think about someone framing K5 content with frames that indicate a "Commie Left" or "Right" slant for each article.

A cluestick for you (2.66 / 3) (#70)
by theantix on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 03:31:47 PM EST

The CBC doesn't want someone else publishing its content without explicit permission.  That just makes sense.  They are not writing as the public domain, they are writing as a copyright holder and have every right to defend their copyright.  They have to draw the line somewhere, and drawing that line on "only we can publish our own content" is a good place to draw it.  If you don't draw that line, you leave yourself open to all sorts of problems.

The CBC does a lot of very good things... Newsworld, CBC Radio 1 and CBC Radio 3 are brilliant... and The National and Da Vinci's inquest on CBC TV rock my world.  It's not reasonable to decry the whole CBC because they don't have an RSS feed yet and don't want someone else to scrape their content.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!

What content??? (2.66 / 3) (#72)
by brunes69 on Thu Sep 30, 2004 at 08:52:54 PM EST

No one is talking about republishing content.

The whole point of the story is publishing *links to content*. I refuse to believe that a headline is content, no matter what any media source would ever say. Just 2 minutes at Google news is all you need to see that nearly all headlines by the major papers/news outlets read the exact same.

---There is no Spoon---
[ Parent ]

Steady... (3.00 / 2) (#78)
by Thought Assassin on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 02:33:36 AM EST

You're talking to one of the guys who paid for that content to be created. Why should publically funded content not be publically available?

-Greg

[ Parent ]

I'm also Canadian, so what? (2.75 / 4) (#79)
by theantix on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 11:33:20 AM EST

It is publicly available, anyone with a browser can go to http://cbc.ca/news and read the damn articles.  It's not that complicated, even a mouth breather could accomplish this if they tried hard enough.  But they are not publishing a wiki, they retain copyright for a lot of valid reasons, their reputation and the reputation of their content producers is at stake if they leave it wide open for anyone to republish or alter their content.

I repeat: JUST BECAUSE IT ISN'T IN RSS FORMAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT IT IS NOT PUBLICLY AVAILABLE.  People have some fucked up ideas about what rights are these days.... now we have idiots thinking that RSS feeds are a fundamental right.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]

Whatever (1.00 / 11) (#77)
by trhurler on Fri Oct 01, 2004 at 01:29:51 AM EST

By "unbiased" you mean "agrees with my biases." And by "quality" you mean "crap."

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Oh please (none / 0) (#87)
by sticky on Sun Oct 10, 2004 at 02:06:58 PM EST

The CBC has reeked like a pile of stinking garbage for years as far as their news reporting goes.  The depth and quality of reporting have declined considerably.  Take a regular look at the vancouver.cbc.ca site.  On more than one occasion I have seen almost verbatim press releases from the likes of the Fraser Institute reported as news.  Most of the news they report has a very tabloid feel to it, more like the Province than the BBC.  

Now the national news is better, but since they closed down  a lot of their foreign bureaus there is far less in depth reporting and coverage of important world events.  


Don't eat the shrimp.---God

What's wrong with the CBC | 88 comments (67 topical, 21 editorial, 4 hidden)
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