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Media Beat: August 24, 2023

By David Farrell

When will the Trudeau government act on promised copyright reform?

The Trudeau government made a commitment in recent mandate letters to ministers to amend the Copyright Act “to further protect artists, creators and copyright holders”. Those instructions were in the mandate letters of Industry minister François-Philippe Champagne and previous Heritage minister Pablo Rodriguez. A new mandate letter for Minister St. Onge has not yet been released. While she has yet to receive her marching orders, given St. Onge’s previous background, one can assume she is likely sympathetic to creators’ concerns. Before entering politics in 2021 she was Secretary General then President of the Fédération nationale des communications et de la culture.


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… However, in Canada the lead minister responsible for the Copyright Act is the Minister of Industry, Science and Economic Development, Mr. Champagne. Both ministers and ministries need to act, and act now. The cri de coeur from the cultural industries and from Canada’s writers, artists and publishers can no longer be ignored. – Hugh Stephens Blog

Bell Media gave up on Vrak, now it’s shutting it down (which channel is next?)

The good news is that despite also being dropped by Videotron, Z lives on. Its fall schedule announcement shows some actual original programming.

But if Vrak can fall, who’s next? Here are some channels whose revenues, expenses and subscribers have been falling off cliffs lately (with their operating profit and number of subscribers in 2021-2022): – Steve Faguy

Tax bills are the fastest growing expenditures for Canadians since 1961

A new tax index by the Fraser Institute found that tax bills were the fastest-growing expenditures for Canadians in the last few decades, even surpassing the rising cost of housing. 

According to the Canadian Consumer Tax Index 2023 edition, taxes grew by 2,778% since 1961. – Cosmin Dzsurdza, True North

Advocacy group calls for Canadians to boycott Meta sites this week

The boycott came as wildfires rip through the Northwest Territories and parts of British Columbia. Because events are moving so rapidly, including evacuation plans, some have called for Meta to reverse its news block.

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Under Meta’s ban, those searching for information on the fires and evacuation efforts have had to rely on government and emergency services accounts or visit news websites directly. – Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

Wildfires reveal social media as the new problem child for government communications

As raging wildfires threatened the capital of the Northwest Territories, a social media post from the City of Yellowknife was astonishing in its uselessness.

Announcing an upcoming news conference on the fires, it wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Due to the recent change in legislation, the City is unable to share the link because it’s a media source.” The city told people to manually type in a URL or try to search for it.

And that URL? It was simply the top-level, main domain: cpac.ca. Even when there, people interested in the news conference would still have to search the website itself for the event. – Dave Sommer, The Globe and Mail

It’s time Canada puts its house in order and put an end to profligate politicians

…two-thirds of Canadians are concerned about their ability to pay their debts due to rising interest rates, and approximately three in five Canadians say they’ll be in financial difficulty if interest rates go much higher. That sort of stress and economic worry is putting a huge strain on a lot of Canadian families.

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And here is one of the most shocking statistics regarding the financial well-being of Canadians: 44 percent of all individuals between the ages of 55 and 64 have less than $5,000 socked away in retirement savings – Frank Stronach, National Post

Hundreds of AI ‘news’ sites busily spew misinformation. Google and Meta’s Canadian news ban may make it worse

As it becomes increasingly difficult to trust what we read online, experts say it’s critical to learn how to tell real media from fake — here’s how… – Kevin Jiang, Toronto Star

Michael Wolff’s new book predicts the fall of Fox News

Rupert Murdoch has dominated the right-wing media space for decades, but author Michael Wolff says his story is reaching its ‘closing act’. – Martin Pengelly, The Guardian

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50 Cent

50 Cent

Awards

50 Cent Takes A Victory Lap at Toronto's Cabana Pool Bar: Canadian Concerts of the Week

Also this week: it's festival season, with Hillside, Le Festif! and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival all happening on the same weekend.

Summer is in swing, and that means festival season. While many of the biggest ones take place in August, this weekend sees a handful of folk or adjacent events with the perfect summer vibes. Find those below, after our concert of the week featuring one of the biggest rap success stories of the last two decades.

Concert of the Week

50 Cent at Cabana Pool Bar, Toronto — Saturday, July 20

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