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  • [BROADCASTING] Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2017-253: Requests for relief in regard to the Commission’s policy framework for Certified Independent Production Funds
  • [TELECOM] Telecom Decision CRTC 2017-252: TELUS Communications Company – Show cause proceeding concerning the use of deferral account funds to improve access to telecommunications services for persons with disabilities

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  • [TELECOM] Telecom order 2017-230: Streamlined order – The Commission approves on an interim basis the following tariff application: Northwestel Inc. TN 996
  • [BROADCASTING]: Broadcasting Decision 2017-236: Ethnic Channels Group Limited – Across Canada – APPROVED – Application to add Kino Polska Muzyka, a non-Canadian third-language service, to the List of non-Canadian programming services and stations authorized for distribution
  • [TELECOM] Telecom Decision CRTC 2017-233: Sogetel inc. – Implementation of local competition for CoopTel, on behalf of Câble Axion Digitel inc.
  • [TELECOM] Telecom Order Regulatory Policy 2017-235: Disconnection  Practices between Telecommunications Service Providers
  • [TELECOM] [TELECOM] Telecom Order 2017-239: Bell Canada – Local Network Interconnection and Component Unbundling
  • [BROADCASTING] Broadcasting Decision 2017-237: Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Ltd. (the general partner) and Jim Pattison Industries Ltd. (the limited partner), carrying on business as Jim Pattison Broadcast Group Limited Partnership – Various locations in Alberta and British Columbia – APPROVED – Applications to renew the broadcasting licences for the commercial radio stations set out in the decision 

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Kickstarting Canadian Music: Survey Results

Sara Bannerman and the Networked Communications Governance Lab recently conducted a survey of Kickstarter users who campaigned successfully in English using the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to raise money for their Canadian music projects.

We were able to invite 103 of the 112 Kickstarter users who fit this description, and 12 responded to our survey.  Users who completed the survey received a $20 iTunes gift card.

Here’s what we found:

 

Time spent

The amount of time committed to and invested in projects varied greatly, but much more time was spent in the execution of the project than in the administration of the campaign. The given times include time spent by all those involved in the creation and facilitation of the project, not solely the primary respondent. Each bar represents one campaign.

 

Some artists reported spending years writing, while others spent comparatively little time on the project altogether:

 

Money and Profit

The projects raised various amounts of money, but all surveyed artists met their “target” amount. Most projects were regarded as profit generating, however a good portion were considered non-profit.

 

Outside of Kickstarter, the projects were largely funded by the artists personal incomes.

 

The amount of money raised was mostly used for production costs. However, about half of the respondents were able to claim some profits for themselves.

 

We asked the participants what other money they had applied for, specifically if they had applied for a FACTOR grant. The artists were split evenly between those who had applied for a factor grant and those who had not.

 

With regards to Kickstarter’s fees, most artists felt the website charged a reasonable amount.

 

Music Production through Kickstarter: genre and music releases

All of our participants thought of their project as “indie” in one sense or another.  This was either because their music was not on a major label or was part of the indie genre.

 

We asked artists where they were likely to release their music. Most indicated that they will releasing their projects with online music retailers, and personal websites/events. Almost all were not offering a free release.

 

The Experience of Kickstarter

Close to all of the artists had some sort of experience with musical projects. However, most respondents believed that Kickstarter furthered their knowledge of the music production process. Respondents were asked to rate their understanding of crowdfunding scale at the outset of their experience.  They were then asked about previous experience with musical projects, on the same scale.

 

Support networks

The following results concern a perceived change in support networks. Most participants felt that Kickstarter had helped them in gaining new fans and supporters.

 

If new fans were gained:

If new supporters of their project were gained:

 

 

The artists were also asked about how Kickstarter helped them gain credibility for their work or opened doors for future success. Most indicated that their Kickstarter campaign had helped them to produce more successful projects. However, a large number of respondents also indicated that Kickstarter was a neutral factor in convincing people to work with the artists or impressing people.

If telling people about the Kickstarter campaign opened doors:

 

 

If the campaign helped convince people to work with the artist:

 

 

If the fact of the campaign impressed people:

 

Demographics: Employment and Income

Respondents were asked to describe their present employment status. About half were employed outside of their Kickstarter/music endeavours.

 

They were also asked about current income, independent of funds raised through Kickstarter and found that more than half made under $35, 000 a year.

 

Age and Education

Respondents were asked their age, largely skewing younger:

 

And their level of education:

 

Our survey helped researchers gain a sense of how and why Canadian artists are engaging with Kickstarter. They mostly viewed their experience in a positive light, however, they remained cautious in assuming that Kickstarter would supply them a full wage/income. This research will be extended to theorize the relationship between crowdsourcing incomes, artists and the economy of making music.

 

 

Weekly News Roundup (June 28)

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Weekly News Roundup (June 23)

By: Brittany Green

Top Stories this Week

 Ottawa appoints Judith LaRocque as interim chair of CRTC ; A career public servant, LaRocque will step in for Jean-Pierre Blais, whose five-year term ended on Saturday (CRTC)

Ms. LaRocque will step in for Jean-Pierre Blais, whose five-year term as chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ended on Saturday. The federal Department of Canadian Heritage, which is responsible for naming the CRTC chair, began its search for a candidate in January and extended the deadline for applications twice, but still has not found a permanent replacement.

How Blais shook up telecom industry (CRTC)

Industry players may clash over the success of his policies and his leadership, but no one could accuse Jean-Pierre Blais of anything but a dogged pursuit of his agenda during his five years as chairman of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

Liberal government tables bill to reform Access to Information (Access to Information Canada)

The Trudeau government plans to cap the spring sitting of Parliament with long-awaited legislation on Access to Information and national security — bills unlikely to be debated by MPs in a serious way until the fall.

CBC ordered probe into nepotism complaints (Access to Information Canada)

The CBC hired an external investigator to probe two top television executives after receiving complaints that at least 13 contracts were handed to production companies owned by their spouses. Although the investigator found no breaches of the public broadcaster’s conflict of interest policy, the legal counsel for one anonymous complainant said the findings are “inconsistent with the facts” and the contracts present the appearance of conflict of interest.

Canadian media have continued to uphold whiteness at work (CRTC) (Access to Information Canada)

Editorial: The institutional refusal by Canada’s media companies (with some exceptions) to deal with diversity, and its pesky twin, equity, in a transparent and accountable way is concerning. As journalists, we flock to cover gender-equal cabinets and to criticize “diversity is our strength” while rarely mentioning our own failures on race and gender. On matters of identity, representation and equity, we are hypocrites.

Top International News

Supreme Court Rejects Expansion of Government-Speech Doctrine In Tam Case (Freedom of Expression)

The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Matal v. Tam striking down the trademark non-disparagement requirement as unconstitutional is a big victory for the First Amendment. First, the Court strongly pushed back against the expansion of the government-speech doctrine, perhaps the biggest current threat to free speech jurisprudence. Second, the Court strengthened a position EFF has long advocated—that intellectual property rights and First Amendment rights must be balanced against each other rather than weighted in favor of the former.

On the mark: The Supreme Court says offensive trademarks are protected speech (Freedom of Expression)

“HATE speech”, activists on college campuses like to say, “is not free speech”. Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, Oregon, made the point last month in reference to a man who uttered anti-Muslim slurs before killing two people who challenged him.

Reload: Another debate about net neutrality in America

An Attack on Net Neutrality Is an Attack on Free Speech (Freedom of Expression International)

Several US senators spoke out this week on the importance of net neutrality to innovation and free speech. They are right. The Internet has become our public square, our newspaper, our megaphone. The Federal Communications Commission is trying to turn it in something more akin to commercial cable TV, and we all have to work together to stop it.

Coal company sues HBO’s John Oliver for defamation (Defamation International)

Coal company Murray Energy has sued HBO and its Sunday-night host, John Oliver, for what it says was a “false and malicious broadcast” last Sunday evening. It’s seeking financial damages and a court order barring rebroadcasts of the segment’s “defamatory statements.”

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Weekly News Roundup (June 15)

By: Brittany Green

 Top Stories this Week

 Canada envoy to U.S. embarrassed by delays in Parliament over preclearance bill (Privacy Canada)

Canada’s envoy to the United States says he is embarrassed it is taking so long for Parliament to pass a new law that would pave the way for greater pre-clearance at the border. Ambassador David MacNaughton says he leaned on U.S. lawmakers to pass a law that would allow passengers to be pre-cleared at a greater number of airports to allow the speedy flow of people across the 49th parallel.

Ottawa’s push to address competition in our wireless market is long overdue; Last week, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains addressed the weak competitive landscape of wireless services that form the backbone of modern communications and commerce (CRTC)

If the first step toward solving an issue comes from admitting there is a problem, Canada took a big leap forward last week in addressing the weak competitive landscape of wireless services that form the backbone of modern communications and commerce. Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, used a keynote speech to the telecom industry to kick-start government action and remove any doubt about its frustration with the competitive state of the sector.

BoC urges banks to co-operate on cybersecurity (Access to Information Canada) Canada’s interconnected banks are vulnerable to a cascading series of cyberattacks that could undermine broad confidence in the financial system, the Bank of Canada warns.The structural vulnerability could allow for the easy spread of an initial attack that ripples into other sectors such as energy or water systems, says the bank’s June financial review.

CRTC will ‘need to act’ to boost wireless competition, Blais says; Outgoing head of Canada’s telecom regulator says direct intervention may be necessary to deliver more competition (CRTC)

Days before the end of his term, the chairman of Canada’s telecom regulator is warning that his successor may need to intervene directly in the wireless market to deliver more competition and lower prices for consumers.

U.S. could stand in way of armed drones for Canada; Preferred model comes with tight restrictions (Access to Information Canada)

The Liberal government’s plan to buy armed drones could face major delays because obtaining such technology needs approval from the U.S., according to documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen.

Top International News

University eases guidelines on chalk sidewalk messages (Censorship International)  Pennsylvania university has eased rules about messages written in chalk on sidewalks following protests from an anti-abortion group.

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Weekly News Roundup (June 8)

By: Brittany Green

 Top Stories this Week

 FCC head defends net neutrality policy in Canadian speech; In his speech, Ajit Pai outlined his reasons for proposing to reverse rules that classify Internet providers as a public utility (CRTC)

In an address to representatives from across the Canadian telecom industry, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission defended his stance on net neutrality, an issue on which the two countries have recently diverged.

Former CBC executive Richard Stursberg voted new president of Pen Canada (Feeedom of Expression Canada)

The non-partisan organization works to defend freedom of expression as a basic human right at home and abroad. Stursberg was voted in as the new president at an annual general meeting on Monday, succeeding novelist and academic Randy Boyagoda.

 Get your business ready for the latest anti-spam restrictions; Provisions of Canada’s anti-spam law coming into effect on July 1 significantly increase restrictions on who you can send marketing e-mails to (CRTC)

Provisions of Canada’s three-year-old anti-spam legislation that are set to come into effect July 1 will require senders of electronic messages meant to directly or indirectly encourage participation in a commercial activity (CEMs) to have the express consent of the recipients of those messages.

 Top International News

Migrant workers from Myanmar face Thai defamation charges (Defamation International)

Fourteen migrant workers from Myanmar appeared Wednesday in a Thai court on criminal defamation charges brought by their employer, which they accused of grueling, illegal working conditions.

Brits have terrorism experience; Many in Canada harbour unserious views (Censorship International)

Experts in both terrorism and digital media say British Prime Minister Theresa May’s accusations that internet companies are providing a “safe space” for extremism aren’t helpful in the fight against terror attacks.

Twitter users, blocked by President Trump, cry censorship (Censorship International)

President Donald Trump may be the nation’s tweeter-in-chief, but some Twitter users say he’s violating the First Amendment by blocking people from his feed after they posted scornful comments.

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