It appears the Harper Government is planning to dink with copyright law again. And true to Harper Government form, they’re doing so in the most self-serving arsehole fashion possible.
The Conservative government is planning to change Canada’s copyright law to allow political parties to use content published and broadcast by news organizations for free in their own political ads.
An internal Conservative cabinet document obtained by CTV News details an amendment to the Copyright Act which would allow “free use of ‘news’ content in political advertisement intended to promote or oppose a politician or political party.”
The amendment would also remove “the need for broadcasters to authorize the use of their news content.” And it would force media outlets to run political ads even if their own footage and content was used in a negative message to voters.
And yes, they know this is a shithead thing to do and they’re working on the spin as I type.
The internal document warns that media outlets will vehemently claim their work is being unfairly targeted for the benefit of political parties. The document provides instructions to Conservatives to come up with a strong communication plan to manage the reaction.
You don’t have to be Head Rocket Surgeon at the Rocket Surgeon Institute to figure out who this is going to benefit and how. All you have to do is listen to the radio, watch TV, surf the web or any combination of the three. If there has ever been a government at any level that has spent more time and money on advertising in the history of Canada, I’d love to learn about it. They may use more resources on ads than on ramming through awful legislation or picking fights with respected people and institutions, in fact. It’s close, but the fact that you can hardly get through your favourite show or sporting event without hearing about that Economic Action Plan that still doesn’t really exist or how much of a primped up shitbag Justin Trudeau is supposed to be speaks volumes about where this government’s priorities lie.
And speaking of shitbags, this set of shitbags is burying this in its latest omnibus bill, the cowards. It’s the only way they seem to feel comfortable doing anything. I’d have so much more respect for the lot of them if they’d just step up and own their self-interested dickheadedness instead of hiding it amongst things the other parties can’t possibly vote against without messing everything up. I wouldn’t vote for them mind you, but I’d at least have to admire their principled stand on what they believe to be an important issue of our time. But as it is, this latest tweak and burial smacks of the insecurity that’s defined the Harper Conservatives since they took power. the one thing they’re good at is attack ads, so of course they’ll want to sneak through a mechanism to make the ad mill run that much more efficiently. I just hope that we all remember this when campaign ads are actually in season.