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    Angus Calls for Hearings on CRTC Broadcasting False News Change

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    Wednesday February 02, 2011
    NDP MP Charlie Angus has put forward a motion at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage calling for hearings on the CRTC's proposed change to the broadcasting false news prohibition.
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    CRTC Proposes to Change Standard for Broadcasting False or Misleading News

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    Wednesday January 12, 2011
    The CRTC last week quietly proposed a significant change to the rules on false or misleading news broadcasts on radio or television.  The law currently provides that a broadcast licensee "shall not broadcast any false or misleading news."  The CRTC is proposing to amend the law with respect to television and radio by lowering the standard to "any news that the licensee knows is false or misleading and that endangers or is likely to endanger the lives, health or safety of the public."  In other words, it would perfectly permissible for a broadcaster to air false or misleading news, provided that it not endanger the lives, health or safety of the public.

    If enacted, the changes would move the Canadian broadcast framework closer to that found in the U.S.  The Federal Communications Commission has a limited rule against broadcast hoaxes that provides:


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    CRTC of Old Re-Emerges in Music Station Case

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    Wednesday May 19, 2010
    Taking pot shots at Canada’s national broadcast regulator has practically been a national sport for many years, as observers from across the political spectrum paint the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission as too interventionist, too luddite, too slow, or a combination of all of the above.

    As my recent technology law column (forgotten with all the copyright activity - Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes, in recent years, the commission has worked to shed its negative reputation by increasingly adopting decisions that favour letting consumers and businesses decide broadcast winners and losers. For example, the recent fee-for-service decision promotes a negotiated settlement between broadcasters and cable companies with the CRTC betting that consumer expectations will provide sufficient incentive to ensure that local programming remains accessible to viewers.  


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    Reviewing CRTC's Broadcast Policy Decision

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    Tuesday March 30, 2010
    My weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) takes a look back at last week's CRTC broadcast policy decision and report on the consumer impact.  The piece covers much the same terrain as two blog posts on the same issue.  I note that after months of intense lobbying and marketing that pitted broadcasters ("Local TV Matters") against cable and satellite companies ("Stop the TV Tax"), the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission weighed in last week with its much-anticipated broadcasting regulatory policy decision.


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