And who is suing whom?

It came as a surprise to learn that the CBC has filed a complaint with the courts claiming that the conservative party has infringed on CBC copyright. I am not sure yet if I find it more amusing or concerning.

In a career as a writer, I must admit that I have never been involved in a court case over copyright. When you consider the thousands of speeches, news releases, magazine articles, scripts and opinion pieces cobbled over the years, it must have been the early mentoring that kept me out of trouble. You learn that facts require proof, opinion needs to be identified and to always recognize sources.

It was in the past few years that I found myself trying to explain that principal to the publisher of Patrick Brown’s ill-considered book on his problems in Ontario politics. The various lawsuits initiated by that book appeared to be nothing more than warning shots over the bow of whatever skiff Brown was rowing.

Much ballyhooed lawsuits in politics are most often withdrawn after the point has been made. Our judges already have dockets overloaded with serious cases and have little patience for the spurious.

And this one by the CBC is probably in that category. While the Corp needs to assert itself and tell the politicians to not play fast and loose with its creative material, nothing would be gained after years of dragging the case through the courts.

And considering the feud between the Tories and the people’s broadcaster, that has been going on for many years, I was surprised that the last Harper government did not do more to eviscerate the CBC than just deny it the funds it needed. Some wiser heads must have realized what ‘Hockey Night in Canada’ meant to Canadians.

But I also remember during the 1963 federal election, the joke at the Jarvis Street Kremlin (CBC English headquarters at the time in Toronto) was that a planning meeting was supposed to have been ended by the apocryphal comment: ‘Let’s get to work. We have a government to defeat.’


Copyright 2019 © Peter Lowry

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