Today we learned that the NDP, Greens, Liberals and the Bloc will all be participating in the media consortium debates. The Liberals had listed their demands for this debate a few days prior. What’s stood out for me is that the Liberals want strict control over consortium debate material:
According to a press release, the consortium is teaming up with social media to help spread the live stream and voter participation. Part of that participation will come in the form of bloggers using short clips of the debate to post on youtube, and blogs with commentary. This is covered under fair use laws. Why would the Liberal party want to establish clear rules and uses of debate footage, when those uses are clear in law? This could have a severe impact on political bloggers like myself to offer commentary on the consortium debates. Videos or even paraphrasing the debate may end up being taken down on copyright grounds by consortium members from what this statement implies.
We don’t know exactly what was agreed upon yet by these parties regarding the uses of debate footage, and how that is going to be enforced by the consortium. The Liberal demands should be a very serious concern to not just us bloggers, but also the political parties involved in these debates, and voters as an attack on freedom of speech by the Liberal party!
UPDATED: Federal Liberal Party Secretary Ray Larson Jr. has responded to this blog with the following (full conversation here):