Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Access Copyright prevails in "fair dealing" suit against York University

Though it is but one step in what may still be extended litigation, it was heartening to see that after a long struggle, Access Copyright, the Canadian copyright licensing agency, won a suit against York University over copyright infringement. 

It is a test case against York, but could well apply to other universities who took a button in the new Copyright Act and sewed a suit on it, essentially turning "fair dealing" provisions into a wholesale grab for the work of artists and other creators. 

Universities have in recent years opted out of agreements with Access which required fees to be paid for copying digital and hard copies for students, according to a tariff published by Access Copyright. Universities have interpreted the regulations so broadly that writers and publishers had virtually no rights at all to control the use of their work that was deemed for "educational" purposes. 

The guidelines adopted by various universities, including York, said that up to 10% of a given work could be copied, but it effectively meant much more. The result has been that Access, which previously has passed on a modest share of fees to creators, wasn't able to pay but a pittance. Justice Michael L. Phelan  of the Federal court said in delivering judgement,
“The fact that the guidelines could allow for copying of up to 100 per cent of the work of a particular author, so long as the copying was divided up between courses, indicates that the guidelines are arbitrary and are not soundly based in principle.”
“York has not satisfied the fairness aspect of the quantitative amount of the dealing. There is no explanation why 10 per cent or a single article or any other limitation is fair.
"It is evident that York created the guidelines and operated under them primarily to obtain for free that which they had previously paid for.” 
Here is a summary of the judgement.

The full judgement can be obtained from the web site of the Federal Court.  

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Quote, unquote: You have to laugh, or you'll cry

“I’ve had a great response to the cover. I think the image allows you to look at a scary subject and laugh about it. People need a release and the laughter holds back the tears.”
-- illustrator Andrew Rae talking to The Drum about the most recent Trumpian cover for the New York Times Magazine. (We particularly like the flight of the Twitter birds.)


Thursday, July 13, 2017

Litmags' stories longlisted for this year's Journey Prize

The longlist has been announced for this year's $10,000 Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize for best short story by an emerging Canadian writer. (It should be noted how important literary magazines are in bringing these stories to  view.)
  • Lisa Alward from Fredericton, NB for "Old Growth" (The New Quarterly: Canadian Writers & Writing
  • Sharon Bala from St. John's, NL for "Butter Tea At Starbucks" (The New Quarterly) and "Reading Week" (PRISM international)
  • Patrick Doerksen from Abbotsford, BC for "Leech" ((parenthetical)) 
  • Sarah Kabamba from Ottawa, ON for "They Come Crying" (Room magazine) 
  • Richard Kelly Kemick from Calgary, AB for "The Most Human Part Of You" (Maisonneuve) and "The Unitarian Church's Annual Young Writer's Short Story Competition" (The New Quarterly)
  • Michael Meagher from Halifax, NS for "Used To It" (PRISM international)
  • Darlene Naponse from Naughton, ON for "She Is Water" (The Malahat Review)
  • Maria Reva from Vancouver, BC for "Subject Winifred" (The Malahat Review)
  • Jack Wang from Vancouver, BC for "The Nature Of Things" (The Malahat Review)
  • Kelly Ward from Toronto, ON for "A Girl And A Dog On A Friday Night" (Taddle Creek)
A shortlist will be released on September 13, and the winner on November 14, at the Writers' Trust Awards in Toronto. The winner will receive $10,000; Finalists: $1,000. The publications that first published these stories are also contenders for a $2,000 prize made possible by McClelland & Stewart.
The longlist of 12 stories are to be featured in The Journey Prize Stories 29, available in bookstores September 26. 

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Sunday, July 09, 2017

Mag world view: Losing sparkle; MJ staffs up; The Week buys MoneyWeek; 8 WSJ blogs shuttered


Thursday, July 06, 2017

British Press Association accepts €706,000 from Google to fund robot reporting

The Press Association in Britain has accepted €706,000 from Google to develop a robot local reporting project. (PA is the British equivalent of the Canadian Press wire service.) The grant will fund Reporters and Data and Robots (RADAR) starting in early 2018 as part of Google's €150m three-year Digital News Initiative. PA said in a statement: 
RADAR is intended to meet the increasing demand for consistent, fact-based insights into local communities, for the benefit of established regional media outlets, as well as the growing sector of independent publishers, hyperlocal outlets and bloggers.” 
A team of five journalists working on project will use open government and local authority databases, and story templates, to create automatic stories about health, crime, employment and other subjects.“Natural Language Generation” software will be used to produce multiple versions of stories, to “scale up the mass localisation of news content”.
PA Editor Pete Clifton said
“At a time when many media outlets are experiencing commercial pressures, RADAR will provide the news ecosystem with a cost-effective way to provide incisive local stories, enabling audiences to hold democratic bodies to account. We have already provided an outline of our plans to some of our regional customers, and they have been universally positive. One described it as ‘genius’. 
“Skilled human journalists will still be vital in the process, but RADAR allows us to harness artificial intelligence to scale up to a volume of local stories that would be impossible to provide manually.”

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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Winnipeg health mag Wave shifting
from print to digital

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority has converted its bi-monthly health and wellness magazine Wave from print to a digital-only format. It will be delivered through a new website WaveMag.ca

First launched in 2009, featuring content surrounding nutrition, active living and mental health, it also features stories that delve into the inner workings of the health-care system, particularly in the areas of clinical care, research and innovation.


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Shared Mag Moments campaign draws 18,000 responses, 50,000 video views

Magazines Canada's contest campaign Share Your Magazine Moment to promote consumer engagement with and purchase of Canadian magazines, both English and French, concluded at the end of May with
  • 33,000 visits to Canada's Magazine Store
  • 50,000 video views and 
  • 18,000 shared magazine moments
Every contest entry included a favourite magazine moment.  Three grand prize winners were selected to receive a 3-night Fairmont Hotel stay for two, a $500 Roots Canada Gift Card and $1,500 for travel expenses, plus admission to attractions and events:
  • Calgary – Fairmont Palliser: Daniel Lemire, Magog QC
  • Toronto – Fairmont Royal York: Suzanne Giroux, Ponteix SK
  • Québec City – Le Château Frontenac: Andrea Alexander, Vancouver BC
Five second prize winners were selected to each receive a $100 Roots Gift Card: Sarah Ferguson, Saskatoon SK; Bruce Litowitz, Victoria BC; Michael Bradburn, Pickering ON; Louise Blouin, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC; and Cathy Robichaud, Sarnia ON.

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James Hewes to be named president of international media organization FIPP

James Hewes has been appointed president of FIPP, the network for global media. He succeeds Chris Llewellyn, who is stepping down in September. Hewes has been a director of the FIPP management board since October 2015 and worked for BBC Worldwide and BBC Magazines from 2001 to 2012.

He has recently been the interim CEO for The Art Newspaper. And had been publishing director of Dubai-based Gulf News Publishing where he had responsibility for more than 30 product areas including digital across mobile, websites and apps, live events, magazines, books, newspaper supplements, content marketing and contract publishing. He launched new brands across digital, live events and print including www.gntech.ae and Cititzen K Arabia and the launch of the group’s first consumer title in Arabic – wheels Arabic.
He was the launch publisher of olive magazine, and grew BBC Magazines’ licensing portfolio from eight to 55 editions including 20 editions of Top Gear Magazine. James was also a key member of the team that sold BBC Magazines to private equity in November 2011 for £120m. He subsequently became publishing director for Top Gear, Good Food, Easy Cook and Lonely Planet Magazine, responsible for the brands across print and mobile applications as well as a director of the BBC Haymarket Exhibitions joint venture.
Hewes said: 
“I am a huge supporter of FIPP and it’s an incredible honour to be asked to lead the organisation. FIPP’s ability to connect its members with the information networking opportunities and expertise they need are more important than ever.”

He added: “The media industry is undergoing a period of rapid transformation. I look forward to engaging with our members to ensure FIPP continues to deliver products and services that reflect these changes and enhance our members’ ability to thrive in a changing media environment.”
Magazines Canada is a member of FIPP. 


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Circulation Management Association of Canada (CMC) merging with Magazines Canada

The Circulation Management Association of Canada (CMC) has merged with Magazines Canada. It is one more step in an ongoing consolidation of magazine industry associations. The merger was approved at the CMC's annual general meeting on Wednesday. 

Formed in 1981 principally to provide training and professional development among circulators, CMC decided to dissolve the association and throw in with the national trade association's mission advocating and serving the whole Canadian industry. (CMC and Mags Canada have a long history of partnering, such as co-presenting Magazine University MagNet, the annual industry conference.)

It follows on a similar merger earlier this year with Canadian Business Media, representing business-to-business publishers. 
Under this agreement, the longstanding partnership between the two organizations will be made permanent. Current CMC members will receive access to Magazines Canada’s professional development events and services, and can elect to join a renewed and empowered Circulation Marketing Advisory Committee which will advise the Board and staff on professional development (including the MagNet conference), awards programs, and research. Additionally, the CMC legacy will continue under Magazines Canada in the form of a maintained brand identity and web archive.
Scott Jamieson, the chair of the Magazines Canada board and director of engagement for Annex Business Media, said 
“This is a great move for the industry: it builds off Magazines Canada’s strong national marketing campaigns and the distribution service that we offer our members. Even more importantly, a merger with the CMC brings the voices and perspectives of important players along the supply-chain to the table—from suppliers and distribution all the way to retail—it makes a lot of sense for us to be working together.”
Amanda Beattie, President of the CMC  and Audience Marketing Manager for AZURE Magazine, said.
 “The CMC and Magazines Canada have worked together for many years in supporting the magazine marketing industry. This merger secures our ability to support the circulation industry at a national level for the years to come. Closer cooperation and one collective voice means a stronger, brighter future for magazine marketing professionals, and I look forward to working together.”
[It was back in February 2005, when this blog started, that I  wrote what now looks almost prescient, "One magazine organization" calling for the gathering together of disparate industry associations, speaking with one voice on behalf of magazines.]


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Rodale, Inc. is open to good offers

When it comes to corporate euphemisms, seeking "strategic alternatives" is a dandy. In other words, we'll sell the the highest bidder, which seems to be the message being sent by Rodale, Inc., the publishers of (among other titles that were right up at the checkout) Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention and Runner’s World plus a shelf of books

With a mixed menu of bodybuilding and fitness, personal growth and crunchy diets and wellness, the publisher was also always family owned and kept its revenue information private. It was believed that the magazine publishing and book business pulled in about $350 million a year (U.S.).

According to a story in Media Post, 
"If Rodale doesn’t receive a suitable bid, the company is prepared to continue pursuit of its long-term business plan, which has included aggressive cost-cutting measures over the last few years, including closing Running Times, taking Prevention ad-free and raising the newsstand price, closing its Grow custom content studio, and number of layoffs."


Monday, June 19, 2017

Scott Jamieson of Annex Business Media elected chair of Magazines Canada

Scott Jamieson has been elected chair of Magazines Canada, a post he will hold for the next two years. He succeeds Doug Knight. 

Jamieson is group publisher and director of content and engagement at Annex Business Media, and has 25 years’ experience in B2B media. In 1993 he became part owner of Canadian Forest Industries and Canadian Wood Products, which he helped launch, as well as Opérations forestières et de scierie. Scott joined Annex Business Media in 2004 when the three magazines were acquired, becoming publisher of the Montreal office in 2007 and group publisher of 10 titles in Simcoe, Ontario in 2009. In 2008 he launched Canadian Biomass magazine. Scott has served as a board member of Magazines Canada and the KRW Awards, as well as the BPA Magazine Advisory Board.

The full 2017-18 board is 
  • Scott Jamieson, Canadian Forest Industries, Chair
  • Patty Baxter, East Coast Living
  • Ryan Benn, Alive
  • Gilles Gagnier, Canadian Geographic
  • Joe Glionna, Oral Health
  • Niel Hiscox, Canadian Auto Dealer, who is treasurer
  • Matthew Holmes, Magazines Canada CEO
  • Douglas Knight, Toronto Life, Past Chair
  • Michal Kozlowski, Geist
  • Steve Maich, Maclean’s
  • Dominique Ritter, Reader’s Digest
  • Ryan Sargent, House & Home
  • Kathryn Taglia, The Fiddlehead
  • Jennifer Varkonyi, Maisonneuve

Officers appointed include  Jamieson, past chair Knight, treasurer Hiscox and Matthew Holmes, CEO


Friday, June 16, 2017

Latest business media white paper released by Magazines Canada

The fifth in a series of white papers to emerge out of the annual Business Media Summit has been released.  The paper is titled "Moving Forward from a Position of Strength" and is authored by John Milne and me. It may be downloaded from the Magazines Canada website. 

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Ruth Kelly being remembered for her generosity and energy

Friends and colleagues of Ruth Kelly, the president of Venture Publishing Inc. are reportedly gathering this afternoon in Edmonton to mark the passing of this dynamic woman. She was one of the best people in the magazine business and gave generously of herself both through Magazines Canada and the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association. In 2013, AMPA awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Awards in Publishing.
According to a story in the Edmonton Journal, she died of suicide at the age of 60.
The last time I spoke with Ruth was at the Business Media Summit in King City in February and the subject was not magazines, but barbecues and wood smokers, about which I know little or nothing (she, on the other hand, was a foodie of the first rank). Other times, she and I tangled (disagreed)  about more magazine-related issues. She was a woman of strong, and generally well-earned, opinions and her views reflected years of striving, leadership and learning about the business. Among the many things that friends have said about her was what a generous mentor she was.
"In the last few years, Venture Publishing struggled," said the Journal story by Liane Faulder, "and Kelly along with it. In November 2016, the Canadian Media Guild sent a demand letter to Kelly, asking that 13 contractors be paid nearly $40,000 they were owed. Max Fawcett, former managing editor of Alberta Venture and former editor of Alberta Oil, said things at the magazine were “difficult.” 
"He said Kelly paid top dollar for Alberta Oil in 2008 but the recession, followed by the collapse of the price of oil in 2015, took a toll. Fawcett, who left Venture in 2015 for another magazine, said Kelly could be “incredibly intimidating because she was so smart, and so in command of what she was doing.” "

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