CBC totally fails to explain why it expects Canadians to get permission to use public media

This week's Search Engine podcast from TVOntario's Jesse Brown features an interview with the head spokesman for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, brought on to explain why the publicly funded broadcaster has signed on with iCopyright, an American licensing agency that aims to collect a monthly fee from any Canadian business that excerpts CBC media on its blog. Additionally, the CBC says that it requires anyone who wants to noncommercially excerpt the nation's public media for discussion, archiving, criticism, etc, must first get written permission from the Corporation (and be prepared to have permission rescinded at any time).

Suffice it to say, the CBC's spokesman does not cover himself in glory. He alternately claims that he must deny permission to Canadian bloggers because the CBC doesn't want to be inconsistent, then, in the next breath, says that the Corporation gives its media for free to YouTube even though it's not consistent, because they're still "feeling their way." And he doesn't even know that the CBC's partner is offering a $1,000,000 bounty for Canadians who rat each other out for using public media without permission.

If I'd been in Jesse's shoes, I would have asked this: The CBC wants to act like a business instead of a public service entity, right? Well, in that case, why don't you act like a business: we, the taxpaying public, were the angel investors for the CBC for a century or so. If you want to bring in another investor at this stage -- a commercial partner to sell licenses for the media we financed -- why the hell should we accept having our equity diluted down to zero? Shouldn't we continue to get our annuity -- in the form of free access and use of the media we paid for -- before you start to deliver value to these late-stage investors?

Podcast #36: The CBC's Antisocial Media