Google Taiwan: Building knowledge sharing center-stage with innovations

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Last Tuesday in Taipei, Google Taiwan held an annual summary press conference named “Collective Intelligence & Innovation” (In Chinese: ?????????). With many products had already been presented to the public like wikis, blogs, and photo albums in the Web 2.0 era, Google served to provide lots of services like Google Apps, Google Maps and YouTube with suitable versions in Taiwan differing other countries this year.

Global Deputy Director of Google Kai-Fu Lee said: “The contents on the Internet were mostly limited with some copyright issue in the past, but after many products in the Web 2.0 era are presented, several contents are progressively released and opened to the public in the presence. As those factors, we [Google] hope developers in Taiwan can develop useful tools for local people to apply with people’s life.”

“In order to change minds in public, we [Google] conjoined some required elements into people’s life, and services on iGoogle in Taiwan are progressively more and newer because of the improvements of developers. We hoped a simple service can be multiplied with releases of useful and functional tools,” he also said.

Also in this conference, the Engineering Director of the Google Taiwan R&D Center Li-feng Chien also announced the achievements on the “Google Taipei Developers’ Day” and invited developers named Chi-pao Hu and Yi-ru Lin to share some actual applications on iGoogle.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Google_Taiwan:_Building_knowledge_sharing_center-stage_with_innovations&oldid=738670”

The Importance Of Healthy Dog Treats

It wasnt so many years ago when dog treats consisted more or less solely of milk bones, fatty biscuits, and table scraps. Not many options, and virtually none that were healthy. Well, times have definitely changed! Nowadays, savvy pet owners choose dog treats that include greenies, healthy biscuits, and gourmet bones.Not only are there more options for now, the quality has improved significantly in recent years as well. And with the Internet boom, finding the best biscuits and bones for your puppy is as easy and tapping a few keystrokes. Its important to note that many pet owners are now advocates of healthier dog treats for monetary reasons as well. They realize that, while they tend to cost more, healthy treats and food actually save money in the long run. A healthier diet over a lifetime results in less disease and illness in senior dogs, which means a smaller vet bill.Its never too early to start feeding healthy dog treats. Puppy training often includes using a treat to reward good behavior. In one session alone, you might give your little trainee 6-10 rewards, maybe even more. Make them healthy biscuits, cookies, or bones, and youll be giving your pet a nutritious foundation for a better life.Experiment with several different kinds of dog treats and youll quickly learn which are your puppys favorites. Unlike humans when we diet, dogs seem to enjoy the healthier biscuits and bones every bit as much as the bad ones. If only we were so lucky!

Wikinews interviews India’s first female Paralympic medalist Deepa Malik

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wikinews on Sunday interviewed Deepa Malik, India’s first female Paralympic medalist, who won the silver medal in the Women’s Shot Put F53 event finals, at the 2016 Summer Paralympics being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Malik lost the gold medal to Bahrain’s Fatema Nedham, who had the best throw 4.76 metres, setting a new regional record in paralympic women’s shot put.

Arriving in Rio, Malik had initial trouble due to the airline losing her luggage; it didn’t all arrive until three days later: clothes, opening ceremony outfit and equipment including competition belts.

In early August there was a possibly that Malik might lose her spot on the Indian team going to Rio, with fellow female para athlete Karam Jyoti challenging Malik’s selection and the Sport’s Authority of Indian’s selection process at the High Court of Delhi. The high court ruled against the plaintiff.

Both of these events occurred against the wider backdrop of the Paralympic Committee of India being suspended by the International Paralympic Committee. The Sports Authority of India took final authority over the Paralympic Committee of India for sending a team to Rio, with agreement from the International Paralympic Committee; this arrangement allowed India to compete under their own flag at the 2016 Summer Paralympics.

((Wikinews)) Congratulations on your result.

Deepa Malik: Thank you so much.

((WN)) Even though you are currently waiting in terms of the end result of the protest.

DM: Absolutely, but I’m happy with my performance, I’m happy that I could improve and I could prove myself, there were a lot of questions back home on my selection and on my hard work. My single-minded focus that I had put into this journey of being a Paralympian. Well, I am just so anxious about the results.

((WN)) So how much did the court case and KLM losing your luggage impact on your preparations and your result today?

DM: Yes, but I’m happy that my husband was my coach here, and, so, I had huge moral support in terms of keeping my mind and everything in peace. Most of the equipment was available in the gym, we had to alter the training a bit like the throw days couldn’t happen, so we instead exercised. No, I think that is what sports teaches you, you can’t live on excuses, I never lived on excuses.

((WN)) You work around things.

DM: Yes, that’s what we do, that’s what a sportsman is suppose to do, rise again, and then fall and rise, and run, and I did exactly that.

((WN)) What message should other Indian women take away from your participation and result in Rio?

DM: This is going to be the first female medal that India would have ever won in Paralympics and as it is I’m working aggressively towards transforming this entire concept of empowerment for the women, especially the women in disabilities in my country. So I’m really happy that this medal give my voice more value, more strength, and I’ll be able to impact even more, though on the ninth of September the Prime Minister’s jury has awarded me with the award of Women Transforming India, I’m so happy that within three days of getting that award, I have added another feather to it and proved that yes this journey of ability beyond disability. And not just disability, this is a universal message that if women put their minds to their dreams they can balance it; age, gender, disability, is all a state of mind. If you put your passion and hard work, you can get it, and in the Indian scenario were they say infrastructure is a challenge, women participation that are taboo, religiously and psychologically, disabilities taken as a curse, dependability[?] increases because of lack of infrastructure, well, time to get rid of the excuses. We have to start erasing the excuses and believe your own self and that’s the message I’m carrying with all the activities that I do whether it is car rallying, motorbiking or swimming across a river, every record or every unique activity that I’ve undertaken and just below paralysis has been aimed at changing the stereotypical image of a women and also a women in disability. ?

((WN)) Will you and your daughter both be trying to represent India at the 2020 Games in Tokyo?

DM: I’m very sure about myself, but my daughter, though, she’s a Paralympian, yes, which again was considered a huge taboo in my society that oh my god both the mother and the daughter both have a physical disability, what is going to happen to these two, but we did good and she is working as a youth council representative in the Commonwealth countries, for the Paralympics specially, and her work though her foundation called Wheeling Happiness has earned her the young leader award from the Queen of England, so I guess her focus is now shifting to more on community service and empowering others and not just herself. And she is leaving on first of October to Loughborough to do her PhD doctorate programme in disability sports psychology, I’m very sure Loughborough is going to give her a huge amount of sports [inaudible] but how much time she going to decide to devote to sports and studies is her decision entirely. That’s her dream, her journey. 

((WN)) How helpful was the Sports Authority of India in preparing and supporting your Rio ambitions??

DM: I think 100 per cent, because the biggest challenge we have back home is a customised training, or the infrastructure for that matter, so we were given the ability and the funds to train the way we wanted to train, and the funds were huge which were given to us, out accommodation, food, diet, physical therapist, psychologist, trainer, gym, everything was paid for, and customised, you want it and they give it. So I guess this was easy financially this time, because every expenses was taken care of, my husband could also take a sabbatical from his job and join my journey, and having him twenty-four seven and coaching me because he himself is an athlete, and have the best diet and counselling. I think it’s worked wonders, so I give shout out and a huge applaud.

((WN)) How important was it for you to have a carer in Rio?

DM: Yes, again we really have to appreciate the sports authority of India and also Paralympic Committee of India, which is going to start to function post-Rio in India. They were very very quick, they were very very adamant in giving the wheelchair people escorts. And I need help twenty four seven, I’m just below paralysed so it was really huge, emotionally, mentally, psychically training-wise, every way I think the situation was perfect.

((WN)) Thank you for your time.

DM: Thank you.
Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_India%27s_first_female_Paralympic_medalist_Deepa_Malik&oldid=4567524”

Australian and Victorian governments to begin stage three of Shepparton railway line upgrade in September

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The Australian federal and Victorian state governments announced on Saturday that the third stage of upgrades on the Shepparton railway line will commence next month. Their joint press release described this as a “construction blitz on the line”, with the goal of delivering nine daily return services between Melbourne and Shepparton. As of January 31, V/Line operates five return services on weekdays to Shepparton.

From September 4 to September 12, coaches will replace trains to Seymour and Shepparton, during which stage two works will continue on the line, while as part of the stage three upgrades, the crossing loop at Murchison East will be extended by 1.1 kilometres, allowing two six-car V/Line VLocity trains to pass each other.

Outside of these dates, the stage three upgrades will also involve the expansion of a new Shepparton train stabling facility, as well as signalling and track upgrades on the Shepparton railway line. The stabling facility and loop extension, along with stage two upgrades, have been contracted to Coleman Rail and KBR. Stage three is slated for completion by 2023.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, and leader of the National Party of Australia, Barnaby Joyce, said of the upgrades that “the Australian Government provided the funding for stage three to deliver the services Shepparton passengers have been waiting for, and now we’re making sure this work gets underway. Our record $110 billion infrastructure investment is all about delivering projects like this, where the community and the economy will benefit simultaneously.”

A number of local MPs also spoke on the project, with National Party federal MP for Nicholls, Damian Drum, saying that “these upgrades will give Shepparton the fast and frequent rail service befitting its status as a major regional centre.”

Mark Gepp, a Labor state MLC for the Northern Victoria Region (which covers Shepparton) stated that “delivering four extra services to and from Shepparton each day will give people in communities along the line more options for their travel and a train service they can rely on”.

Liberal Democratic MLC for Northern Victoria, Tim Quilty, told Wikinews yesterday via email that “I am very pleased to see the Victorian Government actually invest in rail infrastructure to benefit Northern Victorian communities. More efficient and reliable freight and passenger transport will benefit the city’s economy and help ease traffic on our roads.”

Quilty added that “Shepparton is an important regional centre and this investment should continue to improve transport links – with nine passenger services a day, lots of Northern Victorian towns will be envious of the service Shepparton is going to have,” but also commented on the government’s announcements, remarking that “you have to wonder, though, just how many times they can announce the same project before the next election. It would be great if they would shut up about how they are going to build it, and just get on with it.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Australian_and_Victorian_governments_to_begin_stage_three_of_Shepparton_railway_line_upgrade_in_September&oldid=4676665”

Dutch parties agree on government formation

Friday, February 9, 2007

The leading political parties in the Netherlands have agreed on a work program, part of an effort to form a coalition government after the splintered verdict of the elections held in November 2006. The parties have yet to agree on who gets the top jobs in government.

The main parties of the left, the Labour Party (PvdA) and Socialist Party (SP) won 58 seats in the 150 strong Tweede Kamer, the lower house of parliament, while the more splintered right wing parties led by the Christian Democrats (CDA) and ChristianUnion (CU) won 47 but with probable support from the 9 members of the Party for Freedom (PVV).

The parties announced their plans on Wednesday reaching a deal on the main issue of the election campaign, Mortgage Interest Relief, which split the SP from the other coalition partners. Mortgage Interest Relief, which is a significant factor in most people’s finances, with a marginal rate of 52%, had been threatened by the SP manifesto, but the compromise deal announced by the parties left Mortgage Interest Relief unchanged in return for a continuation of the tight legal restrictions on rent increases that had been threatened by the previous government.

In another key concession, the CDA reversed the hard line asylum policy that it introduced with its previous coalition partners, the VVD, and introduced an amnesty of all illegal immigrants who arrived in the country before 2001.

The publication of the government agenda (the “Coalitieakkoord”) outlines policies in a number of main areas:

  • Retirement: the CDA conceded changes to retirement benefit to introduce taxation on retirees with pensions over EUR 18,000 from 2011.
  • Work: the government will allocate EUR 700 million to facilitate unemployed and disabled people finding jobs.
  • Education: more money will be made available for schools in poorer areas or schools with substantial immigrant populations but, in return, the government will force everyone under 27 to either be in education or have a job. Those in high school education will be forced to gain a diploma before leaving high school and take a three-month “social internship” before leaving school.
  • Health: the CDA has compromised on Health too in reversing the 2003 policy of excluding dental care from basic health insurance and more money will be made available for staffing of health care outlets. The CDA’s stated policy of cutting budgets in a new government will be restricted to cost savings from elimination of waste and red tape.

Following the nomination of Balkenende as formateur of the new government the haggling of cabinet and government jobs will be the last element in sealing the deal. Balkenende will continue as Prime Minister for the CDA with Wouter Bos (leader of the PvdA) likely to become Finance Minister and CU leader André Rouvoet becoming Youth Minister.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Dutch_parties_agree_on_government_formation&oldid=411321”

The Good And The Bad Of Manufactured Houses 5 Myths

By Stewart Wrighter

If someone advised you to go for modular housing instead of regular construction, what would be your reaction? Would you be all for prefabricated homes or would you be convinced that this is not a very sound suggestion? There are many myths that are associated with the building of manufactured houses; and this is what clouds people’s capacity to take a pro-manufactured houses decision.

1. The manufactured homes are built at supersonic speed – it is true that these manufactured units are built faster than your regular home. This is because these units are built indoors, in factories with controlled climate conditions. This means that the outside weather never affects the pace of the work, which often cuts the building time by almost half. Normally, a manufactured unit would take about 6-8 months from start to the day you could shift inside the house. This is fast – but it definitely not something at supersonic speed.

2. Factory built homes enjoy highest quality – yes, it is true that the materials used in manufacturing homes and the ones used to build a regular house are hugely different. The quality of the former is better because it is inspected at every stage of its making. However, this does not mean that stick-built house when built right is any less qualitative. The only difference is that it is highly unlikely to find that a manufactured home is not well made.

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3. One can do exactly what you want – this is one of the greatest advantages with the manufactured units. You can just mold it into anything you wanted; your home could be anything you have dreamed about for a long time. The flexibility in design is there but you still need architectural designs and approval from respective authorities.

4. Energy efficient home – when you construct your house panel by panel you would be able to ensure that it complies with all the rules and regulations that pertain to building homes. While doing so, you could particularly pay attention and close the gaps that could imbalance your energy efficiency around your home. This means that you need to pay attention to the design and make adequate efforts to build your home; it just does not come inbuilt.

5. Cost efficiency – it is true that the manufactured homes are definitely cheaper than the regularly built ones. However, the manufactured homes are not exactly cheap. The cost of such house would come down by certain percentage, but it by no means cheap.

6. You can make as many changes as you please – for many the main attraction for choosing manufactured homes to the regular ones is because you can change anything and everything as per your whim and fancy. However, it is not so. No matter what type of house you choose, it is expensive to finish and not-so-easy to modify once erected.

7. Easy to move – it is true that the modular construction could be packed and shifted with relative ease. While it is true that moving a modular home is possible while the other type is not, it is not true that it could easily shifted to a new location. Packing, unpacking and reinstallation take a lot of time.

About the Author: Stewart Wrighter has noticed an increase of

modular housing

springing up because of their low cost. He and his wife were very impressed with

prefabricated homes

and are considering one for a vacation home.

Source:

isnare.com

Permanent Link:

isnare.com/?aid=620713&ca=Business

Wikinews interviews candidate for Cleveland mayor Arthur Kostendt

Monday, June 14, 2021

Arthur Oliver Kostendt, a candidate running in the mayoral election of the US city of Cleveland, Ohio set to take place November 2, discussed his campaign and policies with Wikinews this spring.

According to Cleveland Scene, 29-year-old Kostendt is a member of the Cuyahoga County, Ohio Republican Party but has referred to his campaign as “casual”. According to his web site’s personal biography, he was a cadet for the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), scout platoon leader for the 2nd Squadron of the 107th Cavalry Regiment of the Ohio Army National Guard and logistics officer for the 1st Battalion of the 145th Armored Regiment. He served in Kuwait, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia and assisted coalition force detachments in Southeast Asia.

Kostendt is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and summa cum laude graduate of Cleveland State University. He writes he uses an apostrophe to abbreviate his middle name as “Arthur O’Kostendt” instead of the customary period after the O to emphasise his Irish heritage.

A poll published May 5 by Baldwin Wallace University, which does not feature Mr Kostendt, has Dennis Kucinich and Basheer Jones leading in the mayoral race by 17.8 and 13.3 points, respectively, with a margin of error of up to five per cent either way. 48% of those surveyed were undecided. Incumbent mayor Frank G. Jackson, who won the 2017 Cleveland mayoral election with 59% of the vote, is eligible for a fifth term but announced on May 6 he would retire.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Wikinews_interviews_candidate_for_Cleveland_mayor_Arthur_Kostendt&oldid=4626048”

Frequently Asked Questions On Services Of An Electrician

1. Can the small electric tasks at home be managed on our own?

In Australian mainland, it is illegal for anyone to carry out any domestic electrical jobs such as wiring or installations of appliances without a license. Its not just risky but even if the work is upto the marking standards, it will not pass certification unless a qualified electrician undertakes it. This is even more important if you ever plan to sell the property. Further, the risk is always there or your near and dear ones since it’s not assured and tested by a professional.

2. Why does an electrician need to be licensed?

Only a licensed electrician can grant a Certificate of Compliance. It is essentially a legal document for the government which is signed by your qualified electrician on completion of the job. It basically states that the electric work was completed in compliance with the set standards of Electricity Act 1996 and hence meets all the necessary safety protocols. The Certificate can only be issued by a licensed electrician and remains with the customer for record keeping.

3. What is the avg. cost of having an electrician do repairs/installations?

Costs lie anywhere between $50 to $100 per hour, completely depending on the electrician’s experience and qualifications and the complexity of the task at hand. This fees only includes the service charges of the electrician and not any parts or spare tools.

4. How is an RCD different from a fuse?

A residual current device is just not designed to stop a circuit from overloading. It is used to prevent a fatal shock if someone touches a live wire. This level of protection is far beyond what you can get with the typical older wire fuses found in homes that were built more than a decade ago.

5. What all services can an electrician provide?

Depending on whether you are looking to get your home serviced or a commercial/ official space of yours, services and their scale varies. Services can include maintenance jobs & servicing, installation of Home Theatre & Multi-Room Audio, full house wiring, data communications, Ventilation Solutions, Lighting design & installations/audit/repair, AC servicing and installation, Security CCTVs and alarms, Heat Pumps, Solar Power Systems, Underfloor heating, automated home systems.

6. What does Home Automation essentially mean?

By better designing, programming and integrating your electrical appliances, clever home automation enables your family to enjoy greater comfort and security in your home. By making it easier for you to pick and integrate the home automation that best fits you and your family, we help you build your dream home.

‘Future proofing’, easy usage, aesthetics or energy savings include home automation advantages.

The spectrum of home automation can range from organised cabling for telephone, video intercom, internet, LAN and video, to automatic control of electric motorised blinds, motorised roller shutters, watering, air-conditioning, exhaust fans, ceiling fans, and other appliances, through home theatre and multi-room audio, automated lighting control, protection and keyless entry.

7. What is Smart Wiring? Can I install it myself?

Smart Wiring is an industry wiring standard that allows numerous telephones, Internet, fax, PAY-TV options, as well as security, audio, home automation lighting, and garden irrigation features to be accessed once installed.

The professional installers are not just experienced but also highly qualified. They are licenced and electrical cablers, who have also undergone specific accreditation training in the Smart Wired system. Only Smart Wired certified installers can install the system.

8. What makes copper wiring a first choice compared to other?

The copper wiring solutions meet all the Australian Standards and work well universally for all systems alike. Its installation is also cheaper, the product is more durable and effective than any other system that includes optic fibre or wireless systems. Its uniqueness lies in the ability to carry large amounts of data smoothly and quickly.

Australian police seize one tonne shipment of ecstacy

Friday, April 15, 2005Police in Melbourne have seized over a tonne of ecstacy in a shipment of tiles from Italy. Four were arrested on Thursday and early Friday relating to the shipment, which the Australian Federal Police has called the biggest shipment of street-ready ecstacy pills in the world.

The four men were charged with aiding and abetting a prohibited import, according to ABC radio. Five million tablets were seized, with a reported street value of US$190 million (AU$250m). Two were additionally charged with attempting to possess a prohibited import.

Federal police were continuing to investigate a crime ring behind the shipment, a spokesperson told News24.com.

Federal Agent Mike Phelan said: “The AFP is now working with its counterparts in Italy and other parts of Europe to identify any overseas links with this latest seizure.”

X-rays taken of the shipment, which arrived in Port Melbourne earlier in the week, had revealed anomalies inside eight pallets which were stacked with tiles, said a report from Australian Associated Press.

Police then monitored the shipping container until it was delivered on Thursday to a suburban Melbourne factory, where two men were arrested, according to the News24.com report. Agents searched a dozen homes and businesses across Melbourne and arrested two more men early on Friday. All four suspects were due to appear in court later on Friday.

Federal Justice Minister Chris Ellison praised the AFP, the Australian Customs Service and the Australian Crime Commission involved in the operation, which he told Australian Associated Press had been ongoing since January.

“This big seizure sends a very clear message to those who want to traffic drugs to Australia, you will be caught and face very serious penalties,” Senator Ellison told the news agency, saying the shipment “could have wreaked havoc”.

“Anyone who says this sort of seizure does not slow the supply of drugs is quite obviously out of touch with reality.”

The previous largest Australian ecstasy haul occurred in November 2004 in Sydney, when 1,800 pounds of ecstasy tablets and powder were seized, Australian Federal Police (AFP) told Reuters, compared to this shipment’s weight of 2,240 pounds.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Australian_police_seize_one_tonne_shipment_of_ecstacy&oldid=2515555”

Payment pending; Canadian recording industry set for six billion penalties?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A report published last week in the Toronto Star by Professor Michael Geist of Canada’s University of Ottawa claims a copyright case under the Class Proceedings Act of 1992 may see the country’s largest players in the music industry facing upwards of C$6 billion in penalties.

The case is being led by the family and estate of the late jazz musician Chet Baker; moving to take legal action against four major labels in the country, and their parent companies. The dispute centres around unpaid royalties and licensing fees for use of Baker’s music, and hundreds of thousands of other works. The suit was initially filed in August last year, but amended and reissued on October 6, two months later. At that point both the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA) and Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors (SODRAC) were also named defendants.

January this year SODRAC and CMRRA switch sides, joining Baker et al. as plaintiffs against Sony BMG Music, EMI Music Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. David A. Basskin, President and CEO of CMRRA, with a professional law background, stated in a sworn affidavit that his organisation made numerous attempts over the last 20 years to reduce what is known as the “pending list”, a list of works not correctly licensed for reproduction; a list of copyright infringements in the eyes of the Baker legal team.

The theoretical principle of the list is to allow timely commercial release while rights and apportionment of monies due are resolved. Basskin complains that it is “economically infeasible to implement the systems that would be needed to resolve the issues internally”. And, “[…] for their part, the record labels have generally been unwilling to take the steps that, in the view of CMRRA, would help to resolve the problem.”

The Baker action demands that the four named major labels pay for and submit to an independent audit of their books, “including the contents of the ‘Pending Lists'”. Seeking an assessment of gains made by the record companies in “failure or refusal to compensate the class members for their musical works”, additional demands are for either damages and profits per the law applicable in a class action, or statutory damages per the Copyright Act for copyright infringement.

[…] for their part, the record labels have generally been unwilling to take the steps that, in the view of CMRRA, would help to resolve the problem.

This forms the basis for Professor Geist’s six billion dollar calculation along with Basskin’s sworn testimony that the pending lists cover over 300,000 items; with each item counted as an infringement, the minimum statutory damages per case are CA$500, the maximum $20,000.

Basskin’s affidavit on behalf of CMRRA goes into detail on the history leading up to the current situation and class action lawsuit; a previous compulsory license scheme, with poor recordkeeping requirements, and which, had a decline in real terms to one of the lowest fees in the world, was eventually abolished and the mechanical license system introduced. The CMRRA went on to become a significant representative of music publishers and copyright holders, and the pending list an instrument to deal with situations where mechanical rights were as-yet not completely negotiated. Basskin’s affidavit claiming the list grew and circumstances worsened as time progressed.

The Mechanical Licensing Agreement (MLA) between the “majors'” industry body, an attached exhibit to the affidavit, is set to expire December 31, 2012; this is between CMRRA and the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). With the original MLA expiring at end September 1990, CMRRA negotiated more detailed terms and a “code of conduct”. Subsequent agreements were drawn up in 1998, 2004, 2006, and 2008.

Basskin asserts that the named record company defendants are the “major” labels in Canada and states they “are also responsible for creating, maintaining and administering the so-called “Pending Lists” that are the subject of the current litigation”; that, specific to publishing, divisions of the four represent the “‘major’ music publishers active in Canada”. Yet the number of music publishers they represent has decreased over time due to consolidation and defection from the CRIA.

Geist summarizes the record company strategy as “exploit now, pay later if at all”. This despite the CMRRA and SODRAC being required to give lists of all collections they represented to record labels, and for record labels to supply copies of material being released to permit assessment of content that either group may represent interested parties for. Where actual Mechanical License Agreements are in place, Basskin implies their terms are particularly broad and preclude any party exercising their legal right to decline to license.

Specific to the current Mechanical Licensing Agreement (MLA) between the CMRRA and the CRIA; a “label is required to provide an updated cumulative Pending List to CMRRA with each quarterly payment of royalties under the MLA.” The CMRRA is required to review the list and collect where appropriate royalties and interest due. Basskin describes his first encounter with pending lists, having never heard of them before 1989, thus:

[…I]n the early years of my tenure, CRMMA received Pending Lists from the record labels in the form of paper printouts of information. The information contained on these lists varied from record label to record label, [… i]n fact, within a few days after my arrival at CMRRA, I recall my predecessor, Paul Berry, directing my attention to a large stack of paper, about two feet high. and informing me that it was PolyGram’s most recent Pending List. Prior to that introduction I had never heard of Pending Lists.

Alain Lauzon, General Manager of Canada’s Society for Reproduction Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (SODRAC) submitted his followup affidavit January 28, 2009 to be attached to the case and identify the society as a plaintiff. As such, he up-front states “I have knowledge of the matters set out herein.” Lauzon, a qualified Chartered Accountant with an IT specialisation, joined SODRAC in 2002 with “over 20 years of business experience.” He is responsible for “negotiation and administration of industry-wide agreements for the licensing of music reproduction and distribution”; licensing of radio and online music services use is within his remit.

Lauzon makes it clear that Baker’s estate, other rightsholders enjoined to the case, SODRAC, and CMRRA, have reached an agreed settlement; they wish to move forward with a class proceeding against the four main members of the CRIA. He requests that the court recognise this in relation to the initially accepted case from August 2008.

The responsibility to obtain mechanical licenses for recordings manufactured and/or released in Canada falls with the Canadian labels by law, by industry custom, and by contractual agreement.

The preamble of the affidavit continues to express strong agreement with that of David Basskin from CMRRA. Lauzon concurs regarding growing use of “pending lists” and that “[…] record labels have generally been unwilling to take the steps that would help to resolve the Pending List problem.”

With his background as an authority, Lauzon states with confidence that SODRAC represents “approximately 10 to 15% of all musical works that are reproduced on sound recordings sold in Canada.” For Quebec the figure is more than 50%.

Lauzon agrees that the four named record company defendants are the “major” labels in Canada, and that smaller independent labels will usually work with them or an independent distribution company; and Basskin’s statement that “[t]he responsibility to obtain mechanical licenses for recordings manufactured and/or released in Canada falls with the Canadian labels by law, by industry custom, and by contractual agreement.”

Wikinews attempted to contact people at the four named defendant CRIA-member record labels. The recipient of an email that Wikinews sent to Warner Brothers Canada forwarded our initial correspondence to Hogarth PR; the other three majors failed to respond in a timely fashion. Don Hogarth responded to Wikinewsie Brian McNeil, and, without addressing any of the submitted questions, recommended a blog entry by Barry Sookman as, what he claimed is, a more accurate representation of the facts of the case.

I am aware of another viewpoint that provides a reasonably deep explanation of the facts, at www.barrysookman.com. If you check the bio on his site, you’ll see that he is very qualified to speak on these issues. This may answer some of your questions. I hope that helps.

Sookman is a lobbyist at the Canadian Parliament who works in the employ of the the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). Hogarth gave no indication or disclosure of this; his direction to the blog is to a posting with numerous factual inaccuracies, misdirecting statements, or possibly even lies; if not lies, Sookman is undoubtedly not careful or “very qualified” in the way he speaks on the issue.

Sookman’s blog post opens with a blast at Professor Geist: “his attacks use exaggeration, misleading information and half truths to achieve his obvious ends”. Sookman attempts to dismiss any newsworthiness in Geist’s article;

[… A]s if something new has happened with the case. In fact, the case was started in August 2008 (not October 2008 as asserted by Prof. Geist). It also hasn’t only been going on “for the past year”, as he claims. Chet Baker isn’t “about to add a new claim to fame”. Despite having started over a year and a half ago, the class action case hasn’t even been certified yet. So why the fervour to publicise the case now?
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Should the court use admitted unpaid amounts, or maximum statutory damages – as the record industry normally seeks against filesharers?
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As the extracted [see right] stamp, date, and signature, shows, the court accepted amendments to the case and its submission, as Professor Geist asserts, on October 6. The previously mentioned submissions by the heads of CMRRA and SODRAC were indeed actions within the past year; that of SODRAC’s Alain Louzon being January 28 this year.

Sookman continues his attack on Professor Geist, omitting that the reverse appears the case; analysis of his blog’s sitemap reveals he wrote a 44-page attack on Professor Geist in February 2008, accusing him of manipulating the media and using influence on Facebook to oppose copyright reform favourable to the CRIA. In the more current post he states:

Prof. Geist tries to taint the recording industry as blatant copyright infringers, without ever delving into the industry wide accepted custom for clearing mechanical rights. The pending list system, which has been around for decades, represents an agreed upon industry wide consensus that songwriters, music publishers (who represent songwriters) and the recording industry use and rely on to ensure that music gets released and to the market efficiently and the proper copyright owners get compensated.

This characterisation of the pending list only matches court records in that it “has been around for decades”. CMRRA’s Basskin, a lawyer and industry insider, goes into great detail on the major labels resisting twenty years of collective societies fighting, and failing, to negotiate a situation where the labels take adequate measures to mechanically license works and pay due fees, royalties, and accrued interest.

What Sookman clearly overlooks is that, without factoring in any interest amounts, the dollar value of the pending list is increasing, as shown with the following two tables for mid-2008.

As is clear, there is an increase of C$1,101,987.83 in a three-month period. Should this rate of increase in the value of the pending list continue and Sony’s unvalued pending list be factored in, the CRIA’s four major labels will have an outstanding debt of at least C$73 million by end-2012 when the association’s Mechanical Licensing Agreement runs out.

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