Wednesday, 25 February 2009

ERDC a Year Later: Still Waiting While Watching CanWest Wrestle With Debt

A year ago this week friends of the Electronic Rights Defence Committee—myself included--were having our day(s) in court. At issue was whether the group, which claims that The Gazette stole work done by freelance writers for use in data bases and on websites, will be able to undertake a class action in order to be compensated for unauthorized electronic use of our work.

We had hoped we’d hear after six months or so whether we could proceed to the next step, but 12 months later there still is no news. Apparently it isn’t good form to nudge the judge, either, so we’re sitting here, biting our nails, waiting for a verdict.

But even if the judge does give us permission to proceed, the news is not looking rosy. CanWest is one of the defendants in the ERDC case, and as anybody who reads the financial pages knows, there’s talk of the media giant going bankrupt. The culprit, analysts say, in part is the recession which is cutting revenues for the corporation since much less advertising is being sold. But CanWest also is carrying a huge debt load at the moment, the result of some expensive acquisitions in the last few years. 1

While there is much speculation that if CanWest does have to restructure it will be able to sell off assets, the question looms in my mind: will there be any money to pay us if our class action is successful? Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Martin Langeland said...

"It wasn't regulation that killed the beast. It was hubris."
This paraphrase occurred to me as I read your post.
I blame serendipity.
Capcha is buskili
Perhaps a murderer of buskers?