Dr. Dawg

The Enbridge gag

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A newspaper editor pulled the above video on orders of an executive of the Postmedia information conglomerate, after threats were made by oil and gas giant Enbridge Ltd.

The Speech Warriors™ seem a little slow on the uptake on this one, for some reason. But here’s a little background information that may be useful for readers genuinely interested in free expression.

Enbridge, in fact, has some extremely damaging court decisions to rely on, starting with the 1996 decision of the Federal Court Trial Division in Michelin & Cie. v. CAW-Canada, which held that the parodic use of the Michelin Man by Canadian Autoworkers organizers in their literature was a copyright infringement. (Bob Taratino was kind enough a while ago to point me to some literature on this, which I review here.)

Then CanWest went after some pro-Palestinian activists who had published a spoof version of the Vancouver Sun. In this matter, the courts have come down solidly on the side of the corporation.

Although the law may in fact be evolving, the blatant suppression of free expression by private corporations continues, as we have just seen. In the instant case, mind you, the threat of a lawsuit probably wasn’t even made—Enbridge merely had to threaten to yank its $1 million advertising, more than enough even today to purchase a publisher’s principles. But had the matter gone to court, the corporation was well-positioned to win.

If there was ever clearer evidence of the “free press” being kept on a short leash by the corporations, I can’t think of a recent one. Remember that, readers, when you try to scan environmental issues through the corporate media’s oil-smeared lens.

And as for you, Enbridge—bite me.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on June 27, 2012 11:47 AM.

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