News Round Up!

News Round Up!
Here is your weekly news round up.

Senior film writer for Toronto’s NOW Magazine, John Harkness passed away on Tuesday, December 18, 2007. He was a vital part of the weekly Toronto publication since its inception in 1981. Harkness was born in Montreal, but grew up in Sarnia and Halifax before attending Carleton University, where he obtained an English degree. He would later go on to do post-graduate work at Columbia University in New York City and studied with American critic Andrew Sarris.

A proposed copyright bill (Bill C60) was to be introduced last week in Ottawa but was halted due to stiff public opposition, which claimed it would heavily benefit corporate interests. The bill, if passed, would place tighter restrictions on intellectual property; critics feel that the bill is too similar to the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which essentially outlaws activities like taping a television show and copying files to MP3 players.

On Tuesday, December 18, new legislation was introduced in the U.S. courts that would eliminate a 50-year-old royalty exemption allowing major broadcasters like CBS to play songs without paying the artists or labels.

Tom Waits spoke out in favour of this new piece of legislation. Waits is part of the group musicFIRST, which aims to end the payment exemption. "It’s just plain wrong for [terrestrial] radio to be allowed to build profitable businesses, growing revenues on the backs of artists and musicians without paying them fairly for it,” said Waits. "The bottom line here is that radio plays music to attract listeners and bring in advertising dollars.”

Amy Winehouse ended up behind bars earlier this week. Winehouse was charged with preventing the course of justice, which is akin to interfering with a police investigation. The soulful singer was called in for questioning regarding her husband’s case and alleged witness tampering. Police later stated that a 24-year-old woman was arrested during an appointment at a police station in east London in connection with preventing the course of justice.