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  November 15, 2008

Media giant tries to muzzle parody


Mordecai Briemberg on battle with Canadian media major over satire of Middle East coverage
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biography

Mordecai Briemberg is co-host of the public affairs program Redeye on Vancouver's cooperative radio, CFRO. He is a former university professor, Rhodes scholar and a long time activist in peace and social justice causes, including a long history of activism on behalf of Palestinian rights.



In early November, Canadian media giant Canwest Mediaworks dropped its lawsuit against Mordecai Briemberg, a lawsuit which alleged that he infringed on Canwest's trademark rights. The case pertained to the creation of a parody of one of Canwest's many papers, The Vancouver Sun. The parody satirized what its creators see as Canwest's biased coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict; and while there was no evidence that Mordecai had any role in the creation of the paper, Mordecai posits that it was the building of public pressure that caused Canwest to drop the suit, as they had known about the absence of evidence for months. While Mordecai suit was dropped, Canwest has refused to drop its suit against the two others who have taken responsibility for the creation of the parody. Mordecai contends that parody is a cherished tradition of dissent in the society and that Canwest's lawsuits amount to an attack on freedom of speech.


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