Electronic Rights Defence Committee (ERDC)
Frequently Asked Questions

When did the case start?

A group of Gazette freelancers began meeting in March 1996 and formally incorporated the following year.
On April 7, 1997, the Electronic Defence Committee filed a motion against the Southam Inc.’s daily newspaper The Gazette for reproducing works without authorization in INFOMART.

When did our case become a class action?

Our case was certified as a class action case against Southam Inc., Cedrom-SNI Inc., Infomart Dialog Limited, Southam Business Communications Inc., Montreal Gazette Group Inc., Can West Global Communications Corporation, Hollinger Canadian Publishing Holdings Inc. and Can West Interactive Inc. on March 31, 2009.
For more information, see the decision to case 500-06-000035-978 rendered by Judge Eva Petras at:

http://citoyens.soquij.qc.ca/php/decision.php?ID=19DD0D315021E2A8B7680A735E7B89A2&page=1

When was the case settled?

This case was conditionally settled on June 9, 2014 for a total of 189,479 PNC. A Postmedia Network Canada Corp. voting shares and $83,210.27 in cash.
It was approved on September 5, 2014. For more information, see the decision at:

http://citoyens.soquij.qc.ca/php/decision.php?ID=19DD0D315021E2A8B7680A735E7B89A2&page=1

What is eligible for payment under the settlement?

Any freelance writer who wrote at least five articles that were published between 1985 and 2010 are eligible to receive a payment under this claim.

Articles written by company—employed staff are not eligible, regardless of working terms. Staff writers who wrote as freelancers either before or after their duration as an employee should specify the dates during which they were employed by the Gazette on claims to avoid confusion.

How do contracts affect claims?

Although contract concerns formed part of the original class action, the settlement did not take contracts into account. Freelancers who signed contracts are eligible to make claims.

Those who did not signed contracts will receive 30 points in the claim process to thank them for their solidarity with the action.

What if I opted out?

No one opted out.

How will claims be verified?

Ad hoc verification of claims will be done using the Proquest Canadian Newsstand database using a search of author name and the added term of freelance.

Authors’ whose articles do not appear on that database or appear as if they are staff-written should specify this issue on claims.

Proquest is available electronically from many libraries including the Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec (BaNQ). To get a card:
http://www.banq.qc.ca/services/pret/carte/index.html

Do articles published in the Gazette that were claimed in the Heather Robertson case count?

Yes. That case was a separate entity.

Why did we bring in a second lawyer?

When we were certified as a class action, our lawyer sought support from a firm that had experience winning such cases.

Why did we settle?

Some of the parties we were suing asked for bankruptcy protection under Canada’s protection regime, which is known as the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. Under this regime, the ERDC became a creditor in two actions overseen in Ontario.

Canwest Global et al

On October 6, 2009, Canwest Global Communications Corp and its subsidiaries—Canwest Global Communications Corp., Canwest Media Inc., MBS Productions Inc., Yellow Card Productions Inc., Canwest Global Broadcasting Inc/RadiodiffusionCanwest Global Inc.
Canwest Television GP Inc., Fox Sports World Canada Holdco Inc., Global Centre Inc.
Multisound Publishers Ltd., Canwest International Communications Inc., Canwest Irish Holdings (Barbados) Inc., Western Communications Inc., Canwest Finance Inc/Financière Canwest Inc., National Post Holdings Ltd., Canwest International Management Inc., Canwest International Distribution Limited, Canwest Media Works Turkish Holdings (Netherlands) B.V., CGS International Holdings (Netherlands) B.V., CGS Debenture Holding (Netherlands) B.V., CGS Shareholding (Netherlands) B.V., CGS NZ Radio Shareholding (Netherlands) B.V., 4501063 Canada Inc., 4501071 Canada Inc., 30109, LLC
CanWest Media Works (US) Holdings Corp., Canwest Television Limited Partnership, Fox Sports World Canada Partnership and The National Post Company/La Publication National Post—sought and obtained an Initial Order (the “Initial Order”) under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (the “CCAA”). The Court File Number was CV-09-8396-00CL and it was filed under Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) in Toronto, Ontario under OSB File Number 0000001-2009-ON.
On October 27, 2010, the company came up with a restructuring plan that was approved by their receiver, FTI Consulting.

Canwest Publishing Inc. et al

On January 8, 2010 Canwest Publishing Inc./ Publications Canwest Inc. (“CPI”), Canwest Books Inc. (“CBI”) and Canwest (Canada) Inc. (“CCI”, and together with CPI and CBI, the “Applicants”) sought and obtained an Initial Order (the “Initial Order”) under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (the “CCAA”). The Court File Number was CV-10-8533-0OCL.
On May 20, 2010, the company came up with a restructuring plan that was approved by their receiver, FTI Consulting. Distributions to the ERDC were made on May 28, 2010.

Why did we decide to distribute stock to members?

Not only was this the cheapest option to make sure that everyone got their fair share, but since the shares are class A voting stock, freelance writers will have the right to have a say in the future of Postmedia and can participate fully in shareholder meetings to ask questions or otherwise participate in the management of the company.

Where can you go for more information about Postmedia operations?

Here’s the link to the corporate website: http://www.postmedia.com/
Here are links to important shareholder documents:
http://www.postmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/2013-Annual-Report.pdf
[Please notice the financial overview on page 9 of this report.]
http://www.postmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/2013-Circular-FINA.pdf
According to their website, Postmedia is followed by the following analysts: Aravinda Galappatthige from Canaccord Genuity; Adam Shine from National Bank Financial; Haran Posner from RBC Dominion Securities Inc.; Paul Steep from Scotia Capital Inc. and Michael Elkins from TD Securities. Members may want to follow these analysts.