Digital-Copyright.ca has posted a letter from Liberal MP and Justice critic Marlene Jennings explaining her support for Bill C-59, the anti-camcording bill. Jennings, who was working on a private members bill to address the same issue, says:
"The crux of the matter is that the relevant dispositions preventing camcording are found in the Copyright Act. However, because of its nature as a federal law, it cannot be enforced by provincial and municipal police organizations."
Jennings is not the only MP to make this claim. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson, speaking in favour of the bill in the House of Commons, argued that the "main purpose in amending the Criminal Code instead of the Copyright Act is to ensure that local police and not merely the RCMP are engaged in an effort to stop camcording."
One problem with relying on the local law enforcement argument. It is simply wrong. There is nothing to stop local law enforcement from enforcing the Copyright Act. In fact, both the CMPDA and IFPI have issued press releases over the years trumpeting enforcement actions under the Copyright Act by local police forces. In fact, it is interesting to note the earliest press release featured on the CMPDA anti-piracy site. It dates from 2002, advising that local Toronto police had arrested two men for camcording Star Wars in a theatre. The men were charged under the Copyright Act.