John Fithian, the President of the National Association of Theater Owners (yes, their acronym really is NATO), has put the Canadian camcorder issue back on the public agenda in the U.S. Reuters reports that Fithian claimed at a press conference yesterday that the success of U.S. authorities targeting camcording has sent the practice north to Canada. Fithian is quoted as saying "there is a very large percentage of movie theft occurring in Canada, particularly in Quebec, because now they can get English and French (versions of films) and use it around the world."
Leaving aside the fact that Fithian said not a single word about the Canadian issue in his prepared remarks, his comments are somewhat inconsistent with what he told his members just a few months ago. In a November letter to association members, Fithian wasn't talking about U.S. successes. Instead, he suggested that Australia and Canada faced the issue, but emphasized problems at home, conceeding that "the thieves are migrating. At first, most camcorder movie theft occurred in New York and Los Angeles. Today, the thieves have moved, and we have seen camcorder theft in 15 new states since January 2005."
I came upon your blog and thought this new legal program might be of interest. It’s called The Verdict with Paula Todd and it starts tonight at 9 ET/PT on CTV reporting from the Conrad Black trial in Chicago. To read more on the show use the link below. Thanks!
[ link ]
The funny thing I notice here is that the theater operator isn’t factored at all into the equation
Think about it – here you have some CAMs which, due to their watermark, have been traced back to Quebec. And yet, no one really hears about any instances whereby someone was actually caught camcording in theaters. Theaters, irrespective of laws, do have strict policies against this type of action. There’s a missing link here. We know camcording is happening, but the theaters aren’t producing the stories of the “camcorder that was caught.”
This should really beg the question as to how complicit those in managerial positions within the source cinemas are. Surely, in large enough screenings, the camcorder would be caught by other members of the public. Likewise, in smaller screenings, you’d think that operating a mini-DV camera would draw some attention. No, likely there is cooperation there. Something which stricter laws will likely fail to dissuade.
In any case, the fact that cammers like Quebec theaters because of the dual language is overstated. If you check what’s out there, you’ll see that the French language really is much less prominent than even Spanish or Swedish releases. Plus, subs from shoddy CAM footage aren’t clear enough – so no illicit downloader wants those in the first place.
Lets blame the french! Its the American way.
Camcordered or not, I think this shows Canadian laws in this area are operating just fine the way they are:
Anyone that has had any level of exposure to the world of pirated movies will tell you honestly that nobody downloads webcam captures because the quality sucks. And why should they, when there are so many DVD *rips* available before the movie is even released, thanks to *rippers* inside Hollywood and the US.
It seems pointless to target some shmuck in Quebec with a camcorder because the copy people actually download is the high quality RIP strait out of Hollywood.
The US should clean up it’s own backyard before blaiming Canada for its copyright woes.