Canwest Reports Camcording Bill on the Way

Canwest News reports this morning that the Conservatives will introduce anti-camcording legislation this spring with the hope of moving the bill quickly through the Parliamentary process.  Given the recent statements from MPs from all parties this comes as no surprise, though it is still remarkable to see the power of Hollywood lobbying trump other priorities and force an about-face from the Minister of Justice. 


  1. If It’s Just a Tightly Worded Criminal
    A smart government knows that the fastest way to get a bill through a minority session is to narrowly focus its language.

    If the language of such a bill is kept to a tight view of criminalizing the substantial recording of a motion picture, then that will (1) satisfy the industry lobbyists, (2) make it likely to get quick multi-party approval, and (3) avoid massive copyright act changes that deserve more deliberation.

    That doesn’t mean it would be immune to bad side-effects. What are some of the potential bad-side effects of a strictly Criminal Code change, without touching the Copyright Act?

  2. All it does is proves to Hollywood that they have much more say than Canadians regarding Canadian law. No matter what the government does, it will not be enough to appease the content companies. But, they will certainly push for more of the same now that they have politicians at their beck and call.

  3. Another one?
    Aw, geez, I just wrote a letter to my MP. Do I need to write another so soon?

  4. Jeff Rybak says:

    Not Really A Big Deal
    As long as the legislation is targeted properly at screencams this isn’t really an issue. Walking into a theatre and aiming a video camera at the movie screen should be illegal. As has been pointed out, excessively open language or inexact terms could be dangerous here, but the same is true of almost any bill. Any claim that this will materially affect piracy, however, is absurd. It’s action for the appearance of action, and nothing more.

  5. Here\s the problem…
    Here\’s the problem with laws like this: nothing about it is good for the public and everything about it is good for Hollywood.

    Since when did Canada start bowing to down to American industries instead of listening to their constituents like they are supposed to be doing?

    And it\’s not just American businesses that are a problem. *Any* business that seeks to push a self-serving law is a problem.

  6. Jeff Rybak says:

    Umm… ‘K?
    “Any business that seeks to push a self-serving law is a problem?” So if, for example, I happened to operate a series of paper boxes (they’re usually run by small business people, btw) and people kept stealing my papers by opening the box and taking all the copies, and I lobbied my government to make this more expressly illegal, that would be a problem with you?

    Look, I’m no fan of heavy-handed political intervention, and I’m just as afraid as anyone of bad copyright law. But if you turn this into a black/white us vs. them campaign, such that even common sense laws piss you off because it represents a victory for the evil team, then I don’t see how you ever expect to see progress.

    You aren’t even bothering to refute the essential point that aiming a video camera at a movie screen should be illegal. Instead you seem to be of the opinion that whatever one team wants, the other team must clearly want the opposite. And it’s never that simple.

    I promote a government that strives for balance, compromise, and common sense. I support intelligent policy, and yes, that does at times have to protect industry as well as consumers. Unless you think laws against shop-lifting are similarly stupid.

    If you think a law against carrying video cameras into movie theatres is bad for substantial reasons, but all means offer them. But to argue that it’s wrong just because a particular lobby is asking for it … you might as well declare up front you can never be satisfied.