CTV is reporting that Prime Minister Stephen Harper today will confirm what has become increasingly obvious – under pressure from the U.S. and Hollywood studios, Canada will introduce anti-camcording legislation. Harper is using California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's visit to Ottawa to serve notice of the proposed bill. That approach really says it all – given that this marks the culmination of a torrent of pressure from U.S. politicians and U.S. lobby groups on Canadian officials, first notice appropriately goes to a U.S. politician, not the Canadian public.
Further, the CTV report continues the trend of providing a one-sided (and arguably misleading) perspective. It claims that "if the bill passes next fall, cheap and readily available copies of popular current releases will presumably be less frequent in Canada and on the worldwide market." The reality is that there is no evidence to suggest that the law will have any such effect. Indeed, the U.S. is world's largest source of camcorded films notwithstanding the existence of anti-camcording legislation. Moreover, the report adds that "there are lots of great Canadian films that are made too and you don't want them necessarily sent off through the Internet", though there has been no evidence that the camcording issue has involved Canadian films.
We should at least be honest about this bill. It is the result of U.S. pressure, it will have no discernable impact on movie piracy, and it has nothing to do with Canadian films. By timing the announcement with the Schwarzenegger visit, even the Prime Minister is being transparent about the motivations behind this change in government policy.