Movie Camcording Bill Clears Debate, Hearings, and Three Readings in 80 Minutes

Bill C-59, the anti-camcording bill, blazed through the House of Commons yesterday.  The bill was debated and given all three readings (hearings were deemed unnecessary) in only 80 minutes, less time than it takes to actually watch most movies.  The bill is now at the Senate awaiting approval. 

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson opened the debate by citing the Globe and Mail coverage on the movie camcording issue and acknowledging again that Canada already has laws that address this issue.  Nicholson 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."  The Liberal and the Bloc MPs voiced great support for the bill as well, with Liberal MP Marlene Jennings indicating that she was working on a private members' bill to address the issue and Bloc MP Réal Ménard advising that he had a motion ready to demand that the Justice committee conduct hearings on camcording.

The most noteworthy comments came from NDP Heritage Critic Charlie Angus, who supported the bill but pointed to the industry's conflicting numbers and expressed doubt about the bill's effectiveness.  His comments on broader copyright issues are well worth reading as they set the stage for where the real copyright battle will lie.  Angus emphasized the difference between good copyright policy and counterfeiting issues.  He also called attention to Bruce Lehman's comments about the failure of the DMCA, the problems associated with WIPO, and the emergence of the Canadian Music Creators Coalition.  As I've said before, no one supports illegal camcording, though I believe you can object to how this bill emerged as government priority.  The test will be whether this is the "first step" suggested by the CMPDA and how all the political parties react to the bigger, more contentious copyright issues.


  1. This would be transparent and accountable government in action, right?

  2. maupassant says:

    For some reason I suddenly can’t get Danny Kaye’s knighthood induction scene from “The Court Jester” out of my head now.

  3. Dwight Williams says:

    Speed is a Virtue Only in Proper Context
    For the right piece of legislation, I’d applaud this kind of speed of passage.

    For this? I’m appalled at the apparent lack of consideration of unintended consequences.

  4. Parliament Debate
    For anyone wondering where they can read MP Charilie Angus’s insightful comments on the bill, they’re found here:

    [ link ]

  5. iTunes + EMI
    Wanted to add that I was impressed with how he brought up how EMI just recently dropped DRM in iTunes (and are even going to offer DRM-less music to other music stores)

  6. Sad statement on ‘priorities’…
    Yikes! If only LIFE & DEATH situations could receive such priority swiftness by the heads of power in this country, just imagine how better off we ALL could be!

    But in the meantime, while our MPs sit back and watch Canadians dying due to a horrific wait times in a dismal health care system, at least they can rest assured that Hollywood is happy!

  7. Dwight Williams says:

    About the Angus remarks?
    Not seeing them here. Am I linked to the wrong transcript?

  8. Anonymous says:

    This should be a permanent link to the transcript [ link ]