RCMP Demonstrates That Movie Piracy Law Unnecessary

Throughout the debate over Bill C-59, Canada's fast-tracked anti-camcording law, I consistently argued that there was no need for additional legislation since the Copyright Act was already well-equipped to deal with problem (documents obtained under the Access to Information Act reveal that that was the view of Department of Justice officials as well).  Yesterday, the RCMP called a press conference to trumpet the arrest of a Montreal man for camcording a movie and in the process proved my point

This is the second arrest in the past month, but what makes this one noteworthy is that the man faces charges under the Copyright Act.  That's right – after all the rhetoric about the supposed inadequacy of copyright law to address this issue, Canada's national police force joined forces with the FBI and arrested a reputed world leader in film piracy who now faces the prospect of jail time and fines.  Yet they did not use the new anti-camcording provision in the Criminal Code.  It would seem that the Copyright Act gave them all the power they needed.


  1. Paranoid Canuck
    But this is like so many other Canadian legal stories… Let’s face it – if we aren’t making laws to prevent people from LEGALLY catching themselves in their own zippers, we’re inventing new laws that do the same thing old laws did if anyone bothered to read them or enforce them.

    Is there something fundamentally wrong / impossible about REVISING a law? I see acts revised provincially – can’t this happen nationally and to the criminal code?

  2. anticapitalist
    The question, Why the redundant law?, is a good one. The answer, I believe, is found in an old saying: ‘Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.’ I’d qualify that answer and say that capitalism is the Devil’s workshop. In a money system, in which money means life, You are always going to see folks finding ways to survive that are less than noble.

    A lot of what capitalists do is simply destructive. Melting the planet comes to mind.

    When I first heard about the camcording law I literally shook my head, and shook it again. And again. I quipped with someone about it, telling that person that the law was like a law against collecting dead, rotting, stinking fish on the beach. “Oh no! What will I do now? I was about to go to the closed beach and collect some more rotten, stinking fish, but I can’t! How can they do this to me?!! What about all those people depending on me to share with them this wonderful bounty from the lake?” If you catch my drift.

    I think that those wanting such goofy legislation tell themselves that they are being clever. Folks with attitude might want to consider the possibility that anger isn’t conducive to clear thinking. Just because they can picture a lot of stupid people out there being cowed into supporting, uncritically, the almighty authorities, and a greater number of us – the enemy – dismayed about that prospect, that doesn’t mean it accurately reflects reality. Or is in any way, shape or form productive – to anyone. I’m certainly dismayed by the waste of time and energy and… skin.

  3. Realist
    Capitalism is responsible for “melting the planet”? One of the biggest environmental disasters took place in Chernobyl – in the then-communist Soviet Union. Current high emitters responsible for greenhouse gasses include both “capitalist” and “communist” countries. So not only is your point off topic, it’s completely inaccurate.

    Back ON topic – yes, what is so wrong with strengthening an existing law? Or enforcing one?

  4. Mr. WIzard says:

    Apples & Oranges
    The man in Montreal was arrested for violating the Copywright Act (selling copied DVD’s and camcorded movies for profit) within Canada and the US. The anti-comcording provision is for people who record big screen movies with a comcorder “period”, doesn’t matter if it’s for personal use or not. On another note, possessing copied DVD material for personal use is not a criminal offense.

  5. Feared and Loathed
    Thank God for this legislation! there\’s nothing more annoying than searching online to download a movie, and getting one of those terrible shakey-cam ones! Now that that\’s out of the way, it\’ll just be the good stuff; DVD rips, and after hours private screening, higher quality camcorder jobs from people that pay off the minimum wage theatre kids.

  6. Professor Elwick says:

    I like this idea its about as idiotic as taxing the air we breathe, but we already have carbon emissions for that.
    Because throwing money at the problem of global warming is going to somehow solve it? If it were a real problem we would be driving electric cars which could be plugged in for 12 hours and run for a week (go watch who killed the electric car) and we would be using geothermal energy, To Mitch and Arby: Capitalism and Communism are really one in the same, two systems that were engineered and influenced by political/social pressures by masonic and economic elites. Communism was engineered to fail so in contrast capitalism could look like the best system but today because of many testimonies and KGB documents which have been uncovered, we now know WHO and WHAT were responsible for the collapse of the soviet union and when you come to understand the WHO the WHY makes perfect sense. Don’t let your grade 10 social class cloud actual research, Mitch is more then correct in stating that capitalists are melting the planet. If it were not for the monopoly these oil barons have on industry and commerce, we wouldn’t be using outdated and seriously disgusting gas powered ANYTHING. The technology is polluting and people wonder why there is a cause for concern. Because of Capitalism we are literally driving ourselves to extinction. Its like republican and democrat vote for crook A or crook B, regardless they both answer to the same powers above them and those powers have no intention of supporting any candidate that will truly bring change for the people….so please Arby don’t insult your own intelligence by assuming the one system is better then the other because both were and to this day are run by the same powers….anyways back on topic…

  7. foolish ambition
    The funny thing is, for anyone who is even mildly computer literate
    like Grei said “it’ll just be the good stuff; DVD rips”
    There are so many ways to burn a dvd on to your computer or extract to your ps3 it’s tragically hilarious. Regardless if they make mod chips illegal you can expect them to continue being sold and re-modded to “technically” be something different then a mod-chip. Unless the RCMP obtains warrants to rip apart my computer or ps3 without proof that I am pirating anything, Their efforts are pointless. attempting to stop technological development of something that is so easy to be done and can be done in so many ways is a waste of time. Let the police deal with the rapists and murderers (there’s more then enough here in Alberta) instead of finding new ways to waste their time and effort. Anyone with a pc can EASILY make copies of nearly any form of media, if its on a CD/DVD its fair game.
    If the entertainment industry doesn’t like this then they don’t need to use the format. But it’s convenient. You cant expect me to complain that Americans are watching me dance in my bathrobe because I uploaded it to youtube….the audience is worldwide and I knew that BEFORE I uploaded it. It’s seriously a pathetic attempt to regulate something they fear they cannot control (which they can’t, but give them an E for effort)
    many movies now come with the amusing digital copy function which allows you to “legally” make a copy of a movie you rent. In which case can then be distributed or shared…legally??
    If they do not like this aspect then they should change the format of media/entertainment being sold to prevent it. But they wont because that requires money on their part and they would rather spend money to incriminate others and set an example for the scared sheeple to follow while the intelligent keep laughing. There are hundreds of programs which allow you to download ANY video off youtube or google or other media websites. So basically if its on the internet it’s fair game. Are we going to start jailing the 12 year old kids who use this software daily to download movies for their own private use? And if I happen to get sent some copyrighted material via e-mail or facebook am I to be held accountable for such an action even if I had not requested it?
    What if perhaps they started using a different format for DVD’s so they can no longer be read as DVD? hmmm well it would mean alot of pissed off people who have to buy new dvd players…but since no computer in the world can read this new format…that would be a major win for them. Yes it would be inconvenient for many but if they have the nerve to do this with blu-ray I don’t really see that being a problem…
    What you need to understand is there are many ways in which this problem can be eradicated but that would take money and effort on their part and people would complain, Instead of assume the responsibility that comes with their self created issue and realize that software piracy is their problem not mine, they would rather find ways to incriminate more people thus placing the problems on the shoulders of the people who do respect the already strict rules. We pay more taxes to fight the bogeyman. Even if they wish to enforce harder legislation there will still be media pirates, and more importantly people who can obtain various media as they wish…be it my grandmother or 8 year old nephew, because as long as the DVD format exists…THEY CAN BE READ BY ANY COMPUTER IN THE WORLD and it does not matter whether it is Canada or Turkey which is placed on their ominous blacklist, I will simply order free movies from Russia or Japan, like seriously why not attempt to tax the air while they are at it. Oh yea…carbon emissions….This entire debate is so damn hilarious to anyone with a shred of computer literacy. It’s nothing more then the ignorant attempting to argue and regulate a problem in which their own stupidity has gotten them into…and they know it. I think Geist is correct in stating it is unwise for policy makers to refer to self supporting statistics made to measure something that cannot be measured but regardless of what tries to be done we either accept a ridiculous amount of regulation and inconvenience on our behalf to deal with this problem or we say screw off and not support any moves to let our personal lives be controlled. I am against the sale of pirated goods for profit but we should not consider making laws which will hurt more then they intend to protect, it’s that simple.