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 […]
Post Tagged with: "c-59"
With Bill C-59 scheduled for second reading and debate today, my weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) highlights some of the behind the scenes developments that led to Canada's movie piracy bill. Based on documents obtained under the Access to Information Act, the column reveals that Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda held a private meeting in Ottawa with Canadian Motion Pictures Distributors Association President Douglas Frith one year before the bill was introduced, at which Frith provided the government with draft legislation – legislation that the lobby group itself had crafted – that likely served as the basis for what is now Bill C-59. Moreover, a briefing note prepared by department officials for Oda in advance of the CMPDA meeting help explain the barrage of lobby pressure on the camcording issue as the Minister was advised that there was little evidence that the industry’s proposal would prove more effective that current Canadian law.
The CMPDA meeting focused on several issues, including counterfeiting and signal theft, yet it was a movie piracy amendment to the Criminal Code that was clearly top of mind.
Appeared in the Toronto Star on June 11, 2007 as Behind-Scenes Action Set Stage for Camcording Bill When Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda and Industry Minister Maxime Bernier stepped up to the podium on Parliament Hill ten days ago to introduce new movie piracy legislation, the scene had an unmistakable […]
As expected, the federal government introduced Bill C-59, its anti-camcording legislation on Friday (coverage from CBC, CTV, Canwest, Toronto Star, Globe). The bill creates two amendments to the Criminal Code:
- The recording of a movie in a movie theatre without the consent of the theatre's manager, punishable by up to two years in jail.
- The recording of a movie in a movie theatre without the consent of the theatre's manager for the purpose of selling, renting, or other commercial distribution of a copy of the recording, punishable by up to five years in jail.
The Globe is reporting that the bill may fast track through the House without any hearings – literally in a matter of minutes – despite a clear need to review the law for potential amendment (for example, I would suggest that there is the need to add the word "knowingly" to the two provisions and suggest adding a reporting mechanism everytime the provision is triggered so that we can get a better handle on the scope of the problem). Everyone would agree that no one credible supports illegal camcording. Indeed, while the economic impact may be subject to debate, there is no doubt that the practice does real harm to the artistic merit of the film and thus harms the creators. That said, this bill troubles me for several reasons.