Post Tagged with: "film"

Justice Minister Rejects Call for Camcording Law

The National Post reports that Justice Minister Rob Nicholson has no plans to prioritize a new camcording law, despite the intense lobbying of recent weeks.  Nicholson noted "that there is already a stiff copyright law in Canada to catch people who sneak camcorders into movie theatres for the purposes of […]

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February 13, 2007 14 comments News

Yet Another Camcorder Claim

The Globe and Mail runs an interview with Ellis Jacob, the CEO of Cineplex Entertainment.  He discusses camcording and in the process changes the claim yet again – after the industry claimed that 50 and 40 percent of camcorded films can be traced to Canada (while telling the U.S. government […]

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February 12, 2007 7 comments News

Movie Piracy Claims More Fiction Than Fact

My weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) examines recent claims that Canada has become the world's leading source of movie piracy. The column finds that a closer examination of the industry's own data reveals that the claims are based primarily on fiction rather than fact, featuring unsubstantiated and inconsistent claims about camcording, exaggerations about its economic harm, and misleading critiques of Canadian law.

First, the camcorder claims have themselves involved wildly different figures.  Over the past two weeks, reports have pegged the Canadian percentage of global camcording at either forty or fifty percent.  Yet the International Intellectual Property Alliance, a U.S. lobby group that includes the MPAA, advised the U.S. government in late September that Canadians were the source for 23 percent of camcorded copies of DVDs.  

Not surprisingly, none of these figures have been subject to independent audit or review.  In fact, AT&T Labs, which conducted the last major public study on movie piracy in 2003, concluded that 77 percent of pirated movies actually originate from industry insiders and advance screener copies provided to movie reviewers.

Moreover, the industry's numbers indicate that camcorded versions of DVDs strike only a fraction of the movies that are released each year.  As of August 2006, the MPAA documented 179 camcorded movies as the source for infringing DVDs since 2004.  During that time, its members released approximately 1400 movies, suggesting that approximately one in every ten movies is camcorded and sold as infringing DVDs.  According to this data, Canadian sources are therefore responsible for camcorded DVD versions of about three percent of all MPAA member movies.

Second, the claims of economic harm associated with camcorded movies have been grossly exaggerated.

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February 5, 2007 14 comments Columns

Bad Timing

Canadian actors descended on Parliament Hill yesterday to make their case for greater government funding for Canadian television and movie productions.  Not the best day to do so, however, since it coincided with the Auditor General' s report on Canadian cultural funding.  The report makes for interesting reading as it […]

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November 23, 2005 1 comment News

Canadian Culture and Ownership

No one does a better job of separating Canadian culture fact from fiction than the Globe and Mail’s Kate Taylor. Last week I pointed to her column on the state of Canadian television. This week her column is again a must-read. She examines the impact of the Famous Players theatre […]

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June 19, 2005 Comments are Disabled News