28 January 2007

Connect the Dots

Hysterical reports lately about how Canada is the source of 50% of movie piracy around the world. (First terrorists, and now pirates. Some country, eh?) Such reports, and the threatened consequences - an up-to-two-week delay in releasing first-run features in Canada (Horrors! Won't someone think of the popcorn!) - will clearly make our parliamentarians focus on the pending legislation that apparently seeks to implement one of the most onerous copyright regimes in the world - possibly including a provision that will make it illegal to rip your legally purchased CD to your MP3 player. All of this foofarah is music to the ears of Canada's copyright lobby, who have had unprecedented (and ethically questionable) access to the ear of Bev Oda, the current heritage minister.

And the timing of the "50% problem" story has nothing, nothing at all to do with the lobbying efforts directed at the current legislative agenda, right?

Update (5 Feb 2007): Michael Geist blows the lid off the movie industry's propaganda campaign in today's Star column:
While the reports have succeeded in attracting considerable attention, a closer examination of the industry's own data reveals that the claims are based primarily on fiction rather than fact. In the best Hollywood tradition, Canadians have been treated to a show from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and its Canadian counterpart (the Canadian Motion Pictures Distributors Association) that is much ado about nothing, featuring unsubstantiated and inconsistent claims about camcording, exaggerations about its economic harm and misleading critiques of Canadian law.

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