It's tough to figure out what the entertainment industry is thinking much of the time. Lately, they've been so focused on stopping "piracy" that they've basically lost sight of the fact that they're supposed to be making money. In many cases, the fight against piracy is making patrons feel like criminals, discouraging actual movie attendance. And, of course, bad overall experiences in movie going, such as high prices, loud audiences, dirty theaters and other problems isn't helping. Dealing with those should be a top priority, rather than than worrying if someone is taping the video with some cheap camera phone. Apparently, that's not true, however. Rob Hyndman points us to an article in Toronto's Globe and Mail that talks up how upset Hollywood is with the fact that recording a film in the theater isn't a criminal offense in Canada. That means, law enforcement won't get involved, though the theaters and studios can certainly still file civil suits. As Hyndman notes, this is clearly a PR article that was placed by the industry as they gear up to push for a new copyright law that includes making movie videotaping a crime. The article goes on and on and on about how much videotaping occurs in Canadian theaters, making it out to be this huge threat to the industry -- never once noting that videotaped movies aren't exactly hot stuff any more. Michael Geist fills in the details, pointing out that the vast majority of copied videos available are from insiders who leak the films. And, of course, once those leaked films get online, there's simply no reason to even care about the crappy video taped versions. In other words, it's pretty much a non-issue -- other than the draconian steps the theaters and studios take to try to stop this practice, turning off more people. If the industry put the same effort into making the overall moving going experience more enjoyable, the benefits would likely dwarf any impact from camcorder-taped movies.
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