And Of Course, Canada Gets Its New Anti-Camcording Bill

from the you-saw-that-coming,-didn't-you? dept

Since the beginning of the year, we've seen news story after news story about how Canada supposedly had a huge camcording problem, with people apparently making unauthorized copies of movies for sale after taping them with a camcorder in the theater. This left out a few important things. First, camcording is increasingly a minor problem for movie studios, as the copies you see online and on counterfeit DVDs are more often leaked from studio prints or early released DVDs, rather than the weak quality camcorded versions, complete with audience coughing and heads blocking the bottom of the picture. Second, the numbers the industry kept claiming didn't add up, and the MPAA refused to provide any proof for the numbers they kept claiming about the problem (and those numbers kept changing). In fact, Canadian politicians have said they've relied on these questionable numbers rather than asking for any independent studies. Third, the press and the MPAA almost entirely ignored the laws in Canada that already made it illegal to tape movies. Fourth, the US had stronger laws passed already, and there's no evidence that it's done anything to decrease incidents of camcording. Of course, why let facts get in the way of a few lobbyists and campaign contributions? As expected, Canadian politicians have introduced a much stricter anti-camcording bill that will include jail time (two to five years) for those caught camcording. Michael Geist notes that the bill is on the "fast track" and may not even have any debate before being approved. This seems clearly a case of politicians bowing down to corporate interests (even those outside their own country). No, there's no defense for camcording a movie -- but if it's not a huge problem and existing laws can handle it, why waste government, law enforcement and judicial time and money over what's really a corporate problem?


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  1.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jun 4th, 2007 @ 11:14am

    Buy your own ..

    .. Canadian politician. Half the price of the American ones!!!

     

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  2.  
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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 4th, 2007 @ 11:19am

    I see a new market

    Hats with side mounted, fake video cameras for sale to those queuing up outside their local cinema to see the latest block-buster.

    Might as well make it a pirate hat. ;-)

     

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  3.  
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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jun 4th, 2007 @ 11:25am

    Borg hat?

    Hmm... What happens if a trekkie goes to a cinema to see a Trek movie whilst wearing a Borg outfit including eye mounted videocam?

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 11:50am

    Re: Borg hat?

    Screw that, what if a REAL borg wants to go see the latest Hillary Duff flick?

    I want answers, damnit!

     

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  5.  
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    Larry, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: Borg hat?

    Hillary is already part of the collective (resistance was futile). The borg can see anything she does thru the network. No camcording required (hence, no jailtime).

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 12:00pm

    How Hollywood Got Its Camcorder Bill

    Geist has posted a brilliant video on YouTube that picks up on this story by tracing how Hollywood lobbied Canada into this bill in less than six months.

     

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  7.  
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    GoblinJuice, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 12:01pm

    Try it!

    Note to the Canadian politicians: please, try to watch a shakycam movie. You'll realize just how horrid the quality is and realize a ban isn't needed... watching a shakycam movie is punishment enough!

    *cough* Hey, got anymore popcorn? *shush* *cough*

    *crying baby in the background*

     

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  8.  
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    Nasty Old Geezer, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Try it!

    Love it! Buying a camcorded movie is a self-punishing offense.

    Of course, if the legislators stay busy passing the same laws over and over, they won't have time to poke their noses into other things (like new taxes).

     

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  9.  
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    The infamous Joe, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 12:39pm

    Hypotheticial

    Were I to be someone who downloads movies, and would wait at least until there was a leaked DvD rip of said movie before I even bothered to download it. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

    Unless it's a movie I really wanted to see, then I'd just go to the movies and watch it.

     

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  10.  
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    Mike Burda, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 2:47pm

    Re: Buy your own ..

    Have you checked the exchange rate. It is no 95% the cost of American politicians. Pretty soon, people will see bribing US politicians as a deal.

     

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  11.  
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    Mike, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 3:36pm

    WALL

    Yeanother reason to put a giant electified wall on our border with th US, I like to call it the "IQ" line, as there seems to be an enormous drop in IQ's just below it...

     

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  12.  
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    Zergy, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 5:14pm

    Way to go.

    If Candians want to ban the lower quality crap getting onto the torrent site, then that is awewsome, Now when I find a movie not released on DVD yet, I know it will be the high quality that some guy stole from under the studio's noses. I think those Canadian Politions are brighter then people think. They are doing us a favour and the MPAA is congradulating them. LOL. STUPID MPAA. Mike argues this as its a bad thing. Its actually great.

     

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  13.  
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    Jon Healey, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 5:16pm

    Shakeycams?

    Jeez, people on this list don't seem to have watched a telesync lately, or have bought a bootlegged movie on DVD a few days after its premiere. Cams (and their telesync derivatives) are more likely to be high-quality releases than the shakeycams of yore. And they still dominate the early days of a bootlegged movie. Leaks from studios/post houses prior to a movie's opening are increasingly rare, in sharp contrast to the situation a few years ago. DVD rips don't appear for the first month or two after a movie hits theaters. Whether Canada needs a law against camming is a separate question, but you can't reasonably argue that a) cams are garbage; b) cams are infrequent; or c) there's any real justification for allowing people to camcord a movie in a theater.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Shakeycams?

    Cams (and their telesync derivatives) are more likely to be high-quality releases than the shakeycams of yore.
    Care to point out ANY high quality theater audience cams to back up your claim?

     

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  15.  
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    Coaster, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 6:33pm

    definition of a committee?

    ....A lifeform with six or more heads and no brain. Much like the astute politicians who thought that the current law banning camcording needed shoring up, with a law that bans camcording.

    Lets see....is it soon to be election time for someone? Would MIAA be a good campaign backer?

     

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  16.  
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    Beaker1991, Jun 4th, 2007 @ 7:31pm

    Future prison conversation

    Prisoner #1: How long you in for?
    Prisoner #2: Life!! How long you in?
    Prisoner #1: 5 years for rape. What did you do?
    Prisoner #2: Camcording a movie at the local cinema.
    Prisoner #1: Bummer.

     

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  17.  
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    Cixelsid, Jun 5th, 2007 @ 4:26am

    Re: Future prison conversation

    Prisoner #1: How long you in for?
    Prisoner #2: Life!! How long you in?
    Prisoner #1: 5 years for rape. What did you do?
    Prisoner #2: Camcording a movie at the local cinema.
    Prisoner #1: Bummer. You know I hate those goddamn shaky cam movies. What did you use to record the movie?
    Prisoner #2: My cellphone.
    Prisoner #1: I thought as much, you know what that calls for, right?
    Prisoner #2: No?
    Prisoner #1: Assrape.
    Prisoner #2: *sob*

     

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  18.  
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    Michael Brutsch, Jun 5th, 2007 @ 7:11am

    "why waste government, law enforcement and judicial time and money over what's really a corporate problem?"

    Because that's what the politicos get paid for - shilling for corporate interests.

    Oh. That was a rhetorical question, wasn't it?

     

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  19.  
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    TO, Jun 5th, 2007 @ 10:46pm

    This has little with the financial damage of poor quality camcorder copies made in Canada. It has everything to do with business strategy. On Hollywood side, it has to bring Canada in line with anti-camcorder laws similar to US, a criminal offense, in order to have any credibility to fight the real damages in Asia and E European countries. On Canada side, there is every expectation of Hollywood making a lot more movies in Canada, and complain less about the tax breaks Canada gives to such enterprise. Politicians are not all dumbs you know.

     

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  20.  
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    Vamputer, Jul 30th, 2007 @ 6:52am

    So VeryLame its just movies jeeze

    ok so people copy movies in theaters big deal .. How many people watch them more then i can count in fact i can see more then 60 million people around the world are downloading a new movie right now from the net weather its a cam or a promotional dvd copy . but the real question is how many people are doing the exact opiset of that and wasting there hard earned money on going to the theater to pay a major over price to watch a movie on the big screen for example i would go to the theater spnd 8.50 on a ticket 12 bucks on popcorn and a drink to sit down in a dirty theater with sticky floors ... OR Download the movie burn it to dvd plug in to dvd player a few cents for a dvd 25c for a microwave bag of popcorn we have movie night for family and friends i dont know about the rest of you but i think that movie piracy is the biggest form of entertainment available on the current market as for the people making money off of it try charging a lil bit less for your copies after all you only have to sell one copy to make money after that everything is just profit ..... As for me a pirated movie is the same thing to me as if i recorded the ovie off of tv so you people who want to stop piracy better stop recordings off of tv as well because piracy is piracy other then that leave the pirates alone they will all get caught eventually till then mind your own business

     

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