by Mike Masnick

Canada Is Hollywood's Fastest Growing Market. What Happened To All That Piracy Destroying The Business?

from the doesn't-add-up dept

As you probably recall, the MPAA spent the first half of this year whining about what a huge problem piracy was in Canada. It spent a ton of effort getting press and government officials to claim that the movie industry in Canada was being threatened by pernicious piracy everywhere. In fact, certain MPAA members even threatened to stop distributing movies to Canada, saying the threat of piracy was just too high. Warner Brothers even went so far to stop showing promos in Canada. All that bluster (with nothing to actually back it up) resulted in Canada passing an entirely unnecessary law. Of course, if you'd been reading all those articles, you probably thought that this piracy problem was destroying the movie business in Hollywood. What the MPAA left out of course, is that this wasn't true at all. Canada actually is Hollywood's largest growth market last year (well before this law passed, or was so important to the industry). So, if piracy was such a huge problem... then how come so many more people were actually going and paying for movies?

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Witty Nickname, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 12:17pm

    Duh Mike, obviously millions of Canadians were buying tickets and simultaniously pulling out camcorders once the lights went down, then they sold the movies to the pawns on the South side of the border.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Booring, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 12:21pm

    This is

    Techdirt has become such a broken record. Piracy, Intellectual Property, Piracy, Intellectual Property. How about sticking to technical stories and not spouting the same old hyperbole about two stale topics?

    Just my suggestion from the it's-getting-really-old dept

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Technomancer, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 12:21pm

    Hmmm... could it be?

    Isn't it strange? It's a simple fact that people tend to focus on their interests. If people listen to songs on the radio, they are likely to also want to download music - and for the good songs, people are often willing to pay good money for a higher-quality version of the song, or perhaps even see a concert from the group that produced it.

    Doesn't it also stand to reason that people who are interested in watching movies, and excited about movies might want to go *SEE* those movies in a theatre, or buy them on DVD as well?

    The only possible explanation for the RIAA's willful ignorance of the facts is that they are a bastion for an older outdated distribution model that doesn't want to change, and doesn't want change to happen to the rest of the world. Here's a newsflash: The market has *already* changed, and making it more difficult for people to get online content merely makes them angry and frustrated. Better to embrace the situation, and find a viable way to distribute movies cheaply (and legally!) through the net so that anyone can afford them. They'd make a mint, and instead of looking like the bunch of jerks they seem to be, they could come off as heroes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Jakey000000000000000000000000000000000000001, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 12:22pm

    U.S. media market is gravely misinterpreting the w

    If the media companies (mainly movies and music) could focus on giving the highly pirated media out for free while not spending on preventing piracy and spend more money on encoding advertisements and what not, their sales would go up and in turn restore their image. As long as data is represented digitally, hackers and crackers will find a way to redistribute it. I think cbs or nbc has a good start with hosting their shows on their website so that anyone can watch them at their convenience with limited commercials. I don't watch much tv so I can't say exactly which network it is but I heard about it and liked the idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    GoblinJuice, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 12:37pm


    MPAA's stance: because of our intense efforts to crackdown on piracy in Canada, the industry is finally seeing growth. Proving, once again, that P2P and physical piracy does hurt the industry. So, we need to keep cracking down on pirates and P2P!


    No matter how much money they make, they will always find a way to spin it. We're talking about Hollywood, after all. The same SOBs that have convinced the world that Angelina Jolie is talented, beautiful and a caring mother.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    CdnFilmMaker, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 2:43pm

    The MPAA Should shut up!

    Why the hell is the MPAA worried about Canada. We are stuck making movies and TV shows with less than 10% of the funding and budgets of these idiots who make millions on their movies even with all the piracy going on.

    As Canadian Film Makers, we end up making very little on a production (In many cases, PAs make more than the producers). So screw the MPAA, and the American cry baby filmmakers, go cry in your cristal. I hope nobody sees your movie.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    rEdEyEz, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 3:38pm

    Good news, indeed.

    Maybe, just maybe,... Hollywood will be so enthralled with their burgeoning growth in Canada that they'll pick up shop and move their sorry, freaky arses to up Qkwebec.

    This way, they can swill beer, sip wine, and bugger each other to til the canucks come home, away from us peaceful, G_d-fearing, decent folk.

    (senators, pppppppfft!)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    MadJo (profile), Jun 15th, 2007 @ 4:34pm

    Reading these stories make me think that perhaps it's the intent of the MPAA to destroy their own business. That they do it all on purpose.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Michael A. Banks, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 4:48pm

    Hollywood's fears

    I think what happened is that Hollywood figured out that there's no money to be made pursuing this stuff. That, and the fact that a kid giving a friend a copy of a film doesn't take any money from them--not literally. When someone receives an illegal copy of a film, no money disappears from the production company's coffers. Nor is such a transfer likely to block the owner's future income, as the kid who was given the film is not likely to have bought it, anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Michael, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 6:47pm

    Who Cares.

    Personally,I think MPIAA can take ALL the American crap out of our theatres and video stores, its all garbage anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 15th, 2007 @ 7:20pm

    Re: This is

    You forgot the occasional bit of data loss/theft.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Jon Healey, Jun 18th, 2007 @ 9:29am


    The anti-camcording legislation wasn't designed to boost moviegoing in Canada. It was aimed at curbing bootlegged DVD sales globally. A few years ago I was in Melbourne at a flea market bustling with bootlegged DVDs of newly released movies (which sold for $10 Australian, which was about $8 US, I think). The MPAA's anti-piracy people came through and confiscated a bunch of disks, and I looked at a few samples. Several of the films were telesyncs with English language audio and French titles. Those most likely were shot by camcorders in Quebec. Of course, I saw an equal number with titles in Cyrillic, so clearly Canada was just one of many potential sources for the bootleggers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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