January 25, 2007

International Trade Policy [6:10 pm]

Hollywood blames Canada for half of movie piracypdf

As much as 50 per cent of the world’s pirated movies come from Canada, prompting the film industry to threaten to delay the release of new titles in this country.

According to an investigation by Twentieth Century Fox, most of the illegal recording, or “camcording,” is taking place in Montreal movie houses, taking advantage of bilingual releases and lax copyright laws.

“In Quebec, it is much more advantageous because you get both English and French. You cover a bigger part of the world,” said Ellis Jacob, chief executive of the Cineplex Entertainment theatre chain. “They are using Canada because they can have the movie out on the street in the Philippines and China before it even releases there.”

Jacob said he was warned in a letter from Bruce Snyder, president of Fox’s domestic distribution, that if Canada doesn’t do something to curb its growing piracy problem, Hollywood will.

Later: Michael Geist begs to differ; Slashdot discussion: Canadian Movie Piracy Claims Mostly Fiction?

Later: US Group Wants Canada Blacklisted Over Piracy

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Surprise! [9:00 am]

Americans think downloading no big deal - pdf

Most Americans regard the illegal downloading and distributing of Hollywood movies as something on par with minor parking offenses, according to a report issued Wednesday.

[...] The survey found that 59 percent of Americans polled considered “parking in a fire lane” a more serious offense than movie downloading.

Hmmm — seriously, wouldn’t you? The press release of their Digital Life America effort shows how little effort it can take to construct a Reuters news blurb when it’s all been done for you.

Related: Fox subpoenas YouTube after “24″ clips postedpdf

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A Little Realism from the IHT [8:04 am]

A followup to A Little Bickering Going OnRecording Companies Show New Interest in a Global Music License - pdf

What’s going on here? Is it really possible that we could get the right to copy the music we own digitally and move it among our various music players in return for something as simple as a monthly fee? One group a year ago proposed the fee at €6.66, or $8.66, a month, which would then be distributed by the traditional collecting societies to musicians and other copyright holders.

Three key changes have taken place in the past year that make the environment a bit friendlier to such a proposal, at least from the point of view of the major recording companies, which the phonographic industry group represents. [....]

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