Hollywood is singing a new tune in its fight against movie theft: “Oh no, Canada.”
Piracy north of the border has exploded in the two years since Congress made it a crime to use video recording devices to copy movies in U.S. theaters, according to industry officials. But with piracy laws more relaxed in Canada, bootleggers can operate there almost risk free.
A frustrated Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. this week canceled all promotional public screenings in Canada, including any for its big summer movies “Ocean’s Thirteen” and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” The studio estimates that 70% of its releases during the last 18 months have been illegally recorded in Canadian theaters.
[…] About 1 in 5 pirated movies worldwide originates in Canada, with pirates there on pace to illegally produce 150 films this year, more than double the country’s 2005 output, according to the Motion Picture Assn. of America.
In fact, just last week the U.S. trade representative’s office put Canada on its 2007 “watch list” for protection of intellectual property, citing “continuing concern” over the country’s “failure to prohibit the unauthorized camcording of films in movie theaters.”