August 29, 2007

Making Friends, and Exporting Ideologies [7:10 am]

Although it’s been going on for years, this article in today’s Boston Globe really smacks you in the face. Not just because we are working to insult one of our closest neighbors because their copyright policies are different than our own, but also because we are managing to force them to adopt not just our policies, but also our ideologies of copyright. Note that the cited change in Canadian law introduces the notion that there are things that one is not supposed to be able to do with a tool, and also that employing the tool in this fashion is a proof of guilt, removing any question of intent: Pirates of Canada’s movie theaters snare booty off Hollywood bootlegspdf

One in six movie copies made by illegally recording from the screen originates in Montreal, according to the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association. Bootlegs made in Montreal have turned up for sale as DVDs in 45 countries, said Serge Corriveau, an investigator for the group.

Canada is paying a price for tolerating pirates. The International Intellectual Property Alliance, which represents 1,900 US companies that produce films, books, software, and other goods protected by copyright, placed Canada alongside China and Russia on its list of worst offenders.

Bowing to the pressure, the federal government changed the criminal code in June. Cammers now face as long as two years in jail for recording in a theater. Police previously had to prove intent to distribute in order to bring charges.

Does this mean that camcorder manufacturs will have to include, alongside consumer warnings like “Not to be used in the shower,” a warning that use inside a movie theater may open the owner to criminal penalties?

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