Thursday, May 10, 2007

My Way News - Warner Bros. Cancels Canada Previews

My Way News - Warner Bros. Cancels Canada Previews

Canadian film lovers hoping to catch an early peek at "Ocean's Thirteen" and the upcoming Harry Potter sequel will be out of luck after Warner Bros. canceled all of its advance screenings and accused Canada of being at the forefront of the piracy market.

Darcy Antonellis, Warner Bros.' senior vice president of worldwide anti-piracy operations, defended the move Tuesday, saying weak Canadian copyright rules have made the country a haven for organized crime syndicates to make and sell illegal DVDs.

It's been pointed out already by Michael Feist that the MPAA's claims of rampant piracy in Canada are at best ludicrous, but of course what this is really about is strong-arming the Canadian government to pass draconian copyright legislation like the U.S.'s DMCA. The idea that Canada has weak copyright law is laughable - it's already against the law to sell or rent an infringing copy of copyrighted material. Uh, doesn't that cover it? Where's the weakness there? From Geist:

The Copyright Act includes severe penalties for violating this provision with the potential for million dollar fines and up to five years in jail. Indeed, the MPAA's own website specifically points to Canada as an example of how many countries have legislation that prohibit illegal camcording. The movie lobby group states that "in Canada camcording is an infringement under the Copyright Act, regardless of whether it is for the public or personal use of the person making the copy."

So make up your mind, MPAA... Oh, and didn't I read a big news story a few days ago about a movie called 'Spiderman 3' that set box-office records? Yeah, that whole 'piracy' thing is really hurting the industry. You'd think, though, that they might want to tackle 'quality' first. Just a thought.


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