Bill C-59 / Camcording

Who benefits from the camcordering law?

On my lunch, I skimmed over an article about the first arrest under Canada's recent anti-camcordering law. A particular quote struck me:

The association also credits the industry's investment in a series of technological systems.

Geist: Putting Canadian "Piracy" in Perspective

A video from Michael Geist and Daniel Albahary that puts the industry claims in perspective. Please write a letter to your MP and future candidates to ensure that they are aware of this issue.

Vote for it on CBC's Exposure.

Reply letter from Marlene Jennings about her support for Bill C-59

The following letter was received from Marlene Jennings, Justice critic for the Liberal party of Canada. This letter is followed by the letter I wrote that she replied to. In receiving permission to publish this letter she asked that I note that "for more information about the Liberal Party's policies, please consult: www.liberal.ca."



Dear Sir,

Thank you for your feedback on Bill C-59.

I am glad that you preface your email with the following sentence: "nobody is supporting people recording movies without permission." It means that, fundamentally, you accept the objectives of Bill C-59, even though you may disagree with the process behind its adoption by the House of Commons.

Bill C-59 debate complete (about an hour and 10 mins), bill passed.

It is now 17:00 and the debate is complete. (Hansard transcript now available) A total of 10 people spoke, including the Justice Minister (Hon. Rob Nicholson), and the Justice critics for the Liberals (Hon. Marlene Jennings), Bloc (Réal Ménard) and NDP (Joe Comartin).

Embarrassing Bill C-59 now part of today's fast tracking

At the end of Question Period the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Hon. Peter Van Loan, stood up to ask if the house had unanimous consent for a motion that described what would happen for the rest of the day (what time limits would exist, etc) (See: Hansard). Later he added further that specific bills would be deemed referred to the committee of the whole, concurred in, read a third time and passed. This included Bill C-59, the anti-camcording bill that is highly controversial in that there is no demonstrated need (evidence only from largely foreign special interest groups). The extreme fast tracking of this bill demonstrates the willingness of all parliamentarians to pass bills without requiring any evidence.

Behind the Scenes of Canada's Movie Piracy Bill

Michael Geist's weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star, MG's website) uses documents obtained under the Access to Information Act to provide a behind the scenes look at Canada's new movie piracy bill. The documents reveal that the bill is based largely on draft legislation directly provided by the industry and that the Minister of Canadian Heritage was advised by department officials that there was little evidence that the proposal would prove more effective than current Canadian law.

Mr. Bell (North Vancouver, Liberal) suggests greater handouts to legacy Motion Picture industry

Mr. Bell (North Vancouver, Liberal) introduced a private members bill C-453: An Act to establish the Canadian Motion Picture Industry Secretariat. This is a small bill that speaks for itself.

It is unlikely that the larger community of people making movies, including so-called "user generated content", will be considered by this secretariat. As we have seen in the past, wide public participation in culture is seen not by some politicians and policy makers as a necessary part of a democratic society, but a threat to legacy industries.

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (unauthorized recording of a movie)

Bill C-59: An Act to amend the Criminal Code (unauthorized recording of a movie) was tabled in the House of Commons earlier today. It is a short bill (6-page PDF, with more than half being overhead of title page/etc). It focuses entirely on the issue of recording audio or video in theatres. The bill itself seems to fall within what I was hoping, but I still expect the media, lobbiests, and misinformed politicians try to use this as a thin edge of the wedge to try to gain support for far more controversial laws.

Please see Michael Geist's BLOG posting for an analysis.

This bill is not a Copyright bill in that while it references definitions in the Copyright act, it only modifies the Criminal Code.

The Power of Lobbying: How Hollywood Got A Movie Piracy Bill

Michael Geist has posted a video via his homepage and via YouTube that documents the massive control Hollywood lobbiests have on the Canadian government. While I don't disagree with laws against camcordering, this same pressure is being used to have laws against private ownership of communications technology and against wide participation in culture.

Camcording law only "The First Step" for old-economy lobbiests...

With various reports about Prime Minister Stephen Harper informing Schwarzenegger of proposed anti-camcording legislation, we are all left to ask if this was a thin edge of the wedge to unrelated issues.

Michael Geist pulls a reference from The Globe and Mail which suggests that it is only a first step. I have already sent letters to the government to indicate that a simple bill that dealt with this issues separately would be best for everyone concerned.

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