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Canada Is Not A Piracy Haven

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American movie and music interests have pressured Canadian authorities on the adoption of copyright laws similar to ones in the US. Painting Canada as a piracy haven, however, does not seem to reflect reality.

US government functionaries, on behalf of the well-moneyed financial interests in Hollywood and elsewhere in the content ownership business, have also attacked Canada on its copyright laws and its rejection of statutes that look onerous on the surface.

The oft-repeated argument that Canada is some sort of free zone for harboring content has been called into contention by Canadian law professor and copyright expert Michael Geist. As noted on Boing Boing, Geist and filmmaker Daniel Albahary have released a short, under nine minutes, video disclaiming the bitter complaining from their southern neighbors.

A dream come true for American interests would be the establishment of laws similar to the much-criticized DMCA in the US. Takedown notices could then be dispatched to any ISP suspected of having an evil content-uploader or host on their network.

There are a few problems with the perception American interests have tried to establish about Canada, and it’s these that Geist chose to fight with the video. In one example, he shows how Canada complies with international copyright law, including the well-known Berne Convention.

With regards to illegal camcording claims by Hollywood, Geist noted, “Canadian copyright law already addresses illegal camcording with the possibility of jail time and significant fines.”

Geist also cited a confidential report on global Hollywood movie revenue growth in 2006. The so-called pirate haven to the north experienced the highest revenue growth in the world for movies.

That looks at odds with claims of rampant piracy.

On the music side, the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) depicted Canadians as thieves who “will continue to steal other people’s property.” But Canada’s 122 percent digital music download sales growth easily eclipsed growth figures for the US (60 percent) and Europe (85 percent.)

“Peer-to-peer downloading is arguably compensated by the private copying levy, which places a levy on each blank CD sold in Canada,” Geist noted in the video. He blames the industry’s reliance on DRM for their woes.

Nailing down accusations of widespread counterfeiting products has been difficult. Geist claims not enough data exists, and that an investigating committee relied on data later acknowledged by the collecting agency to be inaccurate and overstated.

“Canadian policy should prioritize Canadian interests, not those of foreign governments and lobby groups,” said Geist.

Canada Is Not A Piracy Haven
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  • Micheal Jackson

    Hello Bongo Phone!!!

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