Pop Culture
Canadians Get Preview of New - Made For Hollywood Copyrights Law
By Hervé St-Louis
December 5, 2007 - 01:53




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The RCMP, better known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have announced, today that they have arrested and laid charges on Geremi Adams, a Montreal man accused of recording films in movie theatres. According the federal police corps, the arrest made in September 2006, required 14 months of evidence gathering with the Americans’ FBI. Adams will be prosecuted by the “old” Canadian Copyrights Act instead of the new criminal law that was passed in the spring at the behest of Hollywood lobbyists and Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This announcement may be an attempt to warm up the terrain for the upcoming announcement of the new updated Canadian copyright act later this week by federal Industry Minister Jim Prentice. This new bill is expected to model American copyrights’ laws and change the traditional way in which Canada has treated copyrights in the past.

If copyrights violations are now to be treated as criminal offences, Hollywood lawyers will no longer have to prove wrongdoing in courts, as they do in civil cases. Instead, Canadian taxpayers will pick up the tab (through the criminal justice system) every time a Hollywood studio feels like suing a Canadian resident.

Is this a planned public relations’ ploy to make Canadians swallow an autocratic copyrights law that will put all powers in the hand of foreign corporations? If Adams was arrested over a year ago, in September of 2006, why was the announcement of his arrest made only now? Why put the emphasis on the cooperation with Hollywood studios and the FBI? Why also mention that Adams will be only sued under the “old” Canadian copyrights laws? Is this an attempt to scare the public into compliance with upcoming laws that only benefit Hollywood stakeholders?

The fact that a lot of noise is made around an activity that is practised by but a few individuals in Montreal is interesting. The camcorder recording law, introduced in the spring of 2007, was made to please Hollywood interests and passed within the space of a few months, while more important laws and issues continue to linger and affect a greater number of Canadians.  How fast will the new Canadian copyrights act pass through parliament? Does the Harper “new government” have its priorities straighten out? While Adams’ activity was a nuisance, a law made just for him and his buddies is far more unnecessary than the odious and lacklustre way Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his team have dealt with the control and banning of hand guns that have killed too many innocent Canadians, lately.



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