Behind the Scenes of Canada’s Movie Piracy Bill

From Michael Geist’s latest column.

Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda held a private meeting in Ottawa with Canadian Motion Pictures Distributors Association President Douglas Frith one year before the bill was introduced, at which Frith provided the government with draft legislation – legislation that the lobby group itself had crafted – that likely served as the basis for what is now Bill C-59. Moreover, a briefing note prepared by department officials for Oda in advance of the CMPDA meeting help explain the barrage of lobby pressure on the camcording issue as the Minister was advised that there was little evidence that the industry’s proposal would prove more effective that current Canadian law.—Behind the Scenes of Canada’s Movie Piracy Bill


The first is what drew the industry standing ovation – unauthorized camcording will not be tolerated in Canada even if it means diverting law enforcement resources from health and safety issues to movie theatres. The second is that private meetings, foreign pressures, and lobbyist drafted bills is how law gets made in Canada.

Side question; I don’t follow mainstream media so much, is there anyone but Geist following these issues and trying to bring them wider exposure? It often seems like he’s the lone voice out there for issues of technology law. If he is, maybe we need some kind of “Geist Army” to repeatedly bring those issues to journalists.

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