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Canada tightens piracy laws

CanadianFlag.jpgA while ago it was revealed that Canada was considered one of the top offenders for producing pirated films, specifically pirating films from camcorders and other types of audience operated equipment. Now that is about to change as Canada has just changed their laws to make the practice illegal and to put offenders in prison for up to five years.

Previously the law stated that it was only illegal to record for commercial use, making it perfectly legal to record for personal use, something that was impossible to prove. So when the US laws were tightened some five years ago, Canada became the perfect home for the operation of illegal recording. Well, so they say.

The story from Reuters through DailyTech tells us that the crime is punishable for two years, if you are recording for yourself, and up to five years for commercial use, sentences that seem quite harsh to me for what seems to be such a limited crime.

However the laws are in and the report is that some cinemas will be issuing pager type systems to the audience members who can press a button to alert the staff that there's someone recording in the cinema.

I've never seen anyone recording in the cinema, but it seems an interesting way of cinemas combating the pirates without having to take on extra employees.

Having a look through the Internet at various sites and comments it seems that there is an increase in the in cinema recorded films and that there seems to be a rise in these in accordance with the drop in availability of screener copies.

What I did learn during some research is that there are three types of in-cinema pirated films. Camcorder, Telesync and Telecine. Both Camcorder and Telesync use handheld cameras, although the Telesync process attaches the audio to the audio source. Telecine is where a machine is used to transfer the film onto another media using a specific machine, this is most definitely not a process that an audience member would use.

Still, if I were Canadian I'd be rather annoyed at these ongoing accusations that I was in a country that was responsible for a high percentage of pirated films. I guess the good news is that Canada will no longer be boycotted by Warner Brothers for early releases.



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