The letter concludes with a study and a warning:
"A worldwide study commissioned by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) concluded that in 2005 movie piracy cost the Canadian film industry and your government $225 million and $34 million, respectively, in lost revenues.
If Canada does not criminalize illicit camcording, we are afraid that illegal pirating will continue to mushroom in your country. While a new law will not stop the worldwide-problem of film camcording, it will certainly help end this most egregious form of copyright piracy. It is bad enough when artists must compete with pirates to sell their products; it is far worse when pirates steal artists’ creations and then sell them before the artist has even had the chance to recover their costs.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter of utmost importance. If we can be of any assistance to you or your cabinet ministers, please do not hesitate to contact us."
The efforts were doubled up by the US ambassador David Wilkins, who reportedly
said, "There's a lot of pirating that goes on, a lot of counterfeiting of movies and songs" and "it really does cost the Canadian economy a huge amount every year, estimated to be from some 10 to 30 billion (dollars) per year."
While there's a continuing theme of how Camcording in theatres in Canada is not yet illegal, last month the Conservative government already commented in the National Post
that camcording in Canada is already illegal. According to the Justice Minister, camcording can carry a fine of up to 1 million dollars and 5 years in prison for commercial distribution. Hollywood is claiming that there is a major loophole for camcorders though. They say that they have to prove that a film is being recorded for such distribution first - something they don't appear to like.
Michael Geist commented yesterday
in his weekly Law Bytes Column that "These reports invariably present a distorted picture [...] movie camcording in Canada impacts roughly 3 per cent of Hollywood films (not 50 per cent as initially alleged) and Canadian copyright law is consistent with international treaty obligations."
Still, Michael Geist did comment
that CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association) has been able to have "Unparalleled access" in comparison to the Canadian artist group, CMCC. Ever since major Canadian record labels left
CRIA saying that CRIA doesn't represent their interest (but rather American corporate interests), many have decided that CRIA is little more than a lobbying arm for RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America.)
So what does history say when it comes to American copyright intervention in other countries? A high profile case involving Sweden may offer some insight
. Last year, American political powers pressured Sweden into taking BitTorrent site ThePirateBay.org offline. The incident sparked large scale protests throughout major cities in Sweden. While many reacted more to the fact that the US pressured Sweden into doing what they wanted, it nevertheless magnified awareness for the copyright debate, if nothing else. Even major political parties revised their copyright platforms for the next election and exponentially increased the membership for The Pirate Party in Sweden.
Whether or not Canada would follow suit in a similar situation is questionable, but in matters related to copyright, American intervention isn't exactly popular with other countries.