Fox policy: Blame Canada?

Blame Canada

Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth.

We all know that Bill O’Reilly hates us [mm] but Fox’s film division might start to beat us with the legal stick soon because apparently people in Asian are getting recordings of major Hollywood films from Canadian theatres. This is of course complete nonsense, but more on that later. According to the Globe and Mail [gm]:

Bruce Snyder, Fox’s Hollywood-based president of domestic distribution, had spent the last few weeks steaming mad after his team pinpointed Canadian theatres — primarily in Montreal — as the source of illegal camcording of a steady stream of Fox blockbusters, including Borat, Eragon and Night at the Museum.

Snyder was sick of it. In the Nov. 30 letter, he warned Jacob, a friend and business associate for 20 years, to do something — or he would.

Then he threatened to do something unprecedented in Canadian distribution history: Fox could stop sending copies of all its films to Cineplex Entertainment’s 130 movie houses, with close to 1,300 screens. Or, Fox might decide to delay the Canadian release of popular films until a few weeks after their U.S. release.

The reason I say that this is mostly bullshit is that it’s more about Canada’s copyright laws than piracy. Most of the G&M article is about our copyright laws, and how Hollywood doesn’t like them. They’re using the fact that some pirated films come out of Canada as leverage in that debate. The fact is though that you can get DVD quality copies of most major Hollywood feature films in China before they’re released in theatres, which means that most pirated films are coming either from a lack of security at the DVD manufacturing plants or from DVD screeners sent out to critics, the media and members of the Academy.

All the pirated movies I’ve seen have had the writing indicating they were a screener for members of the Academy on them. Which means before Fox goes after Canada as the big bad, they maybe should take a look at their own. Still it’s one starts to think that it’s company policy over at Fox to blame Canada for everything.

Props to Metroblogging Montreal [mbm] for the heads up.

1 Comment so far

  1. Chris (unregistered) on January 28th, 2007 @ 9:47 am

    Thanks for posting about this. I’m shocked how most Canadians don’t even know our Copyright laws are set to change.

    Expect a lot of propaganda from the recording industry in the next few weeks. It’s all ammo being used to justify changes to the Canadian copyright laws. Changes that are going to be pretty harsh – taking away our rights to “fair use”,which includes making personal copies.

    Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing, has written extensively on the topic. His latest post about Canadian Copyright laws is a good summary of the debate so far.

    I also have a summary on my blog about the copyright controversy.

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