My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A loophole we've got to close...

Canada is becoming a safe harbour for bootleggers in DVD.
A vacuum in digital copyright law has made Canada a haven for DVD pirates, who make bootleg copies of popular American television shows and sell them on-line.

The Internet has become a lucrative platform for Hollywood to distribute top-tier films and television shows. But the pirates are swimming in the wake of the big studios, exploiting the out-of-date copyright laws to set up on-line shops that sell bootleg DVDs of TV shows such as Seinfeld, as well as movies.

For instance, Seinfeld fans with access to the Internet could have bought all nine seasons of the hit series on DVD late last month from at least five websites based in Canada, even though only the first three seasons have been released by distributor Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

In the United States, laws such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) make it easier for authorities to get at the pirates, but in Canada, Internet service providers do not disclose information on their subscribers unless a search warrant is issued.

If the Motion Picture Association of America or other entertainment organizations ask the ISPs to shut down the sites that they host, the pirates move on to other sites.

Canada is among the world's piracy hot spots, along with places such as Pakistan and Malaysia, said John Malcolm, the MPAA's senior vice-president and director of worldwide anti-piracy operations in Encino, Calif. "I think that the piracy problem in Canada has a lot more to do with lax laws . . . coupled with high demand by and relative affluence of Canadian citizens, than proximity to the U.S."