only magazine

↵ home

Video Killed the Video Star?

By Cameron Reed

Wednesday July 11, 2007

Dr. Michael Geist in collaboration with Daniel Albahary posted a video today that takes a closer look at claims that Canada is a ‘haven’ for piracy. The video touches on the misinformation we receive about declining sales in the film and recording industries despite apparent growths in both.

In another video posted about a month ago, he addresses the issue of the American movie industry lobbying the Canadian government so hard that they were able to pass a bill criminalizing the videotaping of films in three weeks, with little to no debate. The bill was passed even though Heritage Minister Bev Oda admitted that ‘the government had not conducted any independent research on the scope of the movie piracy problem’.

Issues like this need to be addressed with some seriousness. The government’s willingness to appease American corporations with silly legislation, the media’s toeing of a similar line and propagating pro-corporate falsehoods, and finally, how laws like this can lead to a slippery slope of criminalizing all kinds of copying. Like say, fining cover bands for playing cover songs and the venues that allow them to play.

UPDATE: Dr. Geist’s footnotes.