Internet tech sites have weighed in on the introduction of a bill in the Canadian parliament that would impose criminal penalties on anyone convicted of using a camcorder in a theater without permission. Several suggest that the bill amounts to a propaganda victory for Hollywood studios but will do little if anything to curtail piracy. Mike Masnick, who comments on legal issues for the blog Techdirt, observed that camcording represents "a minor problem" since few people want to watch shaky, poor-quality movies where the audience can be heard coughing and blocking the bottom part of the picture. He also claims that the MPAA has failed to provide any independent study corroborating its accusations that Canada is responsible for a large percentage of camcorded movies that turn up online and on bootleg DVDs. "Counterfeit DVDs are more often leaked from studio prints or early released DVDs," Masnick maintains. Somewhat surprisingly, his assertion is supported by Time magazine movie critic Richard Schickel. In a Los Angeles Times review of Jack Valenti's posthumous memoir, My Life in War, the White House and Hollywood," appearing today (Tuesday), Schickel writes, "Everyone knows most pirated films derive from the studios' duplicating facilities, from which it is childishly simple to smuggle films out to bootleggers."


05/06/2007