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Pirates call Canada home

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Pirates call Canada home

Postby stomperrob » Tue May 08, 2007 1:49 pm

No, not the Pittsburgh Pirates, and not The Pirates of the Carribean, but video pirates. As a result, Warner Bros. will no longer show advance screenings in our country!

Tuesday, March 8, 2007

Warner Bros. cancels advance screenings in push for anti-piracy laws

TORONTO (CP) - The film studio behind such blockbusters as "Ocean's Thirteen" and the upcoming Harry Potter sequel is cancelling all advance screenings in Canada in a push for tough anti-piracy laws.

Warner Bros. Pictures says it is taking the step because Canada has become the main source for most of the world's film piracy. The company says roughly 70 per cent of its releases have been pirated in Canada over the last 18 months.

Darcy Antonellis, Warner Bros.' senior vice-president of worldwide anti-piracy operations, says the policy will begin immediately, starting with the upcoming Brad Pitt-George Clooney vehicle, "Ocean's Thirteen," and the hotly anticipated "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

It is currently not a criminal offence in Canada to make recordings of movies in theatres for personal use.

In order to prosecute a pirate, there must be proof that the copy of the film is being made for commercial purposes.

"Canada is the number 1 priority in terms of anti-camcording legislation," Antonellis said in a release.

"Within the first week of a film's release, you can almost be certain that somewhere out there a Canadian copy will show up."

In 2005, movie piracy cost the Canadian film industry US$225 million and the Canadian government US$34 million, according to a Motion Picture Association of America study.

Last April, the MPAA put Canada on a watch list of high-risk countries that included longtime offenders like China, Malaysia and India. Pirated recordings, sold for as little as $2, can move from theatre to sale on DVD stands around the world in less than a day.

"We regret having to cancel our screenings in Canada but our studio must take steps to protect not only our branded assets but our commitment to our filmmakers and to theatres all over the world," said Dan Fellman, the studio's president of domestic distribution.

© The Canadian Press, 2007

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