Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association

Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association

February 20, 2009 18:16 ET

Montreal Man Convicted Under Canada's Anti-Camcording Law

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 20, 2009) - Louis Rene Hache was convicted on charges under the Criminal Code for the illegal reproduction of the film "Dan in Real Life" at a Montreal movie theatre.

Hache was sentenced to 24 months probation and will be required to complete 120 hours of community service. Under terms of the probation Hache is prohibited from entering a movie theatre, associating with anyone involved in movie piracy or owning any recording device. He is also required to forfeit the equipment used in the commission of the offence.

The judgment was issued today in Provincial Court in Montreal by Justice Lacerte Lamontagne. In handing down the sentence, Madame Justice Lacerte Lamontagne reinforced that this was not a victimless crime and that Mr. Hache's actions had caused extensive losses to the movie industry.

"We applaud the judge's ruling and we hope this sentence will send a strong message to others that camcording in theatres is a criminal activity that will not be tolerated," said Steve Covey, Deputy Director, North American Anti-Piracy Operations of the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association ("CMPDA"). "Before the law was enacted, law enforcement would not respond even when individuals were caught repeatedly camcording in theatres. With the new law in place, local police can now help prevent films from being stolen right off the screen."

Camcording in Canada

Camcord piracy represents the most significant threat facing film industries worldwide. A single camcord can lead to the production and distribution of millions of illegal copies and downloads around the world. Movie camcorders are often directly associated with so-called "release groups" who distribute illegal copies of movies, computer games and software over the Internet. A camcorded copy of a film can be used to produce unlimited numbers of DVDs, shipped around the world for distribution, and loaded onto the Internet triggering an avalanche of illegal downloads. Replication and distribution of illegal DVDs is highly lucrative and in many cases criminal networks use pirated DVD sales to support other kinds of criminal activity.

About The Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association

The Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association (CMPDA) serves as the voice and advocate of the major international distributors of movies, home entertainment and television programming in Canada. The CMPDA carries out investigations, provides support during criminal and civil litigation, and helps educate film lovers on the negative effects of piracy. The motion picture studios served by the CMPDA are: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLLP; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. On behalf of these studios, the CMPDA supports initiatives which further the health of the film and television industry and foster an environment of respect for creativity in Canada. A strong and vibrant production industry in Canada serves as an economic engine, with benefits to national and local economies across the country.

About Movie Piracy

Movie piracy and the trade of other counterfeit goods harms Canada's local economies, kills jobs and impacts everyone who is involved in the production and distribution of these goods, affecting a wide variety of artists, manufacturers, distributors, producers, retailers, exhibitors, employees, consumers and governments. In 2005 it was estimated that the annual Canadian consumer spending loss due to film piracy was $225 million (US) and that film piracy cost the Canadian government over $34 million (US) in lost tax revenue. As piracy increasingly becomes the province of sophisticated multi-national organizations with operations placed around the globe, it is essential that countries throughout the world understand and enforce intellectual property rights, both domestically and in co-operation with their international partners.

Contact Information