Canada To Remain On U.S. Video Piracy List

Canadian government expected to fall on Friday, delaying U.S.-style copyright reform legislation, again.

TORONTO – Canada will remain on the U.S. movie piracy list for some time now that the ruling Conservative government in Ottawa looks set to fall Friday.

The Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association, which represents the major Hollywood studios in Canada, warn a likely snap federal election will delay long-awaited copyright reform legislation, again. “We are waiting to see what happens in the coming days, but recognize the likelihood that Parliament will be dissolved for a spring election,” the CMPDA said in a statement.

The Conservatives introduced Bill C-32 after being shamed by the office of the U.S. Trade Representative into cracking down on copyright infringement. Ottawa's copyright reform legislation proposes to amend the federal Copyright Act to, among other measures, bar Canadians from picking a digital lock on music, film or any entertainment product protected from duplication. But with opposition parties united against the ruling Conservatives’ 2011-2012 budget handed down Tuesday, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper’s minority government is expected to be defeated this Friday on a Parliamentary vote, ahead of a spring election call.

The major studios fear Bill C-32, the third try since 2005 to align Canada’s copyright laws with its WIPO treaty obligations, will die on the order paper when the federal election is called. “Copyright reform is long overdue, and it would be unfortunate if the attempt to establish a modern copyright framework – designed to reduce online content theft and encourage legitimate markets to develop – was delayed, once again, in Canada,” the CMPDA said.

Canada has previously stopped short of going after consumers that sell or use circumvention devices to access or copy content owing to Ottawa seeking to balance the interests of consumers and copyright holders. A parliamentary committee was this week still meeting to review Bill C-32 so that Canada can get back into Washington’s good books.