Montreal DVD bootlegger sentenced to jail

First Canadian convicted under new provision gets 2.5 months

TORONTO -- Pirates of the Canadians were put on notice Tuesday after a Montreal DVD bootlegger fingered by the FBI was sentenced to two-and-a-half months in jail.

Geremi Adam, 27, is the first Canadian to be convicted under a new Criminal Code provision that bars the illegal videotaping of a film in a commercial movie theatre.

Quebec Court judge Claude Parent ordered Adam to serve an additional seven days in jail before release as he has been in custody since January 12 while awaiting sentencing.

During his trial, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said the FBI pointed to Adam as the main movie pirate in Montreal, a hotbed for bootleg DVD making owing to the city's two main languages, French and English.

Canadian film distributors and exhibitors applauded the conviction and sentencing under new changes to the federal Copyright Act, which bar the unauthorized camcording of movies in local theatres for personal or commercial use.

"Film theft costs jobs and affects thousands of Canadians who make their livelihoods in the movie business or in related industries," Patrick Roy, president and CEO of Montreal-based distributor Alliance Vivafilm, said after Adam was sentenced

Ellis Jacob, president and CEO of Cineplex Entertainment, Canada's largest movie chain, added: "We hope that today's judgment will provide a further deterrent to would-be criminals that illegally recording a movie in a theatre can result in jail time."

Jacob in 2007 came under fire from Twentieth Century Fox as his own and other Canadian movie theatres, especially in Montreal, were cited as a major source of illegal camcording of Hollywood movies.

With movie piracy suddenly a hot button issue, Ottawa soon after introduced and eventually passed anti-camcording legislation to put local DVD bootleggers out of business.
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