week in review digest


Canada quick to pass law on camcording

TORONTO — Canada's anti-camcording legislation was enacted into law after making a unanimous and swift passage through Parliament this week (HR 6/25). Bill C-59, which will make it a criminal offense to videotape movies in local cinemas, received royal ascent Friday after passing through the upper senate Wednesday. Robert Nicholson, the federal minister of justice, secured approval from the Senate committee for amendments to the criminal code, making it a punishable offense to record movies at the local multiplex using a personal camcorder without authorization. The action follows persistent pressure by Hollywood studios on Ottawa to curb movie piracy originating from Canada.

THR bows Digital Edition

The Hollywood Reporter has launched The Hollywood Reporter, Digital Edition, an online electronic replica of the daily newspaper that has been relied on by the entertainment industry for the past 76 years (HR 6/21). The daily e-magazine is available internationally in 12 languages in addition to English. The Hollywood Reporter, Digital Edition, offered by subscription, is a virtual reproduction of the U.S. daily, with the same look, feel and coverage. The edition offers sophisticated content management tools, including interactive tables of content, cross-title searching, clickable URLs, offline reading and archived back issues. As part of the digital edition, an interactive radio provides text-to-voice conversion, allowing subscribers to listen to articles in English or translated into any one of six other languages. A free trial subscription to the digital edition is available at www.hollywoodreporter.com/digitaltrial.

Foster new director of Universal U.K.

LONDON — Entertainment U.K. commercial director Ian Foster has been named managing director of Universal Pictures U.K. He will begin the post in the fall. Foster is widely credited with playing a central role in the revival of Entertainment U.K.'s business (HR 6/25). He rejoined the company as commercial director in 2003, having worked for the business as head of sales and marketing and video trading controller from 1995-99. In the interim, he was managing director of the group's independent record label, Demon Music. Foster fills the position vacated at the beginning of the year when Eddie Cunningham moved from chairman and regional managing director to become president of Universal Pictures International Entertainment.

Chum chief Switzer will exit in July

TORONTO — Jay Switzer, president and CEO of Chum Ltd., will step down next month when the Toronto-based radio and TV broadcaster is absorbed by rival CTVglobemedia as part of a CAN$1.4 billion ($1.3 billion) takeover (HR 6/25). On Friday, Switzer confirmed his departure but insisted that he will make no public comment until after his planned exit in two weeks.

Brillstein undergoes name revamp

Management and production company Brillstein-Grey Entertainment has been renamed Brillstein Entertainment Partners. The name reflects the history of the company, which was founded 38 years ago by Bernie Brillstein, as well as its current ownership. In July 2005, partner and CEO Jon Liebman and partner Cynthia Pett-Dante acquired the company from then-owner Brad Grey following Grey's departure to become chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures. The Firm's Aleen Keshishian joined BGE as a partner in 2005, followed by Joanne Colonna. Most recently, BGE added literary managers David McIlvain and Missy Malkin.