Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Movies Government Media Politics

Canadian Copyright Official Dumped Over MPAA Conflict 215

Posted by kdawson
from the duties-still-to-be-determined dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian government's top copyright policy maker has been moved aside after revelations that she was in a personal relationship with Hollywood's top Canadian lobbyist. The development is raising questions about how the MPAA got an anti-camcording bill passed in only three weeks and what it means for the introduction of a Canadian DMCA."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Canadian Copyright Official Dumped Over MPAA Conflict

Comments Filter:
  • by User 956 (568564) on Monday September 24, 2007 @09:12PM (#20737247) Homepage
    The development is raising questions about how the MPAA got an anti-camcording bill passed in only three weeks and what it means for the introduction of a Canadian DMCA.

    Well, it's kind of obvious. She's only against the use of camcorders in movie theaters. if you know what I mean.
    • by dunng808 (448849) <osp.aloha@com> on Monday September 24, 2007 @10:13PM (#20737693) Homepage Journal
      And earlier today we had Virgin Digital closing shop. [slashdot.org] Way too much sexual innuendo for this crowd! Somebody bring a bucket of cold water, and pour in a cupfull of saltpeter.
    • sooo (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The Canadian government's top copyright policy maker has been moved aside after revelations that she was in a personal relationship with Hollywood's top Canadian lobbyist.


      In Canada, 'fuck the RIAA' has different meaning?

  • by garcia (6573) on Monday September 24, 2007 @09:13PM (#20737261) Homepage
    According to multiple sources, the personal reason involves a personal relationship with one of Canada's leading copyright lobbyists.

    While Neri's personal life is no one's business but her own, this does raise troubling questions about the quick passage of Bill C-59, the anti-camcording legislation, since Neri appeared as a witness before a Senate hearing on the bill with the lobbyist in the room.


    I'd be interested in watching the speed at which she is "dumped" by the lobbyist now that she has no power to help advance his career.
    • Sadly enough I wouldn't doubt it. One would hope that this isn't just a case of, well, 'that', but having seen some of the lengths lobbyists have gone to it doesn't seem that improbably.

      And that is sad :(
    • "I'd be interested in watching the speed at which she is "dumped" by the lobbyist now that she has no power to help advance his career."

      Could be that he will retire with his golden parachute and she will retire with her bribes and they'll live happily ever after on their newly purchased tropical island with no more technology than refrigeration to make ice for their drinks. :P

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by somersault (912633)
        I invented ice though. I took out a patent on it - "Organising water molecules into a solid crystelline structure by means of a phase shift generally occurring at zero degrees celcius". Speak to Chantelle in the patent office if you have any bones with that. Chantelle had a bone or 2 over it, believe me >_>
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Brickwall (985910)
      Please, come on. This legislation was supported by all parties, which in the current Canadian political climate is virtually impossible. The reason it passed so quickly is it's simply correct. There is no inherent right to enter to a place of public performance and make an unauthorized recording, and *IT SAYS SO ON THE BACK OF YOUR TICKET*. So, by making such a recording, you are already breaching the contract you agreed to when you bought your ticket. This bill simply added some penalties if you succeeded
      • by badfish99 (826052) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:44AM (#20739623)
        Neither is there an inherant right for business models to be propped up by government legislation, especially when there is already the remedy of breach of civil contract.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by cliffski (65094)
          oh god, its the old "business model propped up by government" complaint again.

          lets say you run a shop that sells food. all the food is on shelves, ready for people to pick it up and take home. the windows are made of glass. If people don't want to pay, they can ram-raid the shop at midnight, load up all the food, and drive off. Why don't we all do this?
          Because its against the law. The police will investigate, they may well catch us, they will prosecute us, they will press for us to get a custodial sentence,
          • by WNight (23683) *
            http://www.boingboing.net/2007/09/22/why-knockoffs-are-go.html [boingboing.net]

            Actually, it's not clear that copying intellectual property hurts its creator.

            The fact is that copyright and physical property are nothing alike. You can't just forbid people to copy intellectual works - they've already started by watching them. Are the quotes they remember a violation?
            • by cliffski (65094)
              wow, if boingboing says it it must be true, they are about as rapidly anti-copyright as slashdot.
              As a content creator, I can assure you that it is massively clear, but you keep clinging to some belief that copyright theft is somehow a good thing for the person you took the product from if it helps you sleep at nights.
              • by k8to (9046) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @06:10AM (#20740643) Homepage
                If a site is anti-copyright it must be wrong?

                Sorry it still isn't theft, no matter how many times you say it so. The term in both vernacular and legalese is incorrect.
                • by cliffski (65094)
                  a website like this one that mods someone as flamebait for daring to suggest that an argument about business models does not hold up under scrutiny is clearly one-sided and wrong, yes.
                  Slashdot posters routinely stick their fingers in their ears and pretend not to listen, as do digg and boingboing users, if there is ever a reasonable argument mentioned in favour of copyright. Anything that stops you taking other peoples work for free is 'teh evil' and 'teh mafiaaaaa'.
                  • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                    by k8to (9046)

                    a website like this one that mods someone as flamebait for daring to suggest that an argument about business models does not hold up under scrutiny is clearly one-sided and wrong, yes.
                    Well, you've backpedaled some, but you need to do some more.

                    Your statement that it's one-sided, while stretching the truth, is more or less accurate. That it is necessarily wrong doesn't follow. That was your error.

          • by badfish99 (826052)
            Yes, modern societies have rules. Most of these rules have been in place for hundreds of years. Then, suddenly, a new rule appears, and in the space of just three weeks it is enshrined in law, with prison sentence for anyone who breaks it. Shouldn't we question whether this new rule is a good one or a bad one? Especially when the people affected by the behaviour being outlawed already have a range of legal remedies available to them, and the motivation for the politicians passing the law appears to have bee
            • by cliffski (65094)
              sorry but the idea that you pay someone for products has been around longer than 3 weeks.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Elemenope (905108)

                The idea that you cannot take photos, cam, or audio recordings of an event for which you are present (and so presumably recording into your memory with your own eyes and ears) is quite new, and quite bizarre. I'm not saying its wrong, necessarily, just not as obviously right as you are making it out to be.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by WNight (23683) *
        The contract argument is wrong. Nothing printed on the back of a ticket or anything is a contract. It couldn't be, you got it when you bought the ticket, how could you have agreed to it before then?

        There is a contract of sale, but the ticket and what's printed on it, isn't it. That'd be like a EULA - hidden conditions, crouching liability.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kent_eh (543303)
        There is no inherent right to enter to a place of public performance and make an unauthorized recording, and *IT SAYS SO ON THE BACK OF YOUR TICKET*. So, by making such a recording, you are already breaching the contract you agreed to when you bought your ticket.

        Right.

        So if it's already against the law, why the hell do we need another law that does the same damn thing.

        Let's stop making new laws until we can adequately enforce the ones we already have. There are existing laws already in place that would so
  • by downix (84795) on Monday September 24, 2007 @09:14PM (#20737265) Homepage
    I was expecting some kind of payola, maybe free vacations, a car, ya know, the usual. But when the Canadian Lobbyist told his bosses he'd really give it his all...
  • by Rodyland (947093) on Monday September 24, 2007 @09:15PM (#20737281)
    Surely, eventually, people will have to realise what the **AA are up to and call shenanigans on the whole show. And towards that end a story like this is nothing but good news.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I find your faith in humanity touching.
    • people will have to realise what the **AA are up to and call shenanigans on the whole show.


      Sure they will. Then it'll go to court, and the RIAA will be judged guilty, and then they'll ignore the rulings and do the same thing again in other countries for a while, until the anti-trust.. I mean copyright... judgement term is deemed to have completed, at which point they'll launch their own version of Vista.
  • No Surprise (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Monday September 24, 2007 @09:16PM (#20737283) Homepage Journal
    Given that the lobbyists are always in bed with the lawmakers ;)

    • and No Effect (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nymz (905908) on Monday September 24, 2007 @09:47PM (#20737483) Journal
      While Patricia Neri has been removed for this ethical violation, I doubt this indiscretion will have any effect on future legislation. Policy makers will still make their decisions based upon lobbying deals and merit. As for the MPAA, it's not like their reputation could get any worse.
    • Given that the lobbyists are always in bed with the lawmakers ;)

      pics or didn't happen :P
  • Again? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MunchMunch (670504) on Monday September 24, 2007 @09:16PM (#20737285) Homepage
    I swear, I must be getting old, because didn't this just [copyrightwatch.ca] happen [boingboing.net]?

    Well, I'm still jealous. At least Canada apparently cleans house every so often...

  • by loid_void (740416) * on Monday September 24, 2007 @09:28PM (#20737367) Homepage Journal
    From the article, "has been removed from her position to become a special advisor to Assistant Deputy Minister Jean-Pierre Blais with "duties still to be determined."


    I see a follow-up article here.

  • Nice one (Score:4, Insightful)

    by obeythefist (719316) on Monday September 24, 2007 @09:33PM (#20737407) Journal
    Would be nice to see if it changes anything, I've always liked Canada's stance. Australia seems much too happy just following along with the USA.

    It doesn't actually change anything in any of the three countries. People all do the same stuff. It's just the Canadians aren't made criminals by doing the same activities as everyone else in the world.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dbIII (701233)

      Australia seems much too happy just following along with the USA.

      The copyright law changes were part of a free trade deal so we could sell beef, sugar and steel to the US market without restriction. The sick joke was we got a promise that a beef deal will be looked at in more than ten years time and we can forget about sugar and steel.

      • by rs79 (71822)
        "so we could sell beef, sugar and steel"

        The US just bought our biggest steel company.

        Sugar? We grow sugar here? Huh?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by dbIII (701233)

          Sugar? We grow sugar here? Huh?

          One of the largest exports. On another thread I was bitching about the quality of US education and it looks like my own country has a few problems too :(

        • by dbIII (701233)
          On the other hand perhaps the "Australia" bit in my reply was missed and you thought I was talking about Canada.
    • It's just the Canadians aren't made criminals by doing the same activities as everyone else in the world.

      Wasn't Canada the country which places a tax on blank optical media, based on the assumption that all of it (or some, at least) will be used for piracy? Thus, you may not be a criminal, but you're already being punished because something you're buying could be used to commit a crime??

      If so, fuck them. They're as bad as the rest. Worse, even.

      • Yeah. In return, you can pretty much copy anything you like.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dargon (105684)
        Yep, a tax that some want to also place onto MP3 players with storage > 30GB. Of course, the CRIA just woke up and realized that this little tax effectively legalizes all music downloads in Canada, so now they're fighting it :)
  • by headkase (533448) on Monday September 24, 2007 @09:48PM (#20737487)
    The issues are the same - an unfair balance between parties. Once we (here in Canada) get up to ridiculous levels of copyright terms as you already are in the US then it's either reform time or - forbid - killing time. Culture is being locked up, fourteen years is enough for copyright. If it was still set at this reasonable time imagine what you could be downloading right now legally: all music, books, and movies from 1993 and before. This is fair not a defacto perpetual license to rip people off.
  • by freeweed (309734) on Monday September 24, 2007 @10:26PM (#20737775)
    Funny, I figured that legislation had no hope in hell of going anywhere.

    So there I, after paying my $15 to watch a movie this weekend, and this commercial comes on. Guy in a prison cell. Looks hardcore, like a gang thug or something. The tag line is to the effect of "cameras can watch this dude all day long now... because he DARED bring a camera into a movie theatre".

    I just about bust a gut laughing, then realized it was serious: there's a "Operating a recording device in a movie theatre is now illegal in Canada" message at the end.

    How fucking pathetic.

    Fuck them. I'm officially downloading from here on in. HEY SHITHEADS: I JUST PAID TO SEE YOUR FUCKING MOVIE. PLEASE STOP THREATENING ME WITH A FUCKING PRISON TERM.

    Yes, I'm that angry. Even having a minority government didn't stop this horseshit from passing.
      • by freeweed (309734)
        Wow.

        That's actually pretty close in theme and spirit (and ridiculousness) to the ad I saw. Take away the laugh track and that's what we're now showing Canadians.

        Thanks for the link!
    • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Monday September 24, 2007 @11:25PM (#20738261)
      Well, remember that when you vote next time (which probably won't be long from now, seeing as it's a minority government and all). Contrary to what our American friends think, it's MUCH easier to vote out a government that's doing things you don't like than it is to conduct an armed revolution.
    • by rs79 (71822)
      "HEY SHITHEADS: I JUST PAID TO SEE YOUR FUCKING MOVIE. PLEASE STOP THREATENING ME WITH A FUCKING PRISON TERM"

      I stopped going to movies as much when they started showing commercials. How bout I just watch it at home for a fraction of the price and no commercials?

      And as somebody here pointed out last winter, I would steal a car if I could download one.
      • by TheLink (130905)
        I would copy a car if I could pick a car of my choice, just push a button and a perfect 100% copy appears in say 5 minutes. Like the Star Trek replicator only bigger :).

        I wouldn't mind even having to pay the cost of raw materials at the usual market rates (as long as I'd know how much it'd cost upfront).

        Of course the trouble with private industry trying to sell a perfect replicator is someone would buy two and it stops there ;).

        But a government or cooperative sponsored one should do ok.

        A private company mig
    • by MrNemesis (587188)
      Ranting on /. is always good and cathartic, but it doesn't tell the cinema how pissed off you are.

      Next time you get patronised to hell by one of these appallingly insulting adverts, walk out of the cinema and demand a refund because the content they're showing you is offensive to your nature. The next time your DVD tells you you're a stinking criminal financing heroin dealers and condoning child labour, return it to the store and demand a refund.

      Will people hate you, and think you're weird? Sure. Will all o
    • by Tim C (15259)
      Even having a minority government didn't stop this horseshit from passing.

      Why would it? Yes, prison time for making a shaky cam recording of a film in a cinema is dumb. But what rights are you losing? How likely is it that the government is going to be voted out because it passed the law? How likely is it that enough members of the government who are senior enough perform the act that's being legislated against that they can get it quashed before it's passed?

      Yes, stupid laws and stupid punishments serve to
  • by Abcd1234 (188840) on Monday September 24, 2007 @10:31PM (#20737803) Homepage
    ... while it's clear a conflict of interest has occurred here, at least the government has been forced to remove Ms. Neri as the heritage minister, since it's an apparent violation of ethics laws. Contrast this to, say, the US, where such things are the norm, and are practically expected from elected officials.

    IOW, while something clearly egregious has occurred here, I would argue that the removal of the heritage minister is a clear victory for the people. In addition, this may result in greater scrutiny of the current government, and may serve as an interesting piece of ammunition against a government that was, in theory, supposed to be the ethical alternative to the corrupt Liberals.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Don't worry the Conservatives will try to spin this as the Liberals fault, just like all their other problems and try to maintain their image as an ethical government.

      I can hear it now: "Patricia Neri was in office while the Liberals were in charge and they had 13 years to do something about it..." yada yada yada
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Abcd1234 (188840)
        I can hear it now: "Patricia Neri was in office while the Liberals were in charge and they had 13 years to do something about it..." yada yada yada

        Wait, is this actually the case? I've been trying to dig around for Ms. Neri's party affiliation, and I can't find anything in particular, though it appears she donated to the Liberal Party in '99, implying she is, in fact, a Liberal. I had just assumed that, given she was in a fairly prominent post in a major ministry, she was a member of the Conservative Part
  • Tags (Score:3, Funny)

    by zygotic mitosis (833691) on Monday September 24, 2007 @10:33PM (#20737819)
    Canadia? Shouldn't it be Canadiaa? :)
  • this raises the (ahem!) barrier to entry for other lobbyists who might want to follow in his, ah, footsteps.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 24, 2007 @10:46PM (#20737901)

    I wrote to the then Minister and complained about the fact that Bill C-59 had been pushed through due to lobbying and against the wishes of Ministry Staff, and the opening line stated "I'm concerned that my government would succumb to the pressures of foreign lobby groups and you've now proven that I was worried with cause.".

    I received a response from Bev Oda, then the Minister of Heritage, that in no way addressed the issue of lobbying that I raised. At no point did she mention my concerns about lobbyists, and clearly attempted to deflect the issue. I think I was mislead and I'm pissed!!

    I know .. why should I expect to get an honest answer from a Conservative government? Because they promised ethics and transparency in government after the Sponsorship Scandal! Liars!

    • by Emetophobe (878584) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:11AM (#20739447)
      I was actually going to raise the issue with Bev Oda in a seperate thread. She's been taking bribes from the broadcasting industry since 2004, maybe earlier... It's amazing how long she has remained in office even though she is clearly receiving contributions from broadcasting corporations.

      From Bev Oda's wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org]:

      2006 fundraising controversy

      In November 2006, Oda planned on holding a fundraising dinner for broadcasting executives, just weeks before a major review of broadcasting rules. The event was cancelled, but a number of donations were still made.

      If you go to the Elections Canada [elections.ca] website, you can see all of the corporations and individuals who donated to Bev Oda's Durham riding in 2006 (Unfortunately there's no direct link so you have to use their search feature). Select "Ontario" under Provice/Territory. Then select "Conservative Party of Canada" under Political Party. Now under Electoral District select "Durham". Leave the years 2006 to 2006. Hit the search button and then select Durham "Conservative Association / 2006". With that entry selected, hit the Add button. Finally, hit the lower right search button (not the top one).... (It's a horrible interface to access this public information...)

      Now you should see the following three options:

      By return summary Allows you to search summary information on contributions made to registered associations
      By return details The easiest way to view the complete details of contributions and expenses for registered associations
      By contributor Allows you to search for contributions made to registered associations

      Click on "By return details".

      Here's the list of corporate contributions (from Part 2b - Statement of Contributions Received - Details of Contributions from Corporations)

      1 EMI Music Canada Jan. 3, 2006 500.00
      2 EMI Music Canada Jan. 10, 2006 1,000.00
      3 Gorritane Bros. Ltd. Feb. 24, 2006 300.00
      4 Radio Marketing Bureau Oct. 12, 2006 250.00
      5 Alliance Atlantis Oct. 25, 2006 500.00
      6 Insight Productions Co. Ltd. Nov. 2, 2006 500.00

      5 of those 6 corporate donations are from media corporations. It might even be 6 out of 6 but I couldn't find any details on "Gorritane Bros. Ltd.".

      Also, much more disturbing is the list of individual contributions (Part 2a - Statement of Contributions Received - Details of Contributions from Individuals). The following are just the individuals who I could identify as working for some media corporation or group:

      23 Gail Asper Oct. 31, 2006 250.00
      5 Leonard Asper Jan. 26, 2006 2,500.00
      Leonard Asper is the President and CEO of CanWest, a major Canadian media company (they own Global TV). It appears he also got his wife to donate to Bev's riding.

      13 Andre Bureau Oct. 16, 2006 500.00
      Andrea Bureau is the former chairman of the CTRC and is now the President and CEO of Astral Communications Inc (now known as Astral Media). Astral owns several Canadian radio and television stations.

      14 Lisa De Wilde Oct. 16, 2006 250.00
      Lisa De Wilde was a former president and CEO of Astral Communications (now known as Astral Media). She is now the CEO of TVOntario. Interesting how she and Andre Bureau both made donations on the same day. Lisa was the former President and CEO of Astral while Andre is the current president and CEO, and they both managed to make donations to Bev Oda on the same day?

      16 Robin Jackson Oct. 20, 2006 250.00
      Robin Jackson is the Executive Director of the CIFVF (The Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund). Here's a quote 'The Canadian Independent Film & Video Fund (CIFVF) is a dynamic private sector funding body which supports non-theatrical film, v

      • by badfish99 (826052) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @04:24AM (#20740193)
        Are those figures right? Does it only cost $250 or $500 per donation to bribe a Canadian politician? Wow, I could afford to buy a couple of laws in Canada at that rate! I should have thought it would cost a luxury yacht, or some bars of gold in a Swiss bank account, at least. The Canadians should look at a properly-run country like Zimbabwe or Saudi Arabia to see how things should be done.
        • One thing the last government got right was campaign contributions. No corporation can donate more than $500 to an individual campaign, no person can donate more than $2500. Period. There are severe consequences otherwise.

          In exchange, Parties are paid $1.50 per vote they receive, per year. It at least resembles a system intent on reducing corporate influence. What it ends up doing is giving corporate CEO positions to former members of Parlament, like the former Canadian Ambassador to the US and Premier of Ontairo, being on the board of the Carslyle Group.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Asic Eng (193332)
        Is there any legitimate reason to let companies make political donations? Companies do not represent their shareholders politically - if those shareholders want to contribute they can make this individually.
  • Send in the man-whore to get something through a legislature? Hell, they do that five times before breakfast.

    -jcr
  • Before we actually crucify the MPAA, let's look at the big picture. Does anyone have it? I mean a picture of this Neri woman, because if she's hot it's just a simple case of bribery by "hide the salami", or as the MPAA says "An innocent relationship, which in no way affected Ms. Neri's opinion".

    But what if she's a complete dog? I think then you could actually start charging people with bribery and MPAA with pimping. Come to think of it, MPAAs methods aren't too far from those of a street pimp, though MPAA a

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

Working...