Rights advocate speaks against copyright conviction - Macleans.ca

Rights advocate speaks against copyright conviction

Says Montreal video pirate’s case sets a dangerous precedent


The man formerly known as Canada’s biggest video pirate is serving a two-and-a-half month sentence for violating copyright laws in a case that one civil rights advocate says may jeopardize the privacy rights of Canadians. The sentencing of Gérémi Adam, which was handed down after he was convicted of distributing pirated movies and filming a screening in a Montreal theatre has raised the ire of Chris Brand, co-founder of the Vancouver Fair Copyright Coalition. He says new laws passed by the Conservative government in 2007 that make recording movies illegally a criminal offence go too far. “In order to know that I’m not downloading any works illegally, you have to monitor my internet connection. That’s not the kind of society that I want to live in,” he says. Brand also feels that the maximum six month sentence and $25,000 fine for making illegal recordings are too extreme, and that studios would be better off making movies available online for free instead of pressuring governments to fight downloading. “I’d really like to see the day when the movie studios recognize that a lot of the works that get spread around the internet actually act as free advertising for them and get more people into the movie theatres,” he says.

CBC News

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