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Canada rocked by copyright scandal

Policy maker in bed with movie industry mogul
Tue Sep 25 2007, 12:56
ONE OF THE BODIES responsible for formulating Canada's copyright laws has been shaken by revelations that its organiser has been caught, um, hanging out with a movie industry bigwig.

The Hill Times says Patricia Neri, the Director General of Copyright Policy at Canadian Heritage has been removed from her position after rumours of a conflict of interest surfaced.

It turned out that she was holding a torch for one of Canada's leading copyright lobbyists Douglas Frith, who is President of the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association.

Industry watchers had been a bit spooked about the speed that Bill C-59, the anti-camcording legislation sailed through the Senate.

The law was designed to stop people filming films with camcorders when they go to the pictures and backed by the main political parties.

One of the strongest advocates of the law, other than the copyright lobbiests, was Neri, who appeared as a witness before a Senate hearing on the bill.

Apparently, when she was giving her evidence, Frith was sitting in the room with her.

Frith's presence was noted by Senator Milne who said that he hoped that the bill was not written by a lobby group.

The Hill Times story has not appeared online but it is looked at on Michael Geist's bog here. µ


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