Fox Threatens To Delay Canadian Releases Due To Rampant Movie Piracy

Reading this story this morning made me a little angry. It seems that 20th Century Fox is threatening to delay movie releases in Canada because it has become a “hotbed for film piracy”. In particular, they cite Montreal cinemas as a place where a lot of illegal theatre recordings originate from; apparently it’s an ideal choice for bootleggers since movies screen in both French and English there. The laws in Canada do not currently allow prosecution for camcorder recordings, however. Bruce Snyder, president of domestic distribution at Fox had this to say: “We’re asking our partners to protect our content. They’re the first line of defense to thwart the pirates… If taking cinemas out of the system doesn’t work, we’ll move Canada back a couple weeks and no longer do day-and-date releases for our movies.”

Being Canadian, and living in a smaller market, we’re already limited by what movies we are able to see here. Delaying releases is only going to end up punishing 99% of the population who have nothing to do with piracy. Do they really think a threat like that will stop it? And somehow I find it hard to believe that Canada is a bigger problem than some of the theatres in the U.S. Are they going to delay releases to problematic areas in the U.S. as well? I doubt it. You know, I can’t help but feel like sometimes Canada gets blamed for too many of America’s problems, just because it’s convenient. If we’re not harbouring terrorists, we’re pirating movies. Now they’re pressuring us into passing some sort of Digital Millennium Act ourselves? Gimme a break.

» Related Link: Hollywood Reporter [via]

  • Liz

    I was pretty pissed when I read about this in the Globe and Mail last week. They cited somewhere that upwards of 50% of pirated movies on the internet can be traced back to Montreal (since they can easily pirate in both French and English, obviously), yet I fail to see how delaying the release of Fox films is going to solve the problem. It’s almost counter-intuitive: they’ve changed the way big films are released internationally so that they come out on the same day as they do in North America in order to decrease the chances that audiences abroad will download a film rather than wait for its theatrical release. It doesn’t make much sense to delay release in Canada when we can just download the film from one of the 50% non-Canadian pirated film sources during that delay.

    I don’t appreciate being held hostage to Fox’s problems. Hopefully this is just an empty threat, but who knows.

  • Goon

    wouldnt delaying movies only send desperate viewers to the Internet to download them?

    FOX, you are fucking stupid.

  • Henrik

    Yeah I gotta say I thought the international day-and-date releases were primarily a way of limiting piracy.

    It does seem like they are trying to force some legislation in your country. Don’t budge though. Then we’ll never see the end of it.

  • Ed

    Yeah. And watch them bitch cos Canadian revenue drops and no one is going to movies anymore.

  • You Canadians are nothing but trouble! But seriously, I agree with your last four sentences.

  • Aaron Moore

    I think that delaying movie releases in Canada is the only thing that could further decrease attendance to theaters more then the coca-cola, camry, and ps3 advertisements they continually cram down our throats. If my movie ticket lists the time as 9:45 I can show up at 10:20 and usually catch the last preview. It’s pathetic. Yes, attendance to theaters is going down and everything their doing is just increasing that instead of winning people back to their cinemas.

    As a future filmmaker this pisses me off.

  • Goon
  • I dont’ know, to me this whole thing seems like a load of sensationalism on part of both Fox and the bloggers. An opportunity for the studio to ruffle their feathers and a publicity opportunity for blogs speaking out against it.

    I don’t see this as anything but a hollow desperate threat that makes absolutely no business sense, and I can’t see it ever happening. I don’t know under what circumstances this statement was made, but i’m sure it was casual. The second they actually attempt to implement it is when it’s time to speak out. But I don’t think that day will come.

  • Henrik

    As for advertisements, crammed theatres and all that lowering attendances…

    Please stop whining about it. These things only disturb you when you go to see a shit movie anyway. If the movie is good, you don’t care. I dont mean to place this entirely on you, but I’m a little tired of every movie message board in the world complaining about theatres. Going to the theatre is awesome. Movies are better in there. There is no reason to complain all the time, just because of some minor thing happened.

    Seriously, a crammed theatre is a bad thing? A commercial is a bad thing? I don’t hear anybody bitching about the ads in Battlestar Galactica or Lost.