The QFTC exposes the hidden face of piracy - virtual shoplifting


MONTREAL, June 1 /PRNewswire/ - The Québec Film and Television Council (QFTC) is proud to announce the creation of its Copyright Committee. After a first meeting, the Committee adopted the mandate to raise awareness among all levels of government, so that they could adjust the Copyright Act in compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Treaties.

The proliferation of Internet piracy (in other words, online theft of copyrighted works) has a perverse effect on film and television production. The hidden face of piracy is the reduction of the income of Québec producers, distributors, artists and craftspeople, as well as the revenues of international producers. Consequently, the presence of companies in Canada that facilitate piracy or "virtual shoplifting" leads to an overall decrease in production volumes. If Canada does not have laws that protect copyrights in accordance with the WIPO Treaties, this negatively affects Québec's reputation in the national and international industry. In addition, some investors in the development of software and other technology hesitate to invest in Canada because it offers too little protection for their intellectual property.

The Québec film and television production industry accounts for $1.2 billion in the province's economy and creates over 39,000 jobs a year.

The QFTC Copyright Committee is calling on the federal government to amend the Copyright Act in accordance with the WIPO Internet Treaties. The vast majority of the G20 members have modernized their copyright legislation to support innovation in e-commerce in copyrighted creative works.

In the interest of supporting the Canadian economy, the Committee affirms that the Copyright Act must also include a substantial framework governing the obligation for Internet service providers (ISPs) to be accountable, so that they participate in combatting copyright violations by putting an effective end, as soon as possible, to the illegal and generalized online distribution of copyrighted creative works.

Substantial protection of intellectual property will attract more investment and projects to Québec, which will be considered an ideal location for film production.

"These measures are essential to protect a dynamic and prosperous industry, as well as the jobs and means of subsistence of thousands of people working in Québec and across Canada, in film and related industries," QFTC's Commissioner's, Hans Fraikin, concluded.

    The QFTC Copyright Committee gathers :

    - M. René Malo, president, Productions Laurem

    - M. Patrick Roy, vice-president, Canadian Association of Film
      Distributors & Exporters (CAFDE)

    - M. Sam Coppola, partner, Borden Ladner Gervais

    - M. Brian Baker, Business Agent, Quebec District Council of the
      Director's Guild of Canada

    - Mme Marie-Josée Cantin, vice-president, corporate affairs,
      Vision Globale

    - M. Alain Gourd, Chairman of the board, Québec Film and Television

    - M. Hans Fraikin, Quebec Commissioner, Québec Film and Television

About the QFTC:

The Québec Film and Television Council's (QFTC) mandate is to contribute to the province's development and competitiveness as a world-class film and television production centre. The QFTC is responsible for promoting Québec's various strengths and assets in foreign markets in order to develop interesting new business opportunities. Working in close collaboration with the film and television regional offices, the QFTC harmonizes and coordinates reception and support services for international productions shooting in Québec. Among its other mandates, the Council also ensures industrial development by implementing programs designed to benefit the industry as a whole. Finally, the QFTC plays a key role in providing information and promoting awareness about the industry to its stakeholders and the general public at large.