Warner Brothers ban movie previews in Canada

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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Cquote1.svg Within the first week of a film's release, you can almost be certain that somewhere out there a Canadian copy will show up. Cquote2.svg

—Darcy Antonellis, Senior Vice President of Warner Bros. Worldwide Anti-Piracy Operations.

Due to a large amount of unauthorised movie recording in Canada, Warner Brothers Canada has decided to put a ban for movie previews in the country.

According to their press release the ban will come into effect on June 8, 2007, when Ocean's Thirteen comes into theaters. It also states that an estimated 70% of their movies have been camcorded in Canada.

"We regret having to cancel our screenings in Canada but our studio must take steps to protect not only our branded assets but our commitment to our filmmakers and to theaters all over the world,” said Dan Fellman, President of Warner Bros. domestic distribution. "We've been working collaboratively with the exhibitors to encourage the government to put additional measures in place to deter and stop camcording."

Warner Bros. isn't the only company concerned about unauthorised movie recording. Twentieth Century Fox, last year, said they would ban film releases in Canada as a threat to consumers.

Warner Bros. says the lack of Canadian government legislation to make videotaping directly off theater screens illegal is the main source.

"Canada is the number one priority in terms of anti-camcording legislation," Darcy Antonellis, Senior Vice President of Warner Bros. Worldwide Anti-Piracy Operations. "Within the first week of a film's release, you can almost be certain that somewhere out there a Canadian copy will show up. Within the last 12 to 18 months we've seen a significant increase in terms of first-source proliferation that shows up on the Internet and subsequently shows up as hard goods elsewhere."

The press release said that Warner Bros. along with the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association (CMPDA) have teamed up together to make unauthorised movie recording in theaters illegal in all countries, including Canada.

This ban does not affect film critics, who have separate screening dates.

Sources

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