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Wikileaks: Canadian piracy arrests were favor to movie biz man

TorrentFreak blames ‘cammer’ overdose death on harassment

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A report on TorrentFreak has linked the overdose death of a Canadian “cammer” (someone who records movies in cinemas on Webcams) to his arrest by the Mounties, even though his activities weren’t a crime in that country.

According to a Wikileaks-published cable, Royal Canadian Mounted Police were reluctant to take an interest in camming, preferring to “focus their IPR enforcement resources on violations that have a public safety dimension (such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals) or that cause serious financial losses.”

The cable goes onto note that the “lack of an anti-camcording provision in Canada's criminal code introduces a significant "gray area" into the legality of bringing a video recorder into a movie theater.” This, it says, contributed to the RCMP’s indifference to Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association demands for arrests of cammers.

The CMPDA’s case wasn’t helped by the Motion Picture Association’s loose attitude to data. The cable notes that MPA data which had once claimed that half of the world’s movie piracy could be traced to camming in Canada, “new figures indicate that this percentage is closer to 18 percent”.

“The lack of hard data regarding the extent of theatre camcording in Montreal and its financial impact is a source of difficulty in conveying the need for the inclusion of an anti-camcording provision in Canada’s criminal code”, the cable states.

However, the CMPDA wanted arrests, and according to the cable, it eventually got its wish. Someone described in the cable as “a major player”, and identified by TorrentFreak as the late Geremi Adam (who posted copied movies as MaVen), was arrested and released twice by the RCMP.

According to the cable, “RCMP officers stated that they arrested the individual "as a personal favor" to a CMPDA official”.

The link from the cable to Adam is made by TorrentFreak. The rest of his sad story is that he was summoned to appear in court in 2008 and failed to appear. He was eventually jailed for two and a half months, completed his sentence in 2010, and died one week later from a drug overdose. ®

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