Canadian MP Wants Motion Picture Secretariat in Parliament

On the heels of the introduction of Bill C-59 (an act to amend the criminal code which would make it easier to enforce copyright laws against theater piracy), a new bill has been tabled which may have justified fears that Bill C-59 was acting as a thin wedge into Canada’s parliament.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

Bill C-453 is titled – “An Act to establish the Canadian Motion Picture Industry Secretariat.” What is a secretariat anyway? According to the bill, a secretariat, “shall be composed of representatives from major motion picture industry sectors across Canada.” Does that mean motion picture companies based in Canada or multinational movie companies with a branch in Canada?

The bill in section 4 says, “The Secretariat shall monitor the motion picture industry and make recommendations regarding any legislative and other measures that could be taken by the Government of Canada in support of an internationally competitive and successful motion picture industry in Canada including both domestic and foreign productions.” So the answer appears to be both the companies as represented by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) as well as Canadian grown movie companies. So what is this secretariat supposed to do under this new bill?

According to section 5, “Within one year after the coming into force of this Act, and every six months thereafter, the Secretariat shall cause to be submitted to each House of Parliament a report on the monitoring carried out under section 4, including a statement of recommendations made by the Secretariat.”

So under the proposed bill, the motion picture industry throughout the world, which includes the MPAA, would be required to submit a report to the Canadian House of Commons every six months, beginning one year after this bill comes into force. It’s a bill that can easily be likened to extra lobbying power.

The bill itself was tabled by Don Bell, a Liberal MP from North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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