Jan 20, 2000
I have only one question for Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Columbia, MGM, Orion Pictures, Universal, Time Warner, ABC, CBS, Fox:
What part of national sovereignity don't you understand?
Yesterdays lawsuit, filed at a court in Pittsburgh, is filed against a Canadian company doing business in compliance with Canadian laws and serving Canadian consumers.
The case - in case anybody missed it - has been filed by these entertainment giants and more against ICraveTV, an Ontario which rebroadcasts television signals live over the internet.
After weeks of threats, the giants finally pulled out the big guns and started firing (stories here and here).
The plaintiffs really don't get the fact that the world does not bow to U.S. law.
Jack Valenti, president and chief executive office of the Motion Picture Association of America, said in a statement that "this kind of cyberspace stealing must be stopped, wherever it occurs, because it violates the principles of U.S. copyright law."
So it does. Who cares?
The same sort of reasoning would allow me to file a lawsuit in Toronto to prevent all those people from carrying guns in New York and Miami.
But it's not gonna happen. That's why we have things like borders, customs and immigration, and our own police in funny uniforms.
If the American corporate giants really don't want their material being broadcast all over the internet, they should be more careful about where they send their signals.
American broadcasters have for decades skimmed the cream off the Canadian advertising dollar, taking advantage of the fact that they do not have to obey Canadian law when their signals swamp over the border from Buffalo.
American satellite dish distributors have for years been undercutting the Canadian cable industry by ignoring Canadian regulations regarding content, channel selection and advertising.
So I have a solution for Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Columbia, MGM, Orion Pictures, Universal, Time Warner, ABC, CBS, Fox:
Stop broadcasting in Canada.
That will stop your problem in a minute. You don't want Canadians broadcasting NFL games over the internet? Then don't broadcast NFL games in Canada, where it's legal to broadcast NFL games over the internet.
And give up trying to bully us in a Pittsburgh court.
Canadians don't even go to Pittsburgh.