Geist & Albahary – Piracy Data

Putting Canadian “Piracy” in Perspective, a video from Geist and Albahary is a great way to present an argument. In Geist’s words

over the past year, Canadians have faced a barrage of claims painting Canada as a “piracy haven.” This video – the second in my collaboration with Daniel Albahary – moves beyond the headlines to demonstrate how the claims do not tell the whole story.

The video also uses quite a bit of public and private sector data to support its argument. This to me is what public data are for and this is what democracy looks like – when civil society has access to the data it requires to keep its government accountable, can keep citizens informed and can temper industry desires with public interest!

One of the cultural issues that has become pervasive as of late is the proliferation of policies and decisions being based on assumptions and not on facts, and in the case of the very powerful lobby against Canada on IP in the cultural sector – really biased reports that are not based on facts but on an industry’s desires and self interests. Look for the sources of the data and the methodology in all reports. Even in this great video! Geist and Albahary do a great job in this to show what is being said and repeated (memes) about the cultural industry in Canada and reality.

It is interesting that the video ends with a slide acknowledging the photos used, the music heard, the creators of the video and the license but not all the data sources in the charts! Some of the data references are in some of the bar charts while most statements are referenced with their source at the bottom of the slide. I always look for data references, else how can I go back and verify what was purported!

The data in the charts were:

  • Hollywood Studio Revenue Growth – Data Source unknown
  • Top Hollywood International Markets – Data Source unknown
  • Canadian Music Releases – Statistics Canada
  • Canadian Artist Share of Sales – Canadian Heritage Music Industry Profile
  • Digital Music Download Sales Growth – Data Source unknown
  • Private Copying Revenues 2000-2005 – Data Source unknown
  • RCMP Crime Data – Data Source unknown but assume the RCMP

NOTE: See the comments of this post, the references to the data, quotes and reports that were not listed in the credits or with the information in the film are now fully described on Michael Geist’s Blog here.


  1. Michael Geist’s avatar


    Fair point. Sources for the film now posted at


  2. Michael Geist’s avatar

    The url didn’t attach in the first comment. Trying again. If not, visit to see the posting.

  3. Tracey’s avatar

    awesome! I’ll go and grab em and post em later!! it is a quarter final soccer day afterall!

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