News Release - May 6, 2009
PROFITS OF CRIMINAL NOTORIETY ACT
The Government of Saskatchewan today introduced legislation to prevent people from making money by recounting their crimes. The money seized under the legislation will be used to compensate victims of specific crimes or their families, and to support victims of crime in general.
The legislation does not forbid anyone from recounting their crime, but it prevents them from making money from their story.
"This Act is focused on restricting profit rather than limiting publication," Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said. "We support freedom of expression as a cornerstone of our free society. However, we find it unacceptable that people could profit from their criminal fame and we will prevent this."
Under The Profits of Criminal Notoriety Act, any money earned through the recounting of a crime must be paid to the government. The Act also prevents people from profiting from the sale of memorabilia, such as autographs, personal objects and items related to a crime where the profit would be increased by their criminal notoriety.
The Act does not apply where a crime is recounted for law enforcement purposes, in support of crime prevention or in support of victims services programs.
"We realize some stories have a value to society, and may serve as a positive inspiration," Morgan said.
The government intends to introduce more comprehensive legislation to support victims of crime.
"We see today's legislation as a first step," Morgan said. "It responds to immediate concerns raised by the public about a book due to be published this fall. We believe that more can be done to compensate victims of crime and will continue working toward such legislation."
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