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File Sharers Not Guilty of Copyright Infringement - Canadian Judge

 8:58 am on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

I just saw this on a list I am subscribed to.

An interesting story from The Register

"In other words, just putting files in a computer directory that other people can access is insufficient an action to constitute illegal distribution - at least under Canadian law." More details in the link.

Judge compares files a publicly accessible directory to books in a library with a copy machine.



 2:39 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I cannot see a real difference between a library that places a photocopy machine in a room full of copyrighted material... "

Said Judge von Finckenstein.

That is a major blow the Canadian Recording Industry Association. They where trying to force Canadian ISP to divulge the identities of people puting music directories online, so they can sue them.


 4:14 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

So, how difficult is it to emigrate to Canada? Given that I speak french?



 4:44 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

File Sharers Not Guilty of Copyright Infringement

Completely agree! ;)

Going even further, spannish law has better tricks: If you copy a CD and put in it a note like "for backup purpose only", it's not illegal...



 5:22 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Interesting study done on the impact of file sharing on cd sales. May not have the impact folks will lead you to believe.

Silicon.com [silicon.com]


 5:24 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

In a confidentiality agreement for one product (in beta) I require license holders to keep data confidential. This is common practice in certain technology fields.

Presumably, the Canadian music industry could place stickers on all CD boxes requiring the same. Obviously, this would not be retrospective, but, I imagine, it would be enforcable.

However, I foresee problems if defendants claimed they imported the CDs from a country that did not use those stickers. I think, ultimately, Canadian law will have to change, as it will around the globe.



 5:28 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

So, how difficult is it to emigrate to Canada? Given that I speak french?

Basically, you need only 2 test to pass.

1- Live with the fact it's 2 C with 60 Km/H winds and freezing rain outside today.
2- You must survive poutine [images.google.com].

Playing hockey could make you a good candidate too.

Joke aside, the music industry is facing a tough one here. They already cash in some royalties on every blank disk or audio cassette to compensate for piracy. A lot of people think they went too far in their demands.


 5:44 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Survive poutine? Heh heh, I thrive on it! :) I also feel that Canadian laws will change too.



 5:48 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Finally a government makes a decision on this issue that makes sense. Too bad it's not my government (USA). Maybe they'll learn.

You know if a decision on this stuff doesn't get made in the states, it's going to lead to more problems. I mean where does it end? If Napster can be shut down for putting people who want to share MP3's in touch with each other (I mean let's face it, the files didn't even go THROUGH Napster's network it was peer to peer), then will companies start suing UPS, FedEx, and the Post office if someone steals their material and ships it to someone else using one of those carriers?

By the definition set in the Napster case, shipping companies would be guilty of participating in the trafficing stolen merchandise. Maybe someone SHOULD sue the Post Office for that reason and cite the Napster case as their motivation. Perhaps that will allow our government to come to a resolution. :)

As for the record companies ... have they considered the possibility that the reason their sales are lower isn't because people are stealing music, it's because the artists they're signing SUCK? The quality of music in this country has gone steadily downward over the last decade. Metallica of all people should know that. Metallica was cool until LOAD. Why were their sales down? Because the people who used to buy their music didn't like their change of pace, and the people who didn't like Metallica's old music didn't want to give their newer albums a try. Doesn't take a genius to figure that out.

But I listen to talk radio now so I couldn't give a crap ... with the exception of Classic Rock, everything I'm hearing on the radio in my market (Tampa) is garbage.

[edited by: digitalv at 5:53 pm (utc) on April 1, 2004]


 5:53 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's great to be Canadian, eh? =)


 6:01 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yeah, it was great news :) The reality is, the recording industry is loosing money because there just isn't any good music these days! It's few and far between, and I think even the teenie-boppers are getting sick of the manufactured crap that rules the airwaves.


 7:07 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>isn't any good music these days



 7:23 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

While I agree that the approach of taking down individual file sharers one by one with lawsuits is quite flawed, I'm continuously annoyed by people who feel stealing music isn't really stealing.

Of course when you look at the industry as a whole you're not going to see any 'main effects' - the data set is too large, and wholly inappropriate to draw conclusions from.

Trust me, I have some friends who are trying to break into the music industry. One of them (name's bogdan) has become personal friends with bjork, who is a big fan of his music. They've even done a single together. Since his is a form of electronic music that appeals to the 13-21 year old hacker kids crowd, his entire album gets stolen tens if not hundreds of times a day. Within this segment new artists are suffering directly, and sometimes tremendously.

I hate the music industry for the quagmire they've created, the complete lack of quality they adhere to and promote in their music, their continued fascination with flooding the market with music only nine year old girls listen to because they're the ones who own the real purse strings, but I do have to say, stealing music is still hurting artists. And I wish the media wouldn't push this court victory as 'download as much as you want legally' - it's not legal if you download my song without my permission, just because you bought a blank cd that I'll never get a cut of the profits from. Thanks for making Shania Twain richer SOCAN.

Stupid system.


 7:44 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yep, It's great bein' Canadian - even if I don't live there anymore. Exporting wisdom? Lol.

It's funny how we go through this with every leap in technology. Bandleaders in the early 1900's said the 78 rpm would kill their business, the record industry said the cassette tape would ruin their industry, and - hello - RADIO? FM radio has better quality than a lot of mp3's available online. Oh, and to add to things, companies today call 'not making all the money we wanted to make' "losses". LOL.

Make some music worth listening to at more than 128kbps and we'll buy it. We swear.


 8:03 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)



 8:11 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

It shows what a sick society we live in by defending the rights of anybody usurping the property of another with pious crap. I believe the 10 Commandments cover the issue pretty well without X Copy and judges reinterpreting.


 8:21 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

what a sick society we live in

"Won't somebody please think of the children!" - Helen Lovejoy


 8:39 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)


I agree, it's not hurting the industry, but I don't give a damn about the industry, its a useless dinosaur. What I do care about are the artists, and the artists are being hurt, no doubt.

The industry already screws the artists to an incredible degree, now they're going to shoulder the losses off onto artists again, by giving fewer new artists even less money, a complete lack of leeway to create anything that wont be an instant hit (for nine year old girls, of course), no second chances, and less of the overall pie. This is the real problem with music piracy, it's reinforcing the industry standards of funneling their money into even tighter streamed, pop demographics. No room for true artists, especially unestablished ones.

Instilling the concept of 'no moral wrong' in the youth of Canada is ultimately detrimental to Canadian artists.

Canada's biggest in-country band is The Tragically Hip, who have never broken into the states, so you've likely never heard of, but millions of Canadians love them. What Canadians don't realize is that in todays music industry climate, the Hip would never have been given a chance to begin to survive, because they don't appeal to the masses in any traditional way. We're on a downward spiral, and the new laws just made it even more slippery.


 10:28 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is one of those coins that there's more than two sides to.

Yes, it sucks that artists lose out on royalties because of file swapping, but it also sucks that the Beach Boys don't see a dime from their original recordings anymore because they got out-manouevered in the late sixties by their record label, who bought out the rights lock stock and barrel (I think Michael Jackson actually owns the rights to those recordings now, and how screwed up is that?)

And there are EBM/Industrial msuicians out in favor of file swapping, because they wouldn't get any exposure otehrwise. Buyt with file swapping, they can become a worldwide phenom, and then actually make a living off their music by touring and performing big clubs all over Europe and North America. The same goes for a lot of folk musicians, who would've never got signed by a label given the current business model. The free publicity of swapped MP3s at least gets them bookings at festivals and pubs in places that would never have heard of them otherwise.

In the end, I'm gonna be typically Canadian about this, and park my butt firmly on the fence.


 10:55 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Interesting decision, especially as I think Canada has some kind of quota law on "home produced" music on radio/TV etc. Ironic hypocrisy, it's a free-for-all on the net, but Canadian radio must play its %age of home-grown music talent nurtured & released by record companies who make their money by selling er...downloads?


 11:10 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)


This is the last place in the world I thought I would see anyone supporting theft of intellecutal property.

Folks, to a man, we all make our living based on our minds. I am pretty sure 99% of the people who post on WebmasterWorld derive 100% of their income from what they type in to a computer.

Letting any tom, dick, or harry simply steal our ideas and use them for their own without renumerating us would completely undermine our ability to protect our intellectual property.

It's like we were running an art gallery and anyone could come in and take whatever they please without paying.

Protecting intellectual property is VERY important to all of us. Obviously, we all should be extremely happy to see the music publishing cartel broken up by things like itunes, but Canada legalizing the theft of ideas is NOT a good thing for any of us.


 11:22 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

...we all should be extremely happy to see the music publishing cartel broken up by things like itunes



 11:27 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

The only thing worse than people who think everything has to be done overnight is people who don't do anything because they think everything has to be done overnight.


 11:52 pm on Apr 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

"I cannot see a real difference between a library that places a photocopy machine in a room full of copyrighted material and a computer user that places a personal copy on a shared directory linked to a P2P service," he said.

A librarian told me I can copy 90% of any book, so long as I do not pass it off as my own work or offer for sale. So research music guys, especially in Canada


 1:17 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Guess we might as well all steal software too.


 1:43 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)


Thanks for that link. It re-affirms a lot of what I felt, but didn't have the info to back up.

I think I'm gonna move a bit away from the fence now, and stand a bit more in favor of P2P. The majority of music I listen to is a bit dated, dated enough that, by and large, the original musicians no longer own the rights to it and don't see dime one in profits when their CDs sell.

Yes, this happens. I mentioned the Beach Boys in my earlier post in here, and they're a good example. The band members of the Beach Boys don't see dime one when you buy an album of their music from before the 70s (except maybe Animal Sounds, but has anyone ever bought a copy of Animal Sounds?) In their 80s revival, they were a bit smarter about the deals they signed, and still get royalties from that music.

But there are tons of artists out there who don't get any money when you buy one of their CDs. Labels leverage financial position against the needs of hungry, often naive, artists, to often buy the rights to recordings outright, paying a one time fee for the music.

As for the comment that 99% of the people here probably derive the majority, or all, of their income from their keyboards, and we wouldn't want to just give our talents away... Well, guess what? Most of us sign on for a very similar deal. I get paid to do the work once, and regardless of the income that work creates, I don't get any royalties. Neither do 99% of the people here.

Basic math from "The Real World of WEb Development."

I build a site for a Realtor. Its a nice simple home page, good clean design (or gaudy, awful, IN YOUR FACE design, more likely, given the temperment of your average Realtor). The site is set up and complete, the Realtor can update the listings his/herself, with a 5 year lifespan on the domain and hosting, all for about $3500, the vast majority of which goes into my pocket. Fair deal for me, because that's $3500 for maybe 20 or 30 hours worth of actual work.

The Realtor then, in the course of the life of the site, has to sell exactly 1 property based on his web presence to realize a profit, because his commisions ensure that he'll get a minimum of $6000 commision from that one sale. Over the course of 5 years, I can pretty much guarantee they'll get that 1 sale (which makes it easier for me to sell my services.) In fact, I would be amazed if they don't get AT LEAST 1 sale per year based on their web presence (from talking to former clinets, they tend to do much better than even this, actually, no matter how awful the end design is).

So after 5 years, odds are the Realtor will have made at least, bare minimum, 30,000$ in commissions off a site that I built and got paid $3500 for. The content I created makes someone else far more money than it ever made me.

Do I feel like I'm getting screwed? Nope, I'm not a realtor, don't wanna be, and I'm happy for getting my little cut.

The Music industry works on a similar scale. The Labels, on average, make 90 cents for ever 10 the artists make (rough guess here, but from what I read on downhill battle, that doesn't seem out of line).

By using P2P, you might argue, I'm gypping the artists out of even that dime. I would argue different. Like I said before, P2P gives tons of exposure to artists who wouldn't otherwise get it, and they can thereby recoup their losses by touring to a more receptive audience. Not to mention, their web presence will generate enough exposure, that in all likelyhood, they'll even sell more CDs, especially if your on a small, independant label.

I just simply DON'T buy the economic argument against P2P. Sure, it might be bad for the big labels, but I really don't think that its a bad thing for artists overall.


 2:52 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

All I can say is: abut time.



 2:54 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I agree with the ruling. I wouldn't buy a book just because it has a good introduction. But maybe I'll photocopy that introduction at the library and pass it on to a few friends.

If I hear a new song I like, I'm not going to risk hating the rest of the cd and paying $15 for that one song. I'll download it. If another good song is released from the same album, maybe I'll download that too. If I hear a third good song from the album, then I think "that must be a good album" so I buy it.

All in all, I think P2P makes artists work harder and gives a little leverage to the consumer - I read it's cheaper to make cd's than it is to make tapes, yet we pay double for cd's. And why should I pay the same amount for a cd with one good song as a cd with three good songs? I think that's where iTunes is brilliant. I can pay $2 for 2 songs and if I end up buying the cd I'm out $2, instead of being out $15 for one song if I bought the cd first and it only had one good song on it.

If Napster can be shut down for putting people who want to share MP3's in touch with each other (I mean let's face it, the files didn't even go THROUGH Napster's network it was peer to peer)

Napster had their own servers which they used in their P2P system and that's one of the reasons they got shut down and why Kazaa is a little tougher. I remember reading a statement from Kazaa that said the software would still survive even if the company got shut down because it's trully P2P. But this was before Sharman Networks bought Kazaa and I haven't heard it again since.


 3:33 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am waiting for the search engines to come under attack for aiding and abedding the file sharing networks in their efforts to "violate laws" by providing users who otherwise would not know how to find the networks - get to them easily and in some cases profiting from the transaction. (ads) sigh... Sort of the way ebay was attacked for items for being sold by third parties. (to me ebay is nothing more than a search engine)

too much information

 4:20 am on Apr 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, as a side note if I want to use a song in a presentation, legally, what do I have to do?

From what I hear it's quite a set of hoops that the music industry wants you to jump through, and that's along with quite a bit of $ which makes the whole deal really over the top.

No suprise that music is stolen, but I think chasing individual users is a bad marketing decision. Maybe the music industry should give me a call for some consulting... then maybe I can aford to use music in my presentations!

This 83 message thread spans 3 pages: 83 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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