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Privacy Media Music The Internet Your Rights Online

Music Industry Loses In Canadian Downloading Case 736

Posted by timothy
from the land-of-the-free-once-removed dept.
pref writes "'Canada's music industry can't force Internet service providers to identify online music sharers, a Federal Court judge has ruled.' They wanted the Internet service companies like Sympatico, Rogers and Shaw to give them the real identities of the individuals so they could sue them for copyright infringement. They were seeking a court order requiring the companies to provide the information. But they didn't get it, so the Internet companies don't have to identify their clients and the music companies can't proceed with their lawsuits.""
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Music Industry Loses In Canadian Downloading Case

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  • by monstroyer (748389) * <devnull@slashdot.org> on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:42PM (#8728106) Homepage Journal
    Of course Canada, a socialist country harboring terrorists, would have a judge corrupt enough to *not* allow the law to break down the doors (and backs) of pirates. The whole country is a cesspool of leftist anti-american pot smoking jocks. Half their salaries taxed and for what? Medicare, Infrastructure, Social Programs, and Freedom? Give me some good old fashioned blatant class differences based on race any day of the week. We need to buckle down and attack these northern communists ASAP. Axis of evil anyone? Downloading music is the first step to the downfall of America, we must stop them at all costs. I have a gun and i'm on my way!

    A better CAPTCHA solution?
    Sunday March 14, @02:10PM
    Pending

    To CAPTCHA or not to CAPTCHA?
    Saturday March 13, @06:12PM
    Pending

    Why Don't I Have a Girlfriend?
    Saturday February 07, @10:22PM
    Pending
  • Hooray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vargasan (610063) <swhisken@r o g e r s . com> on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:42PM (#8728107) Homepage
    Hooray for Canada.

    Wait... Which country was the 'Land of the Free' again?
    • Re:Hooray! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shakrai (717556) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:45PM (#8728164) Journal

      Good for Canada! I don't really think it's an ISPs business to get involved in civil matters between outsiders and their clients. If I ran an ISP in this day and age I would keep my radius and/or DHCP logs for 24-48 hours. If RIAA can't subpoena me in that amount of time that's their problem.

      Does anyone know what the outcome of the similar case in the US is? Last time I heard anything the appeals court had reversed the lower court decision -- so RIAA started suing IP addresses (some of which weren't in the US as I recall). Was there any resolution to this or is it still in litigation?

      As an aside I don't really think it's the business of an ISP to hide their customers when they break the law either. I just think RIAA should be held to a higher burden of proof then just giving a judge (or a clerk) an IP address and getting the name of that customer. They should actually have to prove that IP address was engaged in illegal activities. Does anyone here really think they can do that for each and every file sharer? If this was held to a real burden of proof these cases would stop tomorrow.

      I wish somebody would have the backbone to actually fight one of these instead of rolling over and settling. It's basically going to come down to "He said"/"She said". Sure RIAA says I was sharing files -- can they prove it with the testimony of a neutral third party? Somebody they are paying to find people on P2P networks hardly qualifies as neutral.

      • Re:Hooray! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Crudely_Indecent (739699) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:50PM (#8729052) Journal
        As a network admin for an ISP, I can say that SPECIFICALLY FOR THIS REASON I delete logs after 5 days. When the local police or FBI calls asking if we have logs for a certain period of time I happily say "Nope, we delete logs after 5 days" and send 'em packing. I can't afford to have any of my servers taken for evidence. 5 days of logs is just enough to deal with the trivial issues that commonly arise, and just short enough that no government agency will be asking me for them (ain't beaurocracy grand)

        Keeping the anonymity of our clients is one of the few luxuries that an ISP has left. If I began handing out my customers names to ever government agency that demanded them, this ISP would go out of business quickly. Who wants an ISP that will sell them down the river? Word of mouth spreads quickly, and I like my job!

        I figure, it's none of my business what you do with your connection. As long as you don't attack my infrastructure I won't stop you. If you get caught doing something illegal, I didn't help catch you. You have nobody to blame but yourself.

        Until they pass a law requiring me to keep these logs, I'll continue to delete them.
    • Don't celebrate yet. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Liselle (684663) * <slashdot AT liselle DOT net> on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:48PM (#8728219) Journal
      Well, I RTFA (someone reply with "You must be new here" for your free +5 Funny), and it doesn't look to be a cause for celebration. It seems as if they didn't present compelling enough evidence to the judge.
      "No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings. They merely placed personal copies onto shared directories on their computers which were accessible by other computer users via an online download service," the judge wrote.
      I'll wager that once the Canadian recording industry gets its wagons in a circle, they are going to try again. Regrettably, one failure won't stop them.
      • by chimpo13 (471212) <slashdot@nokilli.com> on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:55PM (#8728323) Homepage Journal
        someone reply with "You must be new here" for your free +5 Funny

        Okay, I'm game. You must be new here.

        I'll turn off my karma bonus (all due to goatse links), and see what happens.
      • by JohnWiney (656829) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:01PM (#8728416)
        From the Globe and Mail's version: "The mere fact of placing a copy on a shared directory in a computer where that copy can be accessed via a P2P service does not amount to distribution," Justice von Finckenstein said. That means that making it easy to copy isn't the same as copying, and is not copyright violation.
    • Re:Hooray! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:16PM (#8728637)
      It goes much farther than reported here. I have just heard the details on TV.

      It seems that what most music downloaders do is perfectly legal here in Canada. The only limitation is that the download must be for the user's own use.

      Futher, THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS ON THE MUSIC INDUSTRY TO PROVE THAT YOUR INTENTION WAS TO DOWNLOAD FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMMERCIAL RESALE!!!

      THEY NOT ONLY HAVE TO CATCH YOU DOWNLOADING, THEY HAVE TO CATCH YOU SELLING!!!

      Don't you wish that the USA had civilised laws like that?
      • Re:Hooray! (Score:3, Funny)

        by Vargasan (610063)
        I'm not sure they have "reality" in the US. I've seen the so-called "Reality" television shows and they don't seem very realistic to me.
      • by bonch (38532)
        Slashdot circa 2000:
        "They shouldn't be suing Napster or Kazaa, they should sue the individual copyright infringers! That is the legal and moral thing to do."

        Slashdot circa today:
        "Nobody should be suing anybody! I have no good reasons."
  • by neiffer (698776) * on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:43PM (#8728110) Homepage
    I was hoping to get sued in Canada instead of the States. After the exchange rate, I was hoping to pay about $0.78 per song, beating the iTunes price!! :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Comprehensive health care, weed is basically legal, and the music industry has lost!?!?! Why do we pick on Canada again?
  • Awesome. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by danhm (762237) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:43PM (#8728117) Homepage
    I think I know what country I'll go to college in now.
  • by Borg453b (746808) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:43PM (#8728124) Homepage Journal
    Dion or no Dion - I'm moving to Canada :D
    • by xarak (458209)

      Don't go! They've also got Bryan Adams and Shania Twain!

      And beware the howl of the Furtado - very few who heard it's wail lived to tell the tale.

  • Woo! Proxy Time (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gothmolly (148874) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:43PM (#8728125)
    C'mon you Slashdotters in .ca, how about setting up some anon HTTP proxies so that the rest of us can download freely? Your ISP logs can't be subpoenad, so we can all download stuff via your pipes, and the Evil Record Companies can't do anything!!!
    • Re:Woo! Proxy Time (Score:2, Interesting)

      by BdosError (261714)
      Actually, it's only legal to download in Canada. Uploading is illegal.

      As others have said, this case (RTFA) doesn't deal with this, it's more about the music industry not having sufficient proof of infraction to compel the release of the names.

      • Re:Woo! Proxy Time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Br!an of Paco (677083) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:17PM (#8728653)
        "No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings," von Finckenstein wrote in his 28-page ruling. "They merely placed personal copies into their shared directories which were accessible by other computer users via a P2P service." http://www.cbc.ca/storyview/MSN/2004/03/31/downloa d_court040331 Sounds to me like uploading's legal too.
      • Re:Woo! Proxy Time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Abcd1234 (188840) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:26PM (#8728738) Homepage
        As others have said, that's not actually true. The judge said, and I quote:

        "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"

        So, this goes to the heart of the P2P uploading matter. Basically, it's the judge's interpretation that making files available for download does not constitute uploading.
        • Prove it! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by fprefect (14608)
          The irony is that, in order for the RIAA or whoever to prove that a user downloaded copyrighted material, they'd have to post it themselves to the network -- which, being the copyright holder, would make it legal to download.
  • Nice to see privacy winning one for a change.

    Now if we can get the U.S. Supreme court to rule the same way.

    After all, they've been using foreign court rulings more and more recently.
  • Glad to see that this can be faught somewhere. Really though, the question is... How long can Canada do this before they get pressured to follow in their oppressive neighbors' lead?
    I wouldn't rejoice too quickly, but it's nice to see.

    P.S. Eat it RIAA! ;)
    • Re:OH Canada. (Score:4, Informative)

      by s20451 (410424) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:00PM (#8728409) Journal
      How long can Canada do this before they get pressured to follow in their oppressive neighbors' lead?

      I'm sorry ... who's oppressive now?

      Canadian broadcasting law includes Canadian content restrictions. Fully 35% of all music broadcast on Canadian radio must be CanCon [media-awareness.ca], meaning at least two of the composer, performer, recording venue, and lyric writer must be Canadian. For television the fraction is 50%.

      Sounds pretty benign, until you realize that it is therefore illegal for US stations to broacast in Canada, which includes satellite broadcasts. It is illegal to receive US-based satellite signals in Canada, and doing so could result in a visit from the RCMP and confiscation of your satellite equipment [www.efc.ca]. All this for simply watching HBO, MTV, or even the Superbowl commercials (local stations rebroadcasting the Superbowl in Canada substitute their own ads).

      In spite of this, Canadian television has yet to produce a domestic hit television series, and virtually all our recording artists flee to the states.
      • by Bvardi (620485) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:11PM (#8728570)
        I hear they're going to make 35 percent of piracy be Canadian content as well! Several of my friends have recently had CRTC officials show up with MP3's of Anne Murray - mind you I think he went the easier route and just went to prison....

        (The above posting should not be read by the sarcasm challenged. If you are unsure if you are sarcasm challenged, please immediately report to your local comedy club for testing. Do not, repeat, do not take any sarcasm unless able to process it - otherwise grave side effects of confusion, loss of bowel function, and several people pointing and laughing in your general direction may be experienced. At no time operate any kind of humour while unable to process sarcasm. Lock all puns in a safe place and gently croon yourself to sleep in a darkened room. Trust me you'll feel better for it)
      • Accuracy (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mistlefoot (636417)
        http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/ac-ca/pubs/can-con/can _ con.html

        If you follow the government link you will see the rules are stated differently. The original link contends that "music" must be Canadian. I'm not sure which is correct but I was under the idea (having worked in a volunteer position in sports broadcasting for a local small radio station) that "up to" 35% of the content played on the radio from 6am to midnight" had to be Canadian.

        Anyone who listens to daytime radio can verify that a good portion
      • Re:OH Canada. (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mordaximus (566304)
        In spite of this, Canadian television has yet to produce a domestic hit television series, and virtually all our recording artists flee to the states. OK, I'll enlighten you:
        1. Stargate SG1
        2. Due South
        3. Degrassi Junior High
        4. Relic Hunter
        5. PSI Factor
        6. Reboot (Be proud!)
        7. SCTV
        8. Andromeda

        And of course, if you mean "made it past two seasons" as being a domestic hit, there is always:

        1. Earth : Final Conflict
        2. Lexx
        3. Nikita
        4. The Naked News

        You get the picture. OH wait, maybe a couple of musicicans too then, There are tons o

  • Go after the IP (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grafikhugh (529618) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:44PM (#8728140) Homepage
    What is to stop them from suing the IP number and using the court case as a means to identify the user? Didn't the RIAA have to take that aproach after losing a similair lawsuit ?
    • Re:Go after the IP (Score:3, Insightful)

      by netfool (623800) *
      Its in the article - "No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings. They merely placed personal copies onto shared directories on their computers which were accessible by other computer users via an online download service," the judge wrote.
    • From the Judge: (Score:5, Insightful)

      by big_groo (237634) <groovis.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:57PM (#8728348) Homepage
      From The Toronto Star [thestar.com]: "No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings," von Finckenstein wrote in his 28-page ruling. "They merely placed personal copies into their shared directories which were accessible by other computer users via a P2P service."

      He compared the action to a photocopy machine in a library. "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.

      Besides, the IP changes, and the ISPs *don't* have to divulge who had the IP at any given time. Kind of hard to sue in that case...

  • "Until then, Canadian online music traders are free to keep swapping songs, Akin said."

    Um, but aren't they facing the chance of being sued anyway? So yes, you can go back to swapping songs, since nobody has been sued YET - but that doesn't mean you aren't leaving yourself open to it when they get their act together.
    • by jemartin (636867) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:46PM (#8728182)
      According to the CBC [www.cbc.ca], the Judge ruled that file sharing is within the bounds of Canadian copyright law.

      Specifically, from the Judge's ruling: "No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings. They merely placed personal copies into their shared directories which were accessible by other computer users via a P2P service."

  • Woo Canada! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jonas the Bold (701271) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:45PM (#8728159)
    As an American living in Canada, I feel good about this. The main benefit from living in Canada I've found so far is just a lower stress level. The people at the wheel seem saner, more composed and less twitchy, it doesn't seem as absolutely imperative to pay attention the news, that sort of thing.

    Stuff like this only helps.
  • Hahahah... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Frennzy (730093) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:45PM (#8728160) Homepage
    Too bad for the R I Eh Eh, Eh?
  • by salemnic (244944) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:46PM (#8728170)
    Another Source [canoe.ca]

    This ruling not only means that the CIRA can't get user information from the ISPs, but that file swapping in Canada does not even infringe on copyright - it's completely legal.

    If you're Canadian, that means a big weight off your shoulders, for now.
  • Error in Title (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dashing Leech (688077) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:46PM (#8728174)
    It's not a "downloading" case, it's an "uploading" (distribution) case. Downloading is legal [drmwatch.com] in Canada.
  • by jaraxle (1707) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:47PM (#8728185)
    http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/03/31/canada/downlo ad_court040331

    Contains a few links to older information about the story and whatnot.

    ~jaraxle
  • Good judges (Score:5, Informative)

    by flossie (135232) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:47PM (#8728189) Homepage
    "No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings. They merely placed personal copies onto shared directories on their computers which were accessible by other computer users via an online download service," the judge wrote.

    So this is what happens when you have tech-literate judges! Where can we get some from?

  • So what exactly would stop someone now from sending an order from the US to a Canadian company for a cd with 700mb of mp3s on it, have them fill the order and mail it back?

  • by oblivionboy (181090) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:48PM (#8728214)
    In a related article from canoe.ca [canoe.ca], the judge was qoute as saying,"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,"

    Doesn't this analogy actually make more sense, than alot of the analogies to "theft" that the record industry has thrown out?

    On the other hand, it may not be that valid, because to actually photocopy an entire book would be prohibatively expensive. Where as with P2P whether you download an entire album or just one song its the same cost. Free.
  • by AndroidCat (229562) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:48PM (#8728215) Homepage
    The Canadian Press [canoe.ca] version of the story really slaps it to the record industry. Quite a different focus to it. Have to read all ofthem and boil them down to get the real facts.
  • Other newsfeeds (Score:5, Informative)

    by damian.gerow (458051) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:48PM (#8728216) Homepage
    Two other newsfeeds are carrying the story as well -- both say essentially the same thing, but CBC has some related stories that may be worth reading: The Toronto Star [thestar.com] and CBC [www.cbc.ca]

    IANAL, but I believe this comes from the quirk in Canadian law that you may make copies of something for yourself quite legally, just not for others. Since the people sharing aren't making the copies, it's legal.
  • At least it wasn't for the right reasons.

    It was just that they couldn't prove that any crimes had been committed. Which may stick or may not stick, who knows?

    The reason why they should lose bigtime, is that the precident that would be set, that a corporation can compel the identify of anonymous actors, would be a very negative one for general freedom.

    Think of a corporation could find out who posted a negative (but truthful) review of a book on Amazon, for example, then they could jump on you with both fe
  • by belmolis (702863) <billposer AT alum DOT mit DOT edu> on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:50PM (#8728244) Homepage

    It isn't clear what the real impact of this decision is. If you read the article, it quotes lawyers as saying that the music industry prepared a sloppy case and that it can always try again. It may only be a temporary victory. But at least it sounds like the Canadian courts are requiring a higher standard of evidence of infringement than the US courts are.

  • Eat it CRIA!

    Glad to see Canadians, in this one small space at least, are getting justice for once!
  • The loophole (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rascasse (719300) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:50PM (#8728257)
    "No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings. They merely placed personal copies onto shared directories on their computers which were accessible by other computer users via an online download service," the judge wrote.

    First off, I'm surprised but elated that the Judge seems to have been technically competent enough to see this. However, downloaders be warned: the music industry will now proceed to actually participate in copyright infringement by downloading those shared songs or otherwise monitoring the downloads of those shared songs. The "my songs are shared out but were not actually downloaded" argument might not work next time.

    • Re:The loophole (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Swanktastic (109747)
      However, downloaders be warned: the music industry will now proceed to actually participate in copyright infringement by downloading those shared songs or otherwise monitoring the downloads of those shared songs. The "my songs are shared out but were not actually downloaded" argument might not work next time.

      Not to be too pedantic, but can a copyright holder actually violate their own copyright by pirating a copy of a song? It would seem to me that if I am the ultimate owner of a song, I have the right d
  • by thirty-seven (568076) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:51PM (#8728272)
    Even more significant, in my opinion, is that the judge in this case said the reason why he wouldn't give a court order for the ISPs to release names is that he didn't consider this copyright infringement [www.cbc.ca].

    Specifically, he said:

    "No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings. They merely placed personal copies into their shared directories which were accessible by other computer users via a P2P service."

    To me, this sounds like he's saying that standard P2P file sharing is not copyright infringement. It sounds like as long don't actively upload the file to someone else, or personally authorize them to download it from you, then its OK.

  • I like it! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gagy (675425) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:53PM (#8728287) Homepage Journal
    Earlier today I posted about how glad I am that I don't live in a twisted country like the US, because of a wonderful law that's being discussed. Here's a quick little tidbit.

    File sharing would be punishable by prison sentences of up to ten years in addition to large fines. Another bill introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) - Called the "Pirate Act" - would empower the Justice Department to initiate lawsuits against file sharers. According to the both the entertainment industry and Sen. Hatch, P2P networks are virtual dens of thieves, with the most pernicious of un-American activities occurring in an attempt to lure young Internet users into a lifetime of lawbreaking. In defending the Pirate Act, Hatch said the operators of P2P networks are running a conspiracy in which they lure children and young people with free music, movies and pornography. With these "human shields," the P2P companies are trying to blackmail the entertainment industries into accepting their networks as a distribution channel and source of revenue. "Unfortunately, piracy and pornography could then become the cornerstones of a 'business model,'" Hatch said in a statement. The illicit activities of file sharers "then generate huge advertising revenues for the architects of piracy."


    And Then I got flamed because in Canada we pay excise tax on CDs (and soon to be other recording media) because they can potentially be used for pirating copyrighted works. I totally agree with that law. The money goes to the recording industry (I think) and everyone is fairly content with the deal. (besides, it's only a few bucks and it seems fair enough to me. Yeah, i know, majority of the people use the CDs for legit purposes, blah blah blah).
  • by lavalyn (649886) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:54PM (#8728313) Homepage Journal
    it's because it's on a technicality about "insufficient information."

    What's wrong with the CRIA obtaining subpoenas against people that they can positively identify as file uploaders of the member companies' copyrighted material? It's not outrageously hard to have somebody at minimum wage sit behind a terminal and try to download music from Canadian ip addresses. And once you have that, it's a known act of copyright infringement anyway, which as we all know, is illegal.

    I don't condone the recording industry's stance and think they should be looking to leverage the technology instead of fighting against it, but they do have the legal right to demand information on people that they have reasonable evidence of illegal activity on. Let them sue the people that upload, not people that use the technology that could either upload or not.

    Besides, I'm not sure we want the ISPs to take on the role of gatekeeper either. This is a legal liability on ISPs and the costs of that will be borne by the end-user.
  • by Gord.ca (236984) <`ghpollock' `at' ... cs.uwaterloo.ca'> on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:56PM (#8728333)
    In case you're tired of living in a freedom-loving dictatorship, here's how to apply as a skilled worker immigrant to Canada:
    http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/skilled/how-1.html [cic.gc.ca]
    It seemed relavant :) (Wouldn't I be surprized if someone actually takes it...)
  • by harlows_monkeys (106428) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:58PM (#8728377) Homepage
    OK, think about this for a minute. Canadian law can't work the way the summary implies, because Canadians aren't idiots. To work reasonably, a legal system needs a way to allow you to discover the identity of someone you want to sue if they have done something that makes them legally liable to you.

    Reading the story, we see that this is indeed the case. The ISPs weren't compelled to release the IDs because the music companies had not shown sufficient evidence that a copyright violation had occured. If they had shown sufficient evidence, the ISPs probably would have had to cough up the names.

    • "OK, think about this for a minute. Canadian law can't work the way the summary implies, because Canadians aren't idiots. To work reasonably, a legal system needs a way to allow you to discover the identity of someone you want to sue if they have done something that makes them legally liable to you. "

      Actually, it works this way because the CRIA failed to establish a liklihood of infringement by the parties they were going after, or that the names would even bind to the IPs.

      IF there was real infringement a

  • by kwandar (733439) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @02:59PM (#8728388)

    I've been saying for a while in comments here on /. [slashdot.org] that leaving an open share (what the CRIA would refer to as uploading) would not necessarily constitute copyright infringement.

    According to the Globe and Mail [globeandmail.com], the judge stated ""The mere fact of placing a copy on a shared directory in a computer where that copy can be accessed via a P2P service does not amount to distribution"

    This is a huge win for the Canadian public if it stands on appeal as Canadians will be legally able to download, and to have music available in shared directories, allowing both uploading and downloading.

  • by thomasdelbert (44463) <thomasdelbert@yahoo.com> on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:02PM (#8728425)
    This case at first appeared to be a case of on-line privacy, but the ruling does little to protect that. The only privacy ruling that the judges made is that the music industry needs to prove that copyright infringement occured before they can subpoena.

    The real ruling is that simply putting the mp3 files into a shared directory (via a P2P) is not copyright infringement - that goes under personal use. IANAL, and I haven't read the text of the ruling, but to make a call like that probably requires the judges to create a for deciding whether or not something is personal use or copyright infringement.

    So now, we have to find where the line is:
    • Financial gain - This would invalidate the GPL and add fuel to the fire for SCO v. IBM. It seems that the core of their argument against the GPL is that it is "harmful" because it isn't made for financial gain. We can't have anything adding legitimacy to their farcical arguments
    • Active distribution - perhaps the argument is that making a file available is different from giving a file to a person in the same way that unplugging a person's life support is different from injecting poison into their veins. Now everything distributed on the web is no longer protected by copyright which also would invalidate the GPL as I know of no GPL program that has its initial method of distribution being anything other than making it available for download from the web.
    So, where is the line? What does a person have to do to infringe copyright these days?

    - Thomas;
  • by ferratus (244145) * on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:03PM (#8728443) Homepage
    I'm truly proud to be Canadian today... Oh, except for that tax on media ..

    Oh, and Celine Dion. Yeah... sorry about that.
    • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:32PM (#8728806)
      On behalf of Canadians everywhere I'd like to offer an apology to the United States of America. We haven't been getting along very well recently and for that, I am truly sorry.

      I'm sorry we called George Bush a moron. He is a moron but, it wasn't nice of us to point it out. If it's any consolation, the fact that he's a moron shouldn't reflect poorly on the people of America. After all it's not like you actually elected him.

      I'm sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you doesn't give us the right to sell you lumber that's cheaper and better than your own.

      I'm sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defense I guess our excuse would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours.

      I'm sorry we burnt down your white house during the war of 1812. I notice you've rebuilt it! It's Very Nice.

      I'm sorry about your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer but, we Feel your Pain.

      I'm sorry about our waffling on Iraq. I mean, when you're going up against a crazed dictator, you wanna' have your friends by your side. I realize it took more than two years before you guys pitched in against Hitler, but that was
      different. Everyone knew he had weapons.

      And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I'm sorry that we're constantly apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way which is really a thinly
      veiled criticism. I sincerely hope that you're not upset over this. We've seen what you do to countries you get upset with.

      Thank you.
  • by wes33 (698200) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:13PM (#8728590)
    In the globe and mail story, they report that the judge declared that *both* copying and sharing are not copyright violation in Canada ... I've been assuming it was perfectly alright to download files in Canada (for personal use); now it appears to be equally ok to share them

    see here [globeandmail.com] where it is stated: "As part of his ruling, the judge found that simply downloading a song or having a file available on peer-to-peer software such as Kazaa doesn't constitute copyright infringement."

    What's next in Canada? Free ponies?
  • Laws in Canada (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rjelks (635588) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:22PM (#8728705) Homepage
    This is probably obvious, but the reason that they can't sue the ISP's in the US for copyright infringement is that they are protected from the actions of their customers. This is why they are going after the networks (Napster, Kazaa, ...) and the users. Does Canada have similar laws protecting the service providers? If that's the case, as long as the Canooks are around, p2p will have a steady stream of uploaders. I can't wait to go home and download some more Gordon Lightfoot and Anne Murrey. Just kidding, it's nice to see a court system back the privacy of the individual over the media conglomerates interests.
  • Yeah (Score:3, Interesting)

    by superdan2k (135614) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @03:58PM (#8729156) Homepage Journal
    Well, I, for one, welcome our new downloading overlords.

    Seriously, maybe I should move to North Mex^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HCanada. Less psychotic right-wing fundies. And Canadian chicks are hot, they have good beer, and they don't shoot everything that moves on two legs.
  • Go Canada! (Score:3, Funny)

    by daina (651638) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @04:27PM (#8729591)
    My gay lover and I are getting married! In addition to alcohol, we're serving pot at the reception! The entertainment is downloaded music and movies! If anyone gets sick, we'll take 'em to emerg for free medical care! And we're only 19! Yay Canada!
  • by freelance cynic (653710) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @04:53PM (#8729955)
    (2004 FC 488) Decision rendered on March 31, 2004, IN THE MATTER OF BMG Canada Inc. et al v. Jane Doe et al

    read it here [in pdf]:
    http://www.fct-cf.gc.ca/bulletins/whatsnew/T-292-0 4.pdf [fct-cf.gc.ca]
  • by denis-The-menace (471988) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @05:30PM (#8730482)
    look it up [cambridge.org]
    "a group of similar independent companies who join together to control prices and limit competition"
    Do they control prices?
    Do they limit competition?
    Of course they do! They it's a Cartel!
  • by iamghetto (450099) on Wednesday March 31, 2004 @10:06PM (#8733176) Homepage
    I was reading through some threads here about the canadians isp's not having to give up file-sharers names and I didn't see this point mentioned. The judge didn't keep the isp's usersname's secret because of the users or companies right per se. The judge turned their request down because he did not believe that the any copyrights had been broken as a result of the user participating in file sharing. HA!

    I'm not sure if the lawyers just made a really weak case or what the deal was, but the judge just didn't think that the users were violating any copyrights, ergo, there was no need to reveal their names.

    It's true. My Canadian news told me so.

Riches: A gift from Heaven signifying, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." -- John D. Rockefeller, (slander by Ambrose Bierce)

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