Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government Media Music News Your Rights Online

Canadian Minister Promises to Fix Copyright Law 569

Posted by michael
from the doh dept.
Mashiki writes "In Canada, we can download Mp3's and their assorted goodness without too much of a hassle, recently the CRIA and their friends lost the court case. Well, it would appear that the new Federal Heritage Minister Helene Scherre, has spoken and those words were: 'As minister of Canadian Heritage, I will, as quickly as possible, make changes to our copyright law.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Canadian Minister Promises to Fix Copyright Law

Comments Filter:
  • CDR Tax (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alternate Interior (725192) * <slashdot.alternateinterior@com> on Sunday April 04, 2004 @02:56AM (#8760181) Homepage
    So does that mean the CD-R Tax disappears?

    /not canadian
    • Re:CDR Tax (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Barbarian (9467) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:12AM (#8760242)
      Of course it won't.
      • "Of course it won't."

        Troll? Why?
        • Re:CDR Tax (Score:3, Interesting)

          by txviking (768200)
          Because democraty is out and feudalism is in. Now it is just time to name the principles of today's feudalitistic system. I would say politicians and Managers of multi-national company are pretty high on the list. The other question ... How will the revolution against this kind of feudalism look like??? I hope it will not get as bloody as the French revolution or the US Independence...
      • Re:CDR Tax (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        It won't go away for a very simple reason:

        The levy had nothing to do with the legality of the piracy in the first place.

        The chronology was: levy, court ruling, minister's comments.

        Now as for the court ruling, it doesn't exactly mean as much as its made out to. Check out the posting from Mike Jenkinson on the subject at http://www.the-newsroom.com (his "anti-blog" doesn't have day-to-day links, so you'll have to scroll).

        Regardless, the levy already was in place when there was a "legitimate/illegitimate"
    • Re:CDR Tax (Score:5, Insightful)

      by epiphani (254981) <epiphani@da[ ]et ['l.n' in gap]> on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:18AM (#8760257)
      Why exactly is this rated +4 Funny? In canada, we pay a levy (not a tax, theres a difference) on our blank media that goes towards those music industries whiners. If they plan on making Copyright law such that Downloading becomes illegal, then fuck me paying extra for the CDs that I use for lagitimate uses.

      • Re:CDR Tax (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AndroidCat (229562)
        Of course there's a difference between a levy and a tax. A tax would go into the same government General Account that all taxes do, but the levy goes to CRIA.
      • Re:CDR Tax (Score:3, Interesting)

        I notice that whenever a government makes a tax or levy on something, bootleggers, smugglers, and others (like cops, lawyers, judges, et. al) profit. Other than ordinary citizen made criminals by laws and regulation, not a damn thing is changed.
      • Exlain to me (Score:3, Insightful)

        by /dev/trash (182850)
        How a levy is different from a tax?
        • Re:Exlain to me (Score:3, Informative)

          by Feztaa (633745)
          With a tax, the money goes to the government, with a levy, the money goes to a private (unelected) company/organisation/etc.
    • Re:CDR Tax (Score:3, Funny)

      by guiscard (712813)

      Does protecting 'Canadian Heritage' mean just no downloading Bryan Adams and Celine Dion mp3s?
    • by cheekyboy (598084) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @04:18AM (#8760459) Homepage Journal
      I hate it immensely when governments LOOSE court cases, and then cry poor baby, and then change the laws, like fuck the law, i mean if they loose, they really can 'force' it so they can win. Part of the court ruling should be that the govt cant then go back and 'fix' the laws. Why have laws, lets have a dictatorship since basically the govt does what it wants to a large extent, until they get voted out but the boys already have their big business deals and friends in high places...

      It happens everytime btw, not just about (C) crap, but even minor laws or small so called 'loop holes'.

      Rise up!! Revolution be cometh 2012.

    • Re:CDR Tax (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jarnis (266190)
      Probably not.

      In Finland we pay similar levy, and nobody is talking about removing it even as they propose completely moronic new Copyright law based on the recent EU directive that, for example, makes it illegal to circumvent a copy protection to make a legal backup copy.

      They want to have their cake *and* eat it too. And politicians are too clueless to stop it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 04, 2004 @02:58AM (#8760182)
    Even for Canadians.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:12AM (#8760243)
      Do you have any idea how many seats the liberals hold outside of Ontario and Quebec? Not bloody many! There hasn't been a liberal elected in Calgary since Trudeau's NEP, and precious few in Alberta. Trudeau dies and we have to listen to a bunch of eastern bastards moaning about what a saint he was. Those same eastern bastards elected the corrupt twits who are pork barelling their way to another election. Heck, out here we even get the election results before we've had a chance to vote! You have no idea how important your right to vote feels when everything is decided before you get a chance to vote! Don't talk to us about the importance of voting! We'll vote for anyone *but* the liberals yet again, and guess who'll wind up running the show yet again?

      Man, I really hope the western separation thing takes off. If you thought keeping Quebec in the country was a tough sell, man you have another thought coming. Sooner or later people out west are going to realize that the benefits of confederation all flow one way, and that's the same way as the transfer payments! Quebec, by comparison, were the ones receiving our money. That's why they stayed.
    • And who should I vote for who'll oppose this? The NDP? HAHAHAHAHA. That'd be like cutting off my nose despite my face.
  • Ah, good. (Score:5, Funny)

    by trudyscousin (258684) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:01AM (#8760192)
    My faith in human (read: political) nature has been restored!
  • by barc0001 (173002) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:04AM (#8760208)
    That a federal election isn't that far off... And slogans like "Helene Scherre wants to put your kids in prison" look great on T-shirts and the news...
    • I think I will remind her, since she is a public official, contact information for her office and her email address were not that difficult to find. I sure hope that this information does not fall into the hands of hoards of Internet users.
    • Here's what I just told her:

      Record labels and stores make most of the money from CD sales in stores while most musicians make their money from CD's and merchendise sold at the side of the stage at live events. Attendance is determined by the popularity of the band and without p2p filesharing, many Canadian bands wouldn't be as well known as they are. Canada is a sparsely populated landmass and it's expensive to tour. mp3's are the best way to reach the most people to boost attendance. So are you truly looking out for my best interests (I'm a Canadian musician with 3 Cd's in stores) or are you catering to the labels lobbying for legislation?
      • Just an ammendment to clarify my views:

        While I support p2p, I think there are consequences that people should be aware of. The record companies will lose money as a result of slashing prices to compete. This will lead to them representing fewer acts and those will be only the ones that are safe bets (the heavily produced Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Enrique Iglesias, etc) and less of the risky (read: interesting) ones. Diversity in record stores will suffer as p2p flourishes. If you want an actual packaged CD of a band that is more intertesting than the aforementioned acts, you're eventually going to have to actually go out to their show and buy it from them yourself. I personally think that's a great thing. Supporting live music, giving more money to musicians and less to distributors is all good in my books. If you're a proponent of p2p filesharing as I am, don't later whine that there's nothing good in the stores.
        • by Cyberllama (113628) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @07:24AM (#8760825)
          The record companies will lose money as a result of slashing prices to compete. This will lead to them representing fewer acts and those will be only the ones that are safe bets (the heavily produced Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Enrique Iglesias, etc) and less of the risky (read: interesting) ones. Diversity in record stores will suffer as p2p flourishes. If you want an actual packaged CD of a band that is more intertesting than the aforementioned acts, you're eventually going to have to actually go out to their show and buy it from them yourself. I personally think that's a great thing. Supporting live music, giving more money to musicians and less to distributors is all good in my books. If you're a proponent of p2p filesharing as I am, don't later whine that there's nothing good in the stores.

          I'm afraid I have to disagree. Firstly, since cd sales do not appear to have suffered ANY ill effects in the 5 or so years that mp3s have been available to the public at large through file swapping services, I think its highly unlikely that the music industry will feel compelled to slash prices.

          But more to the point, I think that the very bands you mentioned are the ones more likely to suffer as a result of fileswapping. Independant bands and lesser known names get exposure and sell more cds, while the big names who put out overmarketted crap are the ones who are downloaded.

          The marketting may have convinced you that you have to have the new Britney spears album, but why ask mommy for the 15 dollars when you can just as easily download it. Meanwhile nearly all the cd's I've bought in the past few years have been of groups I've NEVER heard played on the radio and never would have heard of at all had I not downloaded a song beforehand.

          If anything, I think the reason the music industry fights file sharing so hard is not because it hurts cd sales (we already know otherwise) but because it works against their efforts to create those "safe bets" you mentioned. Suddenly using media monopolies to ensure that the latest piece of crap the backstreet boys put out is played constantly on the radio doesn't have the effect it used to . . .
        • About 100 new CDs were released in St John's (pop 150,000) in 2003. Almost none of them were supported by major record labels...

          ergo

          Diversity in record stores will flourish without major record labels.

          100 CDs were produced because you can now record a CD on a government grant, and then pay a 3rd party to print it. For about $4000 you can set up your own studio (providing you already have the space). Some local stores happily retail the CDs, with the exception of Walmart and Zellers and similar. The b
    • by Sven The Space Monke (669560) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:48AM (#8760366)
      Or, if you want to let her know what you think personally, you can e-mail her here. [pch.gc.ca]
      • by Hal The Computer (674045) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @12:31PM (#8761874)
        Please, take the extra 30 secs, hit Print buy an envelope and send your comments to:

        Hon. Helene Scherrer
        Member of Parliment
        House of Commons
        Ottawa, Ontario
        K1A 0A6

        (Contact Page [parl.gc.ca])

        No postage required. (If your letter prominately states that it is going to an MP, no postage is required)
        • by Yogurt (34664) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @01:53PM (#8762313) Homepage
          I work in a Canadian government office, and an e-mail is treated exactly like a paper letter. In fact, the Heritage Minister's web site says that explicitly.

          http://www.pch.gc.ca/pc-ch/min/contacts/index_e. cf m

          Sending an e-mail ensures that the minister will get feedback quickly after her comments, letting her know that there's a fire to put out.

          Frankly, I don't see any new law happening before the next election, so the easiest solution is to vote the Liberals out. But be sure to let them know your intent anyway. I sent my e-mail off last night.

          Yogurt in British Columbia
    • I've already emailed my MP to say just that. You can go here [parl.gc.ca] and enter your postal code to get your MP's email address.
    • Or you could not be totally combative, and maybe then she'll actually listen to your point of view.

      I'm currently writing a letter in which I first reassure her of my support of Canadian artists and my desire to see their copyrights respected, then describe my concerns with her statement.

      I talk about the potential of p2p as a new medium of communication and distribution and the vested interest of the content industries in having such channels outlawed. I remind her of how these multinational media conglom
  • The battle rages (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ites (600337) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:06AM (#8760213) Journal
    Between governments and the people. Already countries have to compete for the best citizens. Eventually they will realize this means making laws people _like_ as well. I'll postpone my departure to Canada until the dust has settled.
  • by silvaran (214334) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:06AM (#8760215)
    Fair enough. Some people download music, some people don't. But consider his quote:

    "I think it's a challenge for the industry, to try and find a new way to survive."

    This lends creedence to many a /.'ers comment that the music industry is holding onto a failing business. We don't need them anymore. Despite being wrapped up in the industry by being the winner of a [cheap knock-off] American Idol* contest, he sees the Industry's role as "a new way to survive," as opposed to some criminal challenge that they must overcome.

    My hats off to him, especially given his previous quote, "Whether people download or not, as long as they're listening to music."

    * Yes, I'm a Canadian. Paul Martin has yet to earn my respect.
    • "This lends creedence to many a /.'ers comment that the music industry is holding onto a failing business. "

      This doesn't really negate your point, but I did want to offer a small correction here. The business itself is relatively sound. People want music. The RIAA and similar organizations provide the music. What's in danger is not this business, it's the distribution of it. Selling entire albums at a premium price is dying. That doesn't mean the music industry is going to go with it, though.

      If the
    • Despite being wrapped up in the industry by being the winner of a [cheap knock-off] American Idol* contest

      Don't blame the yanks for this one, it's all our (the British) fault [itv.com].

  • Gee... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Master Control P (655590) <ejkeever@ner[ ]ack.com ['dsh' in gap]> on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:07AM (#8760217)
    I wonder what she means by "Fix" when talking to the recording industry. I have a feeling that it would coincide perfectly with "break" to everyone else.

    The real criminals don't break laws; They write them.
    • Re:Gee... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Phekko (619272) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:45AM (#8760356)
      Haven't you ever heard of price fixing? This should be something along the same lines ;)

      From the beginning of CD times, the price to manufacture a CD record has gone down all the time. Yet I haven't witnessed a single price drop in CD prices. Somehow the laws of supply and demand don't work in the record industry and I fail to see how this is not a monopoly/cartel. Think about it: Same companies all over the world. About the same price levels everywhere, regardless of record company or country.

      Yes, I do believe politicians are indeed "fixing" things for the record industry. What else is new? Recording industry is just too powerful. The real question is what to do about it. My ignorant answer is that bands should become independent entreprenours and forget about the record companies altogether. 100% is a lot more than 5% or 10% even if you lower your prices a bit. I don't know what the current percentage of profits for the bands is but I do believe some the OSS principles could be applied to the music industry and the rest would be pretty simple to work out with common sense. Or then I'm puffing on the wrong ciggie again.
    • I wonder what she means by "Fix" when talking to the recording industry.

      Well as my dog would tell you if he could talk, getting fixed is not good.

      Plain and simple, she is cutting their balls off.
  • No power. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by g-to-the-o-to-the-g (705721) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:08AM (#8760221) Homepage Journal
    This is just one minister. Whether or not she can pass any bills is up for debate. The bottom line is that we pay levies now to download music, and the music industry shouldn't be able to make us pay levies and buy music. They can't screw us twice without someone noticing. Recently someone noticed [slashdot.org] too.
    • Re:No power. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by saforrest (184929)
      This is just one minister. Whether or not she can pass any bills is up for debate.

      But Martin can, and I suspect he's in favour of her position, particularly given his appearance to coincide with her statement.

      I had to say I expected something like this, but the urgency the government feels towards it does not hake me happy. But the emphatic "we're on it" pronouncements seem to be standard operating procedure for the Martin Liberals.

      Of course, it would be even worse under the Conservatives, so what can
    • Re:No power. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by janbjurstrom (652025) <`inoneear' `at' `gmail.com'> on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:25AM (#8760296)
      The bottom line is that we pay levies now to download music, and the music industry shouldn't be able to make us pay levies and buy music.

      This is very bizarre, isn't it. In my country, alcohol is treated in this way: artificially high taxes (meant, in this case, to keep consumption down - for national health reasons, they say), and laws against making your own (for the same reasons, manage consumption).

      Ok, the analogy might not be perfect - but shall we treat music as a barely legal drug?

    • Techincally, she can't. Only the legislative branch can pass a bill. Therefore, she's got no more power than any other citizen has to suggest a bill.

      The same is true in the USA. The president cannot technically submit a bill to Congress... at least one member of the House or Senate must be willing to insert the proposal into the "hopper" for consideration. If none are willing to do so, then the president's proposal never even makes it to the status of being a numbered bill before the Congress. Anybody can
      • Re:No power. (Score:4, Informative)

        by wrenkin (71468) <alex,cooke&utoronto,ca> on Sunday April 04, 2004 @04:02AM (#8760427) Homepage
        Canadian ministers are legislators. Ministers must be members of the House of Commons (or Senators, but that's rare nowadays.) The executive branch of government limited to the Governor General, who gives royal assent to bills that have been passed by both chambers (and little else.)

        As a member, the minister can certainly introduce a bill for consideration (indeed, in practice only bills introduced by ministers get passed, as there are few free votes in Canada.)
  • Wow (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zakabog (603757) <johnNO@SPAMjmaug.com> on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:09AM (#8760223)
    Canadian Idol winner Ryan Malcolm expressed skepticism, and suggested the Canadian music biz find a way to live with file-sharers.

    "Whether people download or not, as long as they're listening to music," he said.

    "I think it's a challenge for the industry, to try and find a new way to survive."


    Wow I've never heard that from someone outside of slashdot, now we just need american idol singers to say that, and maybe nsync and britney spears, then MAYBE (doubtfull) people would listen.

    What really kills me is that Bill Mahr (I think he's really funny and I love his show on HBO) calls downloading music stealing just like tons and tons of other people. It isn't stealing, you can't steal something by copying it, I wish more people would understand that. It's copyright infringment, not stealing.
    • Very true. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheLink (130905) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:54AM (#8760399) Journal
      Yeah, and the irony is stealing is closer to what the Corporates are doing, because they are reducing the public's access to stuff - either by extending copyright periods (retroactively even) and reducing/removing "fair use".

      When you copy something the owner still has full access to the original.

      But when you extend a copyright on something that would have entered public domain, the public loses what would have been rightful access to it.

      So who are the real thieves?

      Pity too many people are too ignorant to see that - they have been intentionally brainwashed by the Corporates - with deceptive terms and phrases like Intellectual Property, Piracy, Copying=Theft.

      I've written to my local newspaper regarding this, and they did print it (but naturally the industries concerned have a stronger lobby and voice than I do), maybe more people should write in and educate the rest.
  • We will, as quickly as possible, remove minister Helene Scherre from office.

    (/me dreams of being Canadian just for a while)
  • WTF???? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mark-t (151149) <markt.lynx@bc@ca> on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:10AM (#8760231) Journal
    FTA:
    Justice Konrad von Finckenstein ruled that the Canadian Recording Industry Association didn't prove file-sharing constituted copyright violation - and artists and producers have no legal right to sue those who swap files without paying.
    Okay... copyright means that the author has the absolutely exclusive _rights_ to copy the work and others can only obtain _permission_ to copy the work by authorization from the copyright holder. Fair use, btw, is granted permission by the copyright act and the copyright holder has no choice but to implicitly grant that permission.

    So in what world is putting a file that you do _NOT_ own the copyright on, and have not actually obtained permission from the copyright holder to copy for purposes beyond fair use, in a publicly shared folder for others to obtain _not_ a violation of the copyright act?

    Downloading copyrighted materials may be perfectly legal in Canada (albeit unethical IMO, since one is aiding another in violating copyright), but it makes no sense to even _BEGIN_ to tolerate uploading whenever and wherever you can positively ascertain that it is occurring.

    • Re:WTF???? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Barbarian (9467) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:15AM (#8760250)
      So in what world is putting a file that you do _NOT_ own the copyright on, and have not actually obtained permission from the copyright holder to copy for purposes beyond fair use, in a publicly shared folder for others to obtain _not_ a violation of the copyright act?


      In the same world where a library can place a photocopier in the same room as books without getting sued. In fact, the judge in this case made that analogy and cited as precedent a case several weeks ago where a law library had been sued.
    • The analogy he used was having photocopiers in a library. By providing said photocopiers, the librarians are assisting people in exercising their fair use right to copy a small amount of a book.
      • Re:WTF???? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mark-t (151149)
        But tell me, in a library where there is a photocopier amidst thousands of copyrighted books, is the library actually _distributing_ any copyrighted content without authorization? While it's arguable that they are enabling such action, are they actually participating in it? No? Good. We're on the same page.

        But putting a copyrighted file that you have not received permission to distribute in your shared folder *IS* unauthorized distribution, no matter how you slice it. It becomes illegal the moment y

        • To take the analogy further, the library would not be permitted to actually place books *in* the copier. Likewise, you are not allowed to xerox an entire book on a library machine. Perhaps this means it's legal to download 10 seconds of a song from P2P?
        • Re:WTF???? (Score:3, Informative)

          by Frostalicious (657235)
          But putting a copyrighted file that you have not received permission to distribute in your shared folder *IS* unauthorized distribution, no matter how you slice it.... even if nobody has yet downloaded it

          I don't see a significant difference in the photocopier analogy.

          Putting a file in your shared folder enables distribution, but it is not in itself distribution. In fact you point that out yourself in that perhaps "nobody has yet downloaded it". If nobody else has it, then it's not distributed.

          Jus
    • Re:WTF???? (Score:2, Informative)

      by MJOverkill (648024)
      Uploading is perfectly fine. The Judge in this case is clarifying the grey area that existed in Canadian copyright laws with regards to file sharing and the Private Copying extension to the Copyright Act. The Private Copying extension to Part 8 of Canada's Copyright Act allows people to make copies of other people's CDs/Tapes/Whatever for their own personal use. The judge is just clarifying the act by saying that file sharing falls under this law. This happens all the time with other laws as new techno
    • Re:WTF???? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pla (258480) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:31AM (#8760314) Journal
      So in what world is putting a file ... in a publicly shared folder for others to obtain _not_ a violation of the copyright act?

      The actual ruling read more like an extreme interpretation of "plausible deniability". Basically, while we geeks might laugh at the idea of "accidentally" leaving files in a shared directory, the masses of computer users often really don't understand the difference between what makes the choice of where to keep their music legal or illegal. Additionally, as several of the RIAA's suits showed, some people believe that paying for Kazaa means they have paid for access to the music.

      Sounds stupid? Sure, to us. But if the majority of people doing this honestly do not understand whether or not they have broken the law, the law becomes essentially unenforceable. As one possible Devil's Advocate situation, I can imagine someone installing Kazaa for some random legal purpose, then deciding to store all their own legally ripped music in the directory Kazaa conveniently made for them.


      Downloading copyrighted materials may be perfectly legal in Canada (albeit unethical

      Actually, I'd disagree about the "unethical". Canada has really quite high taxes on all blank recording media, a sort of "we assume you'll copy our stuff, so get your money in the blanks" approach to piracy. Thus, since the punishment comes built-in to the media itself (whether or not they use it to pirate music doesn't change the "tax"), you could reasonably call it perfectly moral to go ahead and commit a crime already paid for.
    • In a Canadian one. Personal use is now a guaranteed, court-recognised right in Canada. If you don't like it, go live somewhere else.
    • Re:WTF???? (Score:3, Informative)

      So in what world is putting a file that you do _NOT_ own the copyright on, and have not actually obtained permission from the copyright holder to copy for purposes beyond fair use, in a publicly shared folder for others to obtain _not_ a violation of the copyright act?

      The world where Canadians have been paying 21 cents per blank CD bought (regardless of intended use) since 1997 for the right to share music with our friends ("non-commercial use"). The music industry faught long and hard to get this levy,

    • Re:WTF???? (Score:3, Informative)

      by TC (WC) (459050)
      Fair use, btw, is granted permission by the copyright act and the copyright holder has no choice but to implicitly grant that permission.

      There's no fair use under Canadian copyright law. The Copyright Act has exceptions provided for what it termed 'fair dealing'. Canadian courts have specifically refused to use examples from American case law with regards to fair use, as the provisions under the two different schemes are different in fundamental ways.

      So in what world is putting a file that you do _NO
  • Well, and sharing musing with 10 million of your Internet buddies should be a copyright infringement. The copyright holders should have a right to re-inforce their legal protections. Why copyright it in the first place if it makes no difference? So the Gov't should "correct" the copyright law in this case.

    However, as with all things corporate and gov't marital, there will be abuse. What shouldn't be "corrected" is the fact that currently, the CRIA (or whatever they are called) can't enforce the law the
    • Sure, no problem. After all, I don't download music. Now how about they pay me back the hundreds of dollars they've taken (stolen) from me in levies on CD-Rs for backups?
  • Share and Care (Score:4, Insightful)

    by amigoro (761348) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:12AM (#8760241) Homepage Journal
    To share or not to share, that is the question.

    There is no doubt that the singers and other supporting personnel do need to make money from their talents. For this to happen, people have to buy their music. But when people share music collections on P2P services, the artistes are, without doubt, robbed of their fruits of labour.

    However, at the same time, it must be noted that more c90% of proceedings from CD sales go to the record labels. P2P sharing hits more the big record labels than the actual artistes.

    A P2P system where the artistes get paid per song downloaded would be an ideal solution.

    Canadian Idol winner Ryan Malcolm expressed skepticism, and suggested the Canadian music biz find a way to live with file-sharers.

    "Whether people download or not, as long as they're listening to music," he said.

    "I think it's a challenge for the industry, to try and find a new way to survive."

    The vast majority of artistes vehemently support electronic means of music distribution over the CD method. They have been ripped off by record labels for too long. Sadly, the United States of America, has now become United Corporations of America, and all laws dealing with P2P file sharing has been enacted according to the dictates of the rich record labels and their lobby groups. The wishes of the artistes are hardly ever taken into consideration. It'll be a sad day indeed if the much more socially progressive nation of Canada follows in the footsteps of her corporacratic Southern Neighbour.

    Moderate this comment
    Negative: Offtopic [mithuro.com] Flamebait [mithuro.com] Troll [mithuro.com] Redundant [mithuro.com]
    Positive: Insightful [mithuro.com] Interesting [mithuro.com] Informative [mithuro.com] Funny [mithuro.com]

    • Re:Share and Care (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shark72 (702619)

      "However, at the same time, it must be noted that more c90% of proceedings from CD sales go to the record labels."

      For what it's worth, it's a little different down here in the US. A CD that you see in the store for US$12.50 was sold into distribution for about $8.00 -- so about a third of the price you pay goes to the channel.

      You're correct that the record label collects that roughly $8.00 at which the CD is sold into the sales channel, but in most cases, 100% of that $8.00 ends up going to somebody'

  • Good call, except... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by meisenst (104896) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:13AM (#8760245) Homepage

    The court decision inspired panic in the Canadian music industry; industry spokesmen were predicting the collapse of copyright control would cause severe financial hardship for people making their living from music.

    If only the people making their living weren't suffering at the hands of labels and record companies/associations already, I might even agree with the people on this side (the CRIA) of the fence.

    We all know that artists who don't make enough drama or news to get endorsements, major deals and huge publicity, already have a difficult time making their money from their music alone.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:14AM (#8760246)
    The key part of the Canadian ruling was that sharing files is perfectly legal. They didn't say distributing was.

    Basically, if you leave a copy machine in a room full of copyrighted books, no copyright violation has been comitted. Now, that copy machine could certainly be used in infriging ways, and it can also be used in a few ways that are okay under fair use. But if the machine just sits there and nobody uses it at all... then there's no way there's any infinging use could have happened.

    Translated to the digital world, a server that is offering files up for download can't infringe any copyright until somebody actually accesses the files to make an illegal copy. And this brings up a Catch 22 for the "copyright police"... see, in order to actually prove that there was a download they either have to either intercept a download in progress (good luck doing that...) or they have to initiate a download themselves, but whoops... if the copyright owner tries to download their own work, they can't possibly infringe on themselves!

    So, basically, there's a problem in the law that's driving the "copyright police" crazy... short of the copyright pirate confessing, how are they gonna prove that an actual violation took place?
    • That's not what's happening here...

      Remember it isn't the act of obtaining an unauthorized copy of a copyrighted work that is copyright infringement, it is the act of making such copies available to other people in the first place (if you didn't make then available to anyone else, then the copying would fall under the jurisdiction of fair use, and you would be fine).

      So putting copyrighted files, whether or not someone else actually bothers to download them, is violation of copyright (unless of course per

      • An analogy might be a bookstore that photocopies a book without authorization, rebinds it, and puts it on the shelf with a price tag on it. Whether or not someone actually buys that book, the store has committed a copyright violation.

        Nope. The fact that they're on sale at a store clearly shows an intent to profit... but they still won't have actually hit any civil damages until there's actually been a sale.

        You can't charge somebody with murder unless the victim is dead. "Attempted murder" is defined as a
        • Copyright infringement is something that happens the moment you begin to distribute, whether or not anyone else has yet received. In this respect, as well as many others, Murder and copyright infringement are too vastly different animals.
  • Her experience/resume doesn't seem to indicate that she might be well versed in the intricacies of the legal system regarding this issue:
    Helene Scherrer, Minister of Canadian Heritage [pch.gc.ca]
  • by Gribflex (177733) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:21AM (#8760279) Homepage
    Buy off a minister to change the laws for you.
  • Just proves that.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dj245 (732906) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:24AM (#8760295) Homepage
    This just goes to prove that no matter where you go, the lobbiests own the polititians. It doesn't matter where you live or who you think you have control over. It doesn't even matter if your megaphone is really really loud. If a lobbiest organization has more money than your faction has voters, the lobbiest always wins. So what can you do? Buy a congressman. I say we all pitch in and buy a Wyoming senator. They're worth 1/100 of the senate, and the going rate on a senator is about $20,000, based on some of the stories that have been in the news lately of kickbacks senators send to companies who gave them really small amounts of money.

    Just think, our very own Senator! Cash value 1/100 of senate...

  • Hopefully.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dj245 (732906)
    She'll probably name it "The No Child left Beaten to a Bloody Pulp on a Sidewalk Act" and it will get rushed through the parliament.

    Or hopefully some smart lawmaker will call it "The Lets All Let the Bloodsucking Record Industry Make Laws For Us Enactment" and it will be pidgeonholed.

  • Watch Out... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by spoonboy42 (146048)

    You guys are this close to getting voted off the continent. Yeah, I saw Mexico's confessional the other week, and they're just itchin' to cut you Canucks off.

    In all seriousness, for as fun as it is to rip on Canadians, being a (United States of) American myself, in the last few years I've come to appreciate Canada a lot more. Despite the fact that we share so much of our culture (Quebec residents excluded), this only serves to highlight some of the differences in our attitudes and our social and political

  • by Kwil (53679) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:51AM (#8760385)
    Her email address: Scherrer.H@parl.gc.ca
    Paul Martin's email: Martin.P@parl.gc.ca

    Honourable Ms. Scherrer;

    I have heard your recent comments about seeking to change the Copyright Act.
    I would urge you to consider very carefully what steps are taken in any changes to this act. As the act stands, Canadians pay a levy on
    recordable media, money from which specifically goes to the music industry in compensation for supposed lost revenues.

    As such if the law is changed, I would also expect any media levies to be immediately lifted, as the proper method for handling any cases
    of copyright infringement would then fall to the music industry and the legal system of Canada, and not to a discriminatory levy applied
    to the majority of law-abiding citizens.

    Beyond this, the issue of whether revenues are lost at all is entirely debatable, as you can see in this story from the Washington Post
    citing a study done by two university researchers specializing in economics:
    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story& u=/washpost/ 20040330/tc_washpost/a34300_2004mar29

    I realize that I am not of your riding, but I have been a Liberal voter for many years now, even though I live in Calgary, Alberta. I
    am probably one of the few Liberal voters here.

    However, this issue of copyright is a very important one to me because those countries that address the issue properly stand to be at the
    fore-front of the information economy. Limiting information flow to prop up business models that simply are no longer feasible is not the
    way to go about this. While I do not support the policies of the Conservatives, your actions on this issue will certainly be enough to
    determine whether I decide to place my vote in a party other than the Liberals in the coming election.

    I do not feel that I am alone.

    Thank you for your time.

    Name & Address Stuff
  • by Hamster Lover (558288) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:59AM (#8760418) Journal
    Let's put it all on the table if we're going to deal with this problem seriously and take a good, hard look at how musicians are compensated from both ends -- producers and consumers.

    I have a feeling a lot of record companies would tone down the rhetoric or employ frantic hand waving if their business practices were exposed to some scrutiny. I do not understand why artists haven't brought up the issue of royalties before the Internet and I'd wager the total value of royalties "lost" to file sharing pales in comparison to the amount record companies extort.

    Personally, I do not download music from Kazaa and the like, but I have used Puretracks. If services like Puretracks or iTunes existed years ago we might not be in the mess we are now.
  • by _Shorty-dammit (555739) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @04:04AM (#8760433)
    http://cb-cda.gc.ca/news/c20032004fs-e.html
  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday April 04, 2004 @04:20AM (#8760465)
    Copyright Goon: Your honor, we want the ISP to turn over the name of the user who has IP adress 14.34.23.29 because they are sharing "Our Song", which is our copyrighted material on the Internet.
    Judge: Okay, how do you know that a computer 14.34.23.29 is committing copyright infingement against your copyrighted material.
    Copyright Goon: They're offering our material up for sharing over the StealTheirMusic protocol for anybody to download.
    Judge: Okay, can you prove that anybody actually downloaded that material?
    Copyright Goon: Yes, because we downloaded "Our Song" from that server.
    Judge: Uhm... that's not an unauthorized copy being made if you downloaded your own song. You started the download, you authorized the copy being made.
    Copyright Goon: Uhm... okay. Can we search the guys computer to see if there's transfer logs that prove he transfered "Our Song" to somebody else?
    Judge: No. You've gotta show that there's been an infigement first. You can't go blindly fishing like that.
    Copyright Goon: Can you make the ISP let us get a trace on that IP's outbound traffic so we can look for a transfer?
    Judge: No. That's still fishing.
    Copyright Goon: But we're sure they're stealing "Our Song" out there. Our sales are down!
    Judge: Come back when you've got some proof...
  • by nfotxn (519715) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @04:36AM (#8760491) Journal
    Helene Chalifour herself can be contacted at:
    407 Confederation Building

    Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
    Phone: (613) 995-4995
    Fax: (613) 996-8292
    Email: scherh@parl.gc.ca
    The Canadian Heritage National Headquarters can be contacted at:
    Canadian Heritage

    25 Eddy Street
    Gatineau, Quebec
    K1A 0M5
    Tel.: (819) 997-0055
    Toll-free: 1-866-811-0055
    TTY/TDD: (819) 997-3123
    Write them a letter and tell them that the country's copyright laws should be altered in favour of the rights of Canadian Citizens and not recording industry associations.
  • by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @04:45AM (#8760508)
    I'd like to see all of the musicians selling through their own private websites, instead of going through the thieving pirating recording industry, which forces them to sign over their copyrights, decides for them what to promote and what not to, promotes garbage music, overcharges, and pays the artists they pretend to protect about five cents for every fifteen dollar album they sell.

    The recording industry should not make artists sign over their copyrights. If the music execs purport to protect the poor artists, then they should do business with these artists without requiring that they sign over anything.

    The music execs should stop promoting all the garbage music that they promote. This is the real cause of declining music sales. If the music execs would promote quality music instead of this garbage, they would most likely see increased sales. But instead of doing business wisely and increasing profits through smart management and marketing, they prefer to litigate.

    The music execs should stop overcharging for CDs. This is probably the second cause of declining music sales. People simply don't want to pay $20 for an album, and one that contains 1 or 2 good songs and 8 filler tracks to take up space. If the music execs would lower music prices instead of raising them and then wondering why sales decline, they would most likely see increased sales. But instead of doing business wisely and increasing profits through smart management and marketing, they prefer to litigate.

    The music execs should pay the artists the larger portion of the pie when it comes to music revenue. If the sale of a fifteen dollar album currently earns the artists about two cents, then that is a very sad situation, and it means that the music execs are the ones screwing the artists over, not those downloading MP3 tracks. The music execs should pay roughly 95% of the profits to the artists, and keep the 5% as their fees. Not the other way around. But instead of doing business wisely and increasing profits through smart management and marketing, they prefer to litigate.

    In other words, the pirates are the music execs. But they use P2P users as their scapegoat, blaming them for a reduction in music sales, when the evidence is highly questionable at best, and is probably nonexistant.

    MUSIC EXECS: *Y*O*U* ARE THE PIRATES!

  • by melikamp (631205) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @04:46AM (#8760509) Homepage Journal

    I think that those who compared the sharing with installing a photocopier in the library are on to something. The trick questions is: what is distribution? IMHO, we should re-evaluate what consitutes a "distribution", given that it became so cheap an simple with the advent of the Internet.

    Just like people noted before, when I share a file on a p2p network, I'm not really distributing it. Every downloader had to 1. get a computer 2. get an Internet connection 3. get a p2p client 4. find the file 5. initiate the downloading. Understandably, there's an illusion of a distribution here, because a p2p network beats any library by its size, and all of them put together by its content, but I am still willing to argue that downloaders do more for the "distributing" than the sharers.

    Sharing was made possible by a technology that could not be envisioned when the copyright law was created, and we won't get far by suing people who engage in it. A legal change is what we desperatly need: a kind of a copyright law that would allow artists to get paid, while all people are able to share the information in an unrestricted manner, for non-commercial purposes. I'm am of opinion that art will survive even if we go all the way and declare information free, but heck, I'll settle for a voluntary collective licensing [eff.org] scheme too.

    Having said all that, the minister seems to be moving in just the opposite direction, but after I've seen RIAA, I'm not surprised anymore...

  • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @07:28AM (#8760831) Homepage
    ...the copy is made on-demand. Is it made by the sharer, or the downloader?

    Sharing a file in itself makes no copies. So, there's no copyright violation until an actual copy is made. And when a copy is made, one of the two parties is making the illegal copy, the question is which one.

    Yes, it is made on the sharer's machine. But you may again argue that this is like making it on the library's photocopier. What the court seems to have found is that it is the downloader that is initiating the copy, and thus the downloader that is guilty of copyright infringement.

    That, combined with the legality of making a copy for private use, means it looks like Canadians are home free. At the moment, neither sharer nor downloader can be prosecuted for copyright infringement. Something tells me that'll change. Quickly.

    Kjella
  • liars (Score:3, Informative)

    by WildBeast (189336) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @08:16AM (#8760939) Journal
    I was reading a Montreal newspaper a couple of days ago and they have picked up comments from some artists on the decision of the Canadian court to allow file-sharing.

    So there's a singer who commented, can't remember his name, and he said that it's bad for the industry. He said that he himself haven't been affected because around here the customers are "loyal" but he's sure that p2p have a dramatic effect on the english part of Canada and on the US.

    In short. UK and Australia try to hide record-breaking sales, this singer says that Quebec is not affected and yet the music industry is saying that p2p is a huge disaster that's gonna ruin there industry. Odds are that they are lying. Why? I'm not sure. The industry seems too old and too tired to adapt itself to change.
  • Reply from an author (Score:3, Interesting)

    by davecb (6526) * <davec-b@rogers.com> on Sunday April 04, 2004 @12:41PM (#8761942) Homepage Journal
    The Honourable Ms. Scherrer:

    You were quoted as saying " I will, as quickly as possible, make changes to our
    copyright law", in response to concerns expressed by the Canadian music industry.

    As an author, I strongly support strong copyright protection against professional
    thieves, but you should be aware that the so-called "sharing" on the internet has
    increased the sales of my book and others. Readers go out and buy the printed
    version, as it's far more convenient and portable than a computer.

    I therefor support having my book available to "share", as it's to my financial
    benefit, and that of my publisher.

    I see the same thing happening with music. I strongly suspect that playing
    music on the internet is financially advantageous to the artists and publishers.

    As I'm elderly I don't download music: I listen to the CBC and buy CDs I like.
    My younger friends say they listen on-line and then buy CDs. I don't have sales
    figures for CDs that I do for my book, but a recent study by two academics who
    do have the figures showed that the downloading has not done any detectable
    harm.

    The study, "The Effect of File Sharing on Record Sales An Empirical Analysis",
    by Felix Oberholzer and Koleman Strumpf concluded "Downloads have an effect
    on sales which is statistically indistinguishable from zero ... and are inconsistent
    with claims that file sharing is the primary reason for the recent decline in music
    sales." That reports is available at
    http://www.unc.edu/~cigar/papers/FileSharing_M arch 2004.pdf

    I would like to see continuing stringent protection for authors, but suspect
    that playing music on the internet is about as dangerous to the artists and
    their publishers as playing it on the radio.

    I suspect this is much like the furor over VCRs and CD burners, and should
    be dealt with the same way, with a levy on blank CDs. I would be quite
    supportive of levies, including additional levies, on the CD media and
    burners I use.

    Sincerely, David Collier-Brown
  • And people Wonder (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Microsofts slave (522033) on Sunday April 04, 2004 @03:01PM (#8762688) Homepage Journal
    And people wonder why i'm not a freaking liberal. Just like any politician, its all "We promise X, We promise Y." Post Election.... X and Y never happen.

    Our government wonders why the 18-25 voting range has such low turn out: It's because we are young, cynical and have lost faith in the way that our political system is supposed to work. No one wants to vote, because there are no good parties to vote for. (Well, for me, the closest i go for is NDP). Now that Paul has decided to take away our electronic freedoms, i wonder how much longer the liberal party will stay in power. My best bet: Until all the older voters die. Best be pumping money into health care Mr.Martin, because your best voting base is dying.

    Paul Martin is a FINK

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik

Working...