Thursday, April 01, 2004
Canada Looking Better and Better ...
A Canadian federal judge just ruled that downloading mp3's does not infringe on the record companies' copyrights: (from "Swapping music files allowed, federal judge rules", G&M 3/1/04)
The music industry's fight against illegal file sharing suffered a major setback yesterday when a Federal Court judge ruled that swapping songs on the Internet for personal use does not break the law.
"Downloading a song for personal use does not amount to infringement," Mr. Justice Konrad von Finckenstein of the Federal Court of Canada wrote in his decision. "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."
The Canadian Recording Industry Association was seeking a court order to identify 29 so-called uploaders, Internet users it claimed had illegally posted hundreds of songs illegally on the Web. Judge von Finckenstein refused to grant the order, arguing that placing a song in an on-line music-sharing directory such as Kazaa "does not amount to distribution." Without the uploaders' names, CRIA cannot file lawsuits seeking damages.
Internet service providers hailed the ruling as a triumph for the privacy rights of their customers. But there was general agreement that CRIA's evidence was weak and the music industry signalled the fight will continue.
So, I guess, while you're waiting for your mp3's to download, you can walk over to the pharmacy and buy some pot -- Oh, Canada.