Home > Computers and Internet > 29 Underdogs Targetted by Vengeful Canadian Recording Industry

29 Underdogs Targetted by Vengeful Canadian Recording Industry

21-Apr-05 07:06 am EST Leave a comment Go to comments
The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA, Canada’s version of the RIAA) is continuing it’s legal battle to get the network addresses (IPs) of 29 alleged music pirates.  Will they succeed in ruining the lives of college students and unwitting file swapping enthusiasts in their relentless quest to secure royalties for big record companies here as they have in the states?
 
God I hope not!
 
As everyone knows, the words "social conscience" are up there with the most vulgar words in the US political lexicon:liberal and communist.  But unlike in the US, Canada’s legal system allowed a lawyer to present arguments for the public as a whole, and raised one among several potential technical issues relevant to the case.  That resulted in an earlier ruling favouring file sharing – and for the first time, using technical evidence in a trial of its kind for only the first time so far as I’ve heard.
"The evidence came from New York-based anti-piracy company MediaSentry. They used screen grabs showing a list of songs in a shared folder. But Internet service providers countered MediaSentry’s evidence, saying IP addresses couldn’t always be linked to a single computer.

Von Finckenstein sided with the service providers, saying, "It would be irresponsible for the court to order the disclosure of the name of the account holder of IP address 24.84.179.98 and expose this individual to a lawsuit by the plaintiffs."

"No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings," the judge wrote. "They merely placed personal copies into their shared directories."

CTV News, April 20 / 2005

This sanity appears lost on the current federal Liberal government, who are – fortunately – embroiled in a huge political scandal and may not survive the spring, possibly being forced into an election by opposition parties.  New legislation making file sharing illegal in Canada would then die on the order paper.
 
Hopefully, this American-style reaction by the CRIA will not work here.  And maybe they’ll instead follow the example set by companies like Momentous.ca (parent of the Zip.ca web service); innovate and deal with the new realities created by new technologies instead of attacking those who are least able to defend themselves.  All in the name of a quicker buck.
 
Hopefully, Canada’s not like that.
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Terry Glavin

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