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CRIA Admits P2P Downloading Legal in Canada

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the maybe-they-fell-asleep-at-the-wheel dept.

Music 106

An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist is reporting that the Canadian Recording Industry Association — the Canadian equivalent of the RIAA — this week filed documents in Canadian court that seeks to kill the expansion of the levy on blank media to iPods since it fears that the system now legalizes peer-to-peer downloading of music in Canada. CRIA's President Graham Henderson argued in his affidavit that a recent decision from the Copyright Board of Canada 'broadens the scope of the private copying exception to avoid making illegal file sharers liable for infringement.'"

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You're still stealing from people (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20614745)

rationalise it all you want, download software or copying DVDs is theft and you know it.

Re:You're still stealing from people (4, Insightful)

Film11 (736010) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614767)

I guess that makes it ok for people purchasing blank media for completely legitimate uses to get charged extra for other people's piracy?

Re:You're still stealing from people (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20614881)

Rationalize this: I'm PAYING a levy on hundreds and hundreds of CDs containing my own data, and I've used perhaps a handful of CDs to store music copied from my own, purchased music CDs (i.e. mix CDs).

Who is stealing from whom again?

The private copying levy [wikipedia.org] exists on the premise that people are paying to allow for certain types of private copying. The law excludes some activities (e.g., if you copied music from any source and then started selling it -- illegal), and allows others (e.g., if you borrowed a music CD from a friend and copied it for your own personal use -- legal). It still makes distribution of music illegal, and, yes, as far as I know, it doesn't cover software or DVDs.

It's my personal decision that even though it is legal in Canada to do some types of copying thanks to the private copying law and the CD levy, I still buy my music. Why? Because I think the levy deal sucks for the artists. They get hardly anything (even less than normal), and the agency involved in distributing the money can't properly account for what people actually buy (i.e. the popular artists are the only ones likely to see much).

But would I be on a firm legal grounds if I did decide to exercise the rights granted under the private copying law? Absolutely yes. I'm paying for it. So, shut up. It's the record companies that are being inconsistent here by lobbying for the levy in the first place, but still claiming that people making any kind of copy are "stealing" music. No, in many circumstances it is already paid for. In Canada, if Billy loans Jane a CD to copy it is NOT stealing, it is entirely legal.

Re:You're still stealing from people (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20615319)

Look at this from a different angle. There are no drift net style copyright law suits clogging up the system.

Copyright owners are always stealing from the public by extending copyright beyond what it was intended for and putting DRM on media that does not expire when copyright right runs out.

Re:You're still stealing from people (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617115)

"Copyright owners are always stealing from the public by extending copyright beyond what it was intended for and putting DRM on media that does not expire when copyright right runs out."

No.

Nothing is being 'STOLEN' from you. Simply don't buy music from companies that use DRM or companies that back the extension of copyright.

Re:You're still stealing from people (1)

Krakhan (784021) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617671)

Sure, but when you do the companies will claim they are losing because of piracy, and then give them further fuel for the flame to continue to extend it.

Re:You're still stealing from people (1)

dolson (634094) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617435)

Artists don't receive much profit from CD sales either, but it makes them look good, which hopefully books them some more dates.

Supporting the bands you like is great, but I'm sure most of them would agree that they actually receive more money from ticket sales than CDs.

Yup, but. (4, Insightful)

headkase (533448) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614891)

You're absolutely right. But while it is against the law right now, millions of people do not have a moral qualm against it proven by the fact that they are downloading. With all the lobbying the copyright driven industries have done to increase their exclusive rights to ridiculous terms the phenomenon of P2P is likened more as a popular revolt against an unjust arrangement than what is "right" right now.

Re:Yup, but. (4, Informative)

watchingeyes (1097855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616983)

The only time this question has ever come before a Judge in Canada, he ruled that it WAS NOT illegal to download music in Canada.

http://web.archive.org/web/20040407114727/http://www.mytelus.com/news/article.do?pageID=canada_home&articleID=1563030 [archive.org]

Quote: "Justice Konrad von Finckenstein ruled Wednesday that the Canadian Recording Industry Association did not prove there was copyright infringement by 29 so-called music uploaders. He said that downloading a song or making files available in shared directories, like those on Kazaa, does not constitute copyright infringement under the current Canadian law."

Re:Yup, but. (1)

headkase (533448) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617119)

I'll take your word for it and I had the US in mind when I was writing my GP comment...
Thanks for the clarification.

Re:You're still stealing from people (2, Informative)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614945)

Software and video DVDs aren't covered by the levy, so copying those does "steal" from the artists. But the artists are being paid (by the levy) for copies of music, so that's not theft any more than buying from HMV is theft from iTMS.

Re:You're still stealing from people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20617941)

agreed 100%. sadly, this is slashdot, home of thieves, kiddies and communists who think they are entitled to other peoples work for free. One day they will grow up, leave moms basement and work out how the real world operates. until then, expect to hear some real pseudo-intellectual bullshit trotted out in a vain attempt to justify what they do.

Re:You're still stealing from people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20618825)

I don't think downloading this [kernel.org] is theft.

Get Your Money's Worth (5, Funny)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614787)

To our dear neighbors to the North, since your government seems to think it's OK to just assume you're all breaking the law anyway, and charge you accordingly with the extra price on blank media, you might as well do your best to get what you're paying for. Fill those torrent queues with music, movies, and games you already paid for with this levy!

Also, if you don't mind, keep seeding when you're done ;)

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (5, Interesting)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614927)

You've got it wrong: the government thinks that it is *not* illegal to copy music for personal use. The levy gives me the right to make copies of music for my use. Period. Nothing illegal about it. And why shouldn't it be legal? Why should the government support one or two particular delivery methods, rather than letting me get the music any way I like, as long as the artist gets paid?

Unlike the US version of the levy, I don't need to copy onto levied media. Copying anywhere is fine. The argument for this is that the levy can be expanded (and there's currently a motion to expand it to the iPod, which is what the CRIA is objecting to).

But do note that this applies only to music, not to movies or games. No levies paid to them.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (2, Insightful)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 7 years ago | (#20618145)

You've got it wrong: the government thinks that it is *not* illegal to copy music for personal use. The levy gives me the right to make copies of music for my use. Period. Nothing illegal about it. And why shouldn't it be legal? Why should the government support one or two particular delivery methods, rather than letting me get the music any way I like, as long as the artist gets paid?

Well no, I think he got it absolutely correct. The Canadian government assumed everyone, or a large percentage of the population, was going to be doing it anyway and so authorized a charge on all media of a certain class. If the opinion was that it was a tiny minority there would be no justification for the charge. Further, since they are making one pay for copying whether I do it or not, there is presumption of guilt. Imagine if they decided lots of people steal so we'll just put everyone in jail for a couple of days each year.

The carrot that went with the stick was that people can copy without fear. Why would anyone buy music when they have already been charged for it whenever they buy blank media? I think a lot of people who would never have copied/dl'd music began to do so as a result of this law.

As for artists getting the money - I admit I haven't checked for a while but that doesn't seem to actually be happening, despite collecting the levy money for years.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20618955)

Well no, I think he got it absolutely correct. The Canadian government assumed everyone, or a large percentage of the population, was going to be doing it anyway and so authorized a charge on all media of a certain class.

I don't know the history, but I think that sounds close enough: they assumed lots of people would be doing it, so they legalized it. The levy was put in place as compensation to the artists.

But the OP wasn't right in saying that we're "all breaking the law anyway". If he'd said lots of people would be breaking the law if the private copying right hadn't been legislated, then he might have been right.

As for artists getting the money - I admit I haven't checked for a while but that doesn't seem to actually be happening, despite collecting the levy money for years.

According to the CPCC, they've paid out just over half of what they've collected so far, i.e. about $103 million. You can see their financial statement here [cpcc.ca] . Their overhead is around 10%, so they've got about $75 million on hand that will eventually be distributed.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

Pingmaster (1049548) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620679)

That's basically right. The underlying basis behind the levy in Canada (IAAC, BTW) was that since most people who had internet, a CD/DVD burner/flash card reader/external HDD etc. would either a) download from P2P sources or b) backup all their multimedia content to the above media, and all of their friends' content as well or c) all of the above. Therefore, the Canadian government struck a deal with the media associations in Canada to levy all recordable media as a way of payment to the content creators for a percentage of the pirated content. It's not to say that those who stick out can't be prosecuted, since copyright law supersedes this, however it does protect the average person from random litigation.

The gist was 'we can't possibly sue everyone for copyright infringement, so we'll just levy the means by which to copy, and only pursue those that exceed the levy by a significant amount'

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20623903)

It's not to say that those who stick out can't be prosecuted, since copyright law supersedes this, however it does protect the average person from random litigation.

No, that's not right at all. Section 80 of the Copyright Act [cb-cda.gc.ca] specifically legalizes copying for private use. Copyright law allows private copying.


The gist was 'we can't possibly sue everyone for copyright infringement, so we'll just levy the means by which to copy, and only pursue those that exceed the levy by a significant amount'


That might have been why the CRIA lobbyists originally supported this, but that's not part of the law. They got it legalized, so it's no longer copyright infringement. Read the law, or read the Copyright Board summary [cb-cda.gc.ca] .

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 7 years ago | (#20623897)

But the OP wasn't right in saying that we're "all breaking the law anyway". If he'd said lots of people would be breaking the law if the private copying right hadn't been legislated, then he might have been right.

But that's not what he said, what he said was:

since your government seems to think it's OK to just assume you're all breaking the law anyway, ...

which is a substantially different thing. I think most people understand that "all" in the above is not to be taken completely literally.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

Ragingguppy (464321) | more than 7 years ago | (#20623855)

Actually the Levy is a very bad thing for small business. Canada's software industry is pathetic and the Levy is the reason why. People writing software and putting it on CD's get automatically levied whether they are pirating or not. Every time I have to pay that stupid levy I realize that this tax is whats killing my career and it makes me very angry.

Personally I have no sympathy for the RIAA or its Canadian version. I think they are scum and their industry should die a painful death for what they have done. As a result I don't buy music anymore unless its an artist selling his CD at the bar I go to. Those big business music companies I pirate them all. I have no love for those companies at all. I hope they all go bankrupt.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

thomas.galvin (551471) | more than 7 years ago | (#20618643)

You've got it wrong: the government thinks that it is *not* illegal to copy music for personal use. The levy gives me the right to make copies of music for my use. Period. Nothing illegal about it.
Which makes this quote:

CRIA's President Graham Henderson argued in his affidavit that a recent decision from the Copyright Board of Canada 'broadens the scope of the private copying exception to avoid making illegal file sharers liable for infringement.'
wrong. They are not "illegal file sharers," they are completely legal file sharers, who are not infringing in any way.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (3, Interesting)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 7 years ago | (#20615109)

While it is legal to download, distribution (upload) still isn't, therefore leaving finished torrents of infringing material continue uploading once the download is complete would be a liability.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (5, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616081)

leaving finished torrents of infringing material continue uploading once the download is complete would be a liability.
No, it wouldn't - because you're not uploading - someone is downloading from you. (This is not just semantics.)

The law in Canada states that it's OK to copy music for your own personal use. This means that you can borrow a friend's equipment and music to make a copy for yourself, but your friend would not be allowed to make a copy for you (even though the end result is the same, it's the intent that's different.)

How this affects uploading or downloading: when I fire up my bittorrent client and connect, I am initiating a download. In effect, I am the one downloading, using the hardware and software of other people. When someone else connects to my machine, it requires no action from me - they're simply using *my* hardware and software to make the copy.

Think about it: if you go to a website and click a link, *you* are downloading (making a copy), but there is nobody else involved in the transaction - just you and the remote web server. There is nobody clicking something on the web server to enable the transfer. (Note that "who put the file there in the first place" is an entirely *different* question.)

Note that this has already been decided by the court - the difference between uploading and downloading is who initiates the transfer. If you initiate the transfer, then you're either downloading or uploading, but it requires no action from anyone else, there is no uploading happening.

Note that "making available" is a different legal question. There is currently an effort by the CRIA to add "making available" an exclusive right of the copyright holder (which would negate this entire argument.)

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (4, Informative)

digitrev (989335) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616267)

Actually, in Canada, making available isn't illegal. You can see the full text of the most recent case here: http://reports.fja.gc.ca/en/2004/2004fc488/2004fc488.html?tag=nl [fja.gc.ca]

So as of the last 3 years, it has been fully legal to make your music available as well as download music. Seems that Canada does support a certain amount of privacy.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616961)

Good link. For those who don't want to wade through the whole thing looking for the juicy bits, here's the tender morsel of goodness:

Under Act, subsection 80(1), the downloading of a song for a person's private use does not constitute infringement. There was here no evidence that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings.

Mmm mmm good...

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

DJGreg (28663) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617045)

Thank you for the link. That is good information, although it's not piracy, it's sharing for personal use.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

eiapoce (1049910) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617145)

So as of the last 3 years, it has been fully legal to make your music available as well as download music.
GOD BLESS CANADA

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617495)

As a Canadian, I like decisions like this. But does that mean I share my music collection? No!

I'm too paranoid about going over my bandwidth limits. :)

Also, I've bought more CDs in the last year than I have in the preceding decade. By which I mean, I bought a CD this year! (Teddy Bears - Soft Machine)

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (2, Informative)

schon (31600) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619931)

Actually, in Canada, making available isn't illegal.
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that it was.

What I meant is that it is completely legal now, but that the CRIA is attempting to make it illegal. Whether they'll succeed or not depends on how corruptible our legislators are.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

Anithira (1034254) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622329)

What I meant is that it is completely legal now, but that the CRIA is attempting to make it illegal. Whether they'll succeed or not depends on how corruptible our legislators are.
A better question to ask is how much influence the CRIA has left, considering they lost the biggest Canadian labels. If I was a polition (and I'm glad I'm not) I'd be more willing to listen to Canadian artists and companies than large international companies, especially with the past few blows the RIAA has taken. I expect we will see a levy on iPods and mp3 players, and I will be happy to have that. I have no problem paying a little extra per disc since the money will be going to the artists, maybe not the ones I listen to, but artists nonetheless. The Record Companies everywere should focus more on cracking down on real piracy rather than the file sharing. After all, in Canada, if the levy really was killing music sales wouldn't sales have taken a nose dive after the highly publicised ruling against the CRIA on the account of the levy?

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

Spacezilla (972723) | more than 7 years ago | (#20618821)

This means that you can borrow a friend's equipment and music to make a copy for yourself, but your friend would not be allowed to make a copy for you (even though the end result is the same, it's the intent that's different.)
The end result is the same if you only have one friend. If you have 100 friends, there's a big difference between burning 100 CDs and loaning your CD to your 100 friends, so they can copy it.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 7 years ago | (#20623435)

Ignoring Schon's point that the current state of Canadian law is that even uploading is permitted (or the respondent to Schon's comment above), any time you are using a torrent, you are uploading, not just when you're completed the download.

This is why torrent "downloaders" have gotten notices while Kazaa downloaders haven't (only Kazaa uploaders have gotten the notices, I believe).

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

InvalidError (771317) | more than 7 years ago | (#20624707)

any time you are using a torrent, you are uploading, not just when you're completed the download.

Given that I used to maintain my own BT client and eMule mod, I 'kind' of know that.

IMO though, uploading is a protocol requirement for downloading since download speeds usually suck otherwise. Once the download is done though, continued sharing/seeding can directly translate into facilitating copyright infringement and distribution.

From the link in digitrev's post...

Exclusive right of making available provided for by World Intellectual Property Organization Performances and Phonograms Treaty but Treaty not yet implemented by Canada

So it is very much only a matter of time until the gray area becomes blacker.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (2, Insightful)

c (8461) | more than 7 years ago | (#20615391)

Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

First, it only covers music.

Second, while downloading is generally accepted to be legal (even before this crap), uploading may still fall under distribution, which isn't. We've had a judge question that (with logic along the lines of "there can't be a download without an upload, so if the download is legal..."), but there's been nothing conclusive.

The idea with physical copies, for example, is that it's legal if I lend you a CD, you make a copy for personal use, and I get my CD back. However, I can't make the copy and distribute it to you.

So, speaking as a Canadian, we'd much prefer if you folks south of the border take all the risks of uploading.

c.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20617197)

When torrent is used, you are hardly ever geting an entire file from one specific individual.
Instead, you get pieces from here and there, none of them individully is "a song".
Is it legally different, then up/downloading the entire file from the same source?

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

c (8461) | more than 7 years ago | (#20618551)

> Is it legally different, then up/downloading the entire file from the same source?

Ask a lawyer. Better yet, ask a judge.

I figure it depends on several things:

(a) is it legal to download in the first place? If not, how'd you get enough to upload pieces?
(b) can someone prove they got the entire file from you (i.e. an RIAA investigator actually doing some investigating using a hacked client which only uses a single source), or can you prove you never distributed the whole file to someone else?
(c) how much do you need to send before its considered distribution, anyways?
(d) are you rich/crazy enough that you'll argue the point in court when "they" come for you"?

In Canada, (a) is _probably_ okay. The rest is iffy.

c.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20615591)

Oh don't you worry, I always do.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

takeya (825259) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617565)

Believe me I will. I don't even need to burn it to taxed media, I can just keep it on this hard drive or the mp3 player I bought online.

Re:Get Your Money's Worth (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617705)

But, but...

Think of the profits!

All those poor leeches^FCRIA executives NEED their $250K/yr salaries, 5 martini lunches, & $10k/nite hookers!

Oh, the huge manatee! Won't somebody PLEASE think of the PROFITS?????????????

I agree with him. (4, Funny)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614811)

I hate it when its perfectly legal to do illegal things.

Re:I agree with him. (1)

rolfc (842110) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614841)

If it is legal, then it is not illegal ;)

Re:I agree with him. (1)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 7 years ago | (#20615093)

I'm going to have to disagree with you.

if crime is legalized, then only criminals will be (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 7 years ago | (#20615903)

innocent. or something.

Re:if crime is legalized, then only criminals will (1)

rolfc (842110) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616469)

If something is legal, then it should not be called illegal. If I make a copy of a DVD, and give it to a friend, then that is legal, but the "copyright owner" say it is illegal. They are LYING!

You are no longer a Pirate (3, Funny)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614925)

You are now an undocumented copier.

Re:I agree with him. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20617837)

I hate it when it's illegal to do perfectly legal things.

Schizoid if I ever heard it! (1)

VE3OGG (1034632) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614829)

They wanted that levy in the first place, now they don't. Make up your damned minds!

(and as a note: I don't download copyrighted material at all -- for the most part, it isn't worth it. I am just getting fed up with their have-their-cake-and-eat-it-too philosophy)

Surprised? (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614863)

Is it any surprise that they will try to change the laws when they don't suit them?

Re:Schizoid if I ever heard it! (2, Insightful)

zotz (3951) | more than 7 years ago | (#20615379)

"(and as a note: I don't download copyrighted material at all -- for the most part, it isn't worth it. I am just getting fed up with their have-their-cake-and-eat-it-too philosophy)"

Given up reading slashdot have you?

"All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster."

Check the bottom of the pages....

I know what you are getting at, but if you use the net, with the laws as they currently stand, it is practically impossible to not download (in some fashion) copyrighted material. That is one of the big problems with the laws as they stand. Pretty much (with a few exception perhaps) everything that gets created and recorded is automatically copyrighted.

all the best,

drew

http://rukiddinmez.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
R U Kiddin Me?!?!?!

Re:Schizoid if I ever heard it! (1)

Scruffy Dan (1122291) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617331)

what the hell are you supposed to do with cake if you can't eat it?

Re:Schizoid if I ever heard it! (1)

superiority (892798) | more than 7 years ago | (#20622825)

If you eat it, you don't have any cake any more. Geddit?

Re:Schizoid if I ever heard it! (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617875)

I am just getting fed up with their have-their-cake-and-eat-it-too philosophy

More of a 'have their cake, eat it too and make YOU pay for it' philosophy.

And no, you don't get cake.

Does Size Matter? (1)

Nymz (905908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614835)

I wonder if storage capacity has had anything to do with changing attitudes.
  • Cassette Tape - copies 1 album
  • Compact Disc - copies ~12 albums (mp3)
  • Apple iPod - copies ~10,000 songs
At 99 per song, I'm sure the average college student with an iPod, has spent $10,000 on iTunes, but perhaps the CRIA feels differently.

No, it's just panic (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20615189)

Yes. And it's panic that the cash monster they created is coming back to bite them.

Look, it's a really silly idea that the incumbent group gets a government/taxpayer subsidy to make sure they stay in business, particularly when that group is nothing more than a middleman between the customer and supplier (musician). It's bad from the standpoint that it doesn't encourage efficiency in that middle layer and that stems from the fact that there is no competition.

But that aside, the government and middlemen decided they should get a subsidy in the form of a tax on blank records. That way everybody says "We all know what blanks are for, and that's to copy music, so we'll tax you and we don't have to sue people, etc etc". So everybody is happy. Music can be copied around, and while it's not perfect, it keeps the money going to enough place that the middlemen are happy because they get billions for doing nothing, and people are somewhat happy because everybody acknowledges that for the tax they get to copy music around.

Except the fly in the ointment is that less and less people actually burn to a CD. CD's are clumsy because of their limited capacity, and so people want to take 100, 1,000, and 10,000 songs with them. And it all goes onto a media where there's no tax. Worse, people are trading songs from all over the world via P2P there's no control over how quickly music gets copie,.. so the government in it's limited imagination says "no problem, we'll slap a tax on iPods and all is good". Except that it means the iPod levy, besides bringing less money proportionally to the record companies, also fully legitimizes P2P in Canada. To which the taxpayer says "Of course it does. You get your money, so you have to acknowledge that this is fine. At long last, the record companies (a.k.a. "the Middlemen") finally see the trap of their own doing. In accepting the fee all along they've legitimized the concept that non-profit copying is okay.

And since they've accepted the premise of "copying okay as long as we get money", they have no philosophical argument that P2P is wrong or hurts artists. And now the only thing we're arguing about is the price. From their standpoint, they feel they're owed $10,000 per iPod, except they know they would never get that. At most a few hundred. But even then, people would just come south and buy in the U.S.

So they've lost the argument in Canada. The only thing left is for them to crawl back into their hole and figure out how to make the musicians pay for all of this.

I find the way the Internet is slowly cutting up the record companies fascinating, and it will be interesting to see how they either adapt or die in the next decade. My bet is on "dying", but we'll see.

Re:No, it's just panic (1)

LVSlushdat (854194) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616621)

Things that are big and vicious, like RIAA/MPAA/CRIA, tend to die slowly, flayling around, trying everything they can to prevent the inevitable, and there can be a lot of collateral damage before they finally breathe their last.. We should be careful...

Re:No, it's just panic (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617917)

The only thing left is for them to crawl back into their hole and figure out how to make the musicians pay for all of this.

Never heard of 'Hollywood accounting'? It's a system where you sign a contract that nobody can figure out whereby your profits go to cover the record company's losses. They use that in films & TV as well; Babylon 5 is one of the most profitable TV shows ever made, but they're still screwin JMS on the back end.

And the companies are very creative when it comes to finding 'losses'.

Re:No, it's just panic (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 7 years ago | (#20618353)

Steve Jackson is still trying to get New Line to allow the audit on LotR 2 & 3 after finding about $125M of funny accounting in LotR 1.

Re:No, it's just panic (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617937)

I hope they die!
Music creation costs nothing compared to high budget movies. I don't want those movies to go away so I dunno what to do to clean up the movie industry's mobsters. But the recording industry needs to die. Its time. Music can be created cheap and bands can deal with online distro themselves. The only people that can really do the work that the bands cant do is setup huge shows. And shows should be the way a middle man makes money. This way there is more shows to go to! yey!

Re:Does Size Matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20615197)

In the states, $750 in damages by 10,000 songs, 10,000 songs downloaded in less than a week. 1 iPod can quickly destroy a life (before it even has begun - post-secondary students). Canadian gvt. protects people from themselves - at least in this area.

Re:Does Size Matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20617497)

In the states, $750 in damages by 10,000 songs, 10,000 songs downloaded in less than a week. 1 iPod can quickly destroy a life (before it even has begun - post-secondary students). Canadian gvt. protects people from themselves - at least in this area.


Wrong. Canadian Gov't tells corporofascist oligarchy to behave. But even here in Canada, it only happens in rare cases ... especially now that we have neo-cons running the country.

Re:Does Size Matter? (2, Interesting)

Superpants (930409) | more than 7 years ago | (#20615653)

Are they going to expand this levy to cell phones as well? Mine has 2 gigs of memory and I use it all the time as a music player. There's also my hard drive and all the other components that store music information on my computer and play it back, will there be a levy on that as well. Then there's radio receivers and internet access itself...I think it's time that major record labels realize that they are no longer needed. Aside from the sparingly relevant music that they put out there, they only exist to exploit their artists and their customers. I have no pity for any hardship that they encounter.

Re:Does Size Matter? (4, Informative)

djmurdoch (306849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20615897)

Are they going to expand this levy to cell phones as well? Mine has 2 gigs of memory and I use it all the time as a music player. There's also my hard drive and all the other components that store music information on my computer and play it back, will there be a levy on that as well. Then there's radio receivers and internet access itself...I think it's time that major record labels realize that they are no longer needed. Aside from the sparingly relevant music that they put out there, they only exist to exploit their artists and their customers. I have no pity for any hardship that they encounter.

You have to remember that there are multiple players here, and they don't all want the same thing. The CRIA represents multinational labels, and they now hate the levy because they hardly represent any Canadian artists, so they don't get much of the payout.

Then there's the CPCC and the other collectives, who actually collect the levy. They'd love to expand it to cover everything.

And there's the Copyright Board, the government body who gets to hold hearings and make decisions. They're actually pretty good at finding a balance. The rule they seem to follow is that if a medium is mainly used to hold recorded music, then it gets the levy, with the amount depending on exactly how often it's used for music, and how big it is. So generic hard drives are probably safe, but the ones in MP3 players probably aren't. (They were nearly taxed once before, but escaped on a technicality. If the levy survives the multinational lobby, I would guess they'll get hit.)

If your phone's memory is mainly used (i.e. by most people, not just mainly used by you) for downloaded recorded music, it might end up being levied.

Re:Does Size Matter? (1)

0xC0FFEE (763100) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617541)

So what you're saying is that the CRIA (multinational) is trying to limit additional revenues to CPCC and other national entities since they (CRIA) don't see much of it anyway. It looks to me that the national entities operate on leaner budgets but also contribute more to Canadian artist development than the CRIA. Therefore, this could be construed as a move by the CRIA to crush national competition by limiting their income and therefore decreasing (indirectly) exposure to Canadian artists.


Gotta love business strategy.

Poetic Justice (4, Insightful)

fox1324 (1039892) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614919)

Looks like poetic justice to me. They're the ones who asked for that ridiculous tax in the first place, and now its coming back to haunt them. Serves them right- it was an obvious corporate cash grab, apparently rammed down the throat of innocent Canadians (with the aid of the government, no less) for no good reason. I say, don't let them repeal it.

Re:Poetic Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20615681)

apparently rammed down the throat of innocent Canadians


There are no innocent Canadians.. only those who haven't yet realized they're terrorists.

I, as a USian, hate them for their freedom... wait.. err they hate US for their freedom.. no.. wait.. they hate us for our freedom!

Anyway, good on ya up there in the north if you can bite the CRIA in the ass with their own teeth.

Paying for Media (5, Interesting)

Algorithmnast (1105517) | more than 7 years ago | (#20614979)

Here in the U.S., we pay a 2 percent royalty [house.gov] on all medium capable of storing and playing back music.And we've been paying it since 1992, when the "Digital Audio Recording Technology Act" was passed.

However, our Congress hasn't set up a legal link between the paying of that tax and our legal rights to use the devices in any ways that exceed thing on which we don't pay a tax.

It seems that in Canada you have that right attached to a tax. Hm - being taxed for something and gaining a benefit. How novel!

Re:Paying for Media (2, Insightful)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 7 years ago | (#20615603)

It seems that in Canada you have that right attached to a tax. Hm - being taxed for something and gaining a benefit. How novel!
Don't be fooled. They were trying to screw us over. They just didn't foresee this consequence.

- RG>

Re:Paying for Media (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20615985)

That's because they originally asked for the tax when you could only fit 10 - 15 songs on a cd, cd burners cost $700, and blank media were $35 a piece.

Now you can fit hundreds of mp3s on a cd, cd burners cost less than $20, and blank media are ... gee, at less than half a buck a piece, they're mostly tax nowadays ... dvd blanks, at 20 cents a piece, are now half the price of cd blanks.

Re:Paying for Media (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616209)

I think that only applies to "music" cdrs, not "data" cdrs.

Re:Paying for Media (1)

uolamer (957159) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616273)

wonder if thats why my last 1TB hard drive cost $300.02... but seriously i think that tax is applying to the music CD-R, not data CD-R, but i could be wrong. doubt it is getting applied to memory cards, hard drives, etc. unless it comes with/in a music player.

Re:Paying for Media (1)

Sam Andreas (894779) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616615)

Uh oh... the last time you lot started talking like this there was something of an incident in the Boston Harbour.

Personally, I'd love to see you do it again with the recording industry. You cannot imagine the warm fuzzy feeling I get imagining crates and crates of the latest Britney Spears album sinking to the bottom of the harbour.

Re:Paying for Media (1)

ScoLgo (458010) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617219)

"You cannot imagine the warm fuzzy feeling I get imagining crates and crates of the latest Britney Spears album sinking to the bottom of the harbour."

Don't worry. Britney's 'performance' at the VMA's last week will help insure that you get your wish. She finally proved to everyone that her (lack of) talent is the best tool available to accomplish your dreams.

Re:Paying for Media (1)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617301)

Or you could throw something that has a chance of selling more than 2 copies into the harbour instead...

I mean, Throwing the latest Britney Spears album into the river is as useful as throwing the latest Micheal Jackson album into the river. You're actually doing the record companies a favour, because at least they can claim insurance on the materials!

Re:Paying for Media (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616803)

Here in the U.S., we pay a 2 percent royalty on all medium capable of storing and playing back music.And we've been paying it since 1992, when the "Digital Audio Recording Technology Act" was passed.

No.

You're thinking of the Audio Home Recording Act. It actually only applies to certain media and devices, not all of them capable of storing or playing music. For example computers, computer hard drives, data CDRs, most portable music players, etc. don't fall under the AHRA. Also you're wrong as to what the royalty actually amounts to. (It's in 17 USC 1004 if you're interested)

However, our Congress hasn't set up a legal link between the paying of that tax and our legal rights to use the devices in any ways that exceed thing on which we don't pay a tax.

No again.

The quid pro quo for the AHRA was that it would be non-actionable for consumers acting non-commercially to copy certain kinds of works with the devices or media covered by the AHRA. In practice, no one actually does this. Non-AHRA-compliant methods have become more popular. But if you want to dub a CD of some music onto a cassette tape or something, you can do so if you want, without repercussions and without having to even assert that it is a fair use (which, it might well not be, especially if it isn't your CD).

Re:Paying for Media (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617003)

So, what this all comes down to is that the RIAA and the media outfits failed to account for the possibility of more advanced (i.e. non-AHRA-compliant) recording methods in their original thinking, and maybe got a little too specific. Now that they've finally grasped that technology has passed them by, they want to rewrite the deal.

I guess I'm not too surprised. Emperor Palpatine summed it up nicely: "You will pay the price for your lack of vision."

Re:Paying for Media (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617413)

Well, the exception for computers was deliberate and discussed at the time. There was a fight over whether portable music players fell under the AHRA, but it was determined that they did not back in 1999. I don't recall hearing any noises about bringing them into the AHRA recently, though.

Re:Paying for Media (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617779)

No argument from me. After losing the Diamond Multimedia [theregister.co.uk] case, I haven't heard much about the RIAA going after portable players either. And I'm sure any such activity would have been front-page news here on Slashdot.

On the other hand, a lot of the commentary I hear from RIAA and music studio execs (always to be taken with a grain of salt, to be sure) revolves around the fact that portable storage is now comparatively huge. You can walk around with a black (or maybe Apple beige) box in your pocket with fifteen or twenty thousand tracks in it. Nobody with that much music on their player has actually spent fifteen or twenty thousand dollars though, so I have to agree with what one executive said, "Everyone knows those things are full of pirated music" (or words to that effect.) Oh sure, that's maybe not the legal definition of "piracy" but the point is well taken.

In 1999, a 60 Gb portable player was something we all knew would happen sooner or later, even if the RIAA didn't. It happened sooner, and with the synergistic rise of peer-to-peer it really did alter the landscape for music consumption. I have to wonder if that's what they are really afraid of: everyone wandering around with enormous readily accessible personal collections of music (legitimately-purchased or otherwise.) 10,000 songs at 3.5 minutes per track is almost 600 hours of continuous music, and for someone with decent broadband and a Gnutella client, collecting ten K songs isn't that hard. And people share hard drives. That's truly a paradigm shift, and one that I'm sure scares the Bejesus out of the content industry.

Not that I feel sorry for them, exactly.

Re:Paying for Media (1)

xanadu113 (657977) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617709)

So if RIAA gets money from blank CD's, and an unsigned artist is producing their own albums, burning their own CD's, then..

Who is stealing from who? Are people downloading music stealing from the artists (many who are buying their merchandise and attending their concerts), or is the recording industry stealing from unsigned artists?

Why should I, as an unsigned artist, be paying money for every blank CD I use to record my music?

-Myke

Re:Paying for Media (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617835)

It seems that in Canada you have that right attached to a tax. Hm - being taxed for something and gaining a benefit. How novel!

American suckers. Paying taxes and not [wikipedia.org] getting [wikipedia.org] anything [wikipedia.org] worthwhile [wikipedia.org] . Hm.

Re:Paying for Media (1)

Hyperspite (980252) | more than 7 years ago | (#20620517)

The trick is that the tax is usually related to the benefit directly. For instance, gasoline taxes are used to pay for your vaunted highway system. Water and sanitation are paid for directly (IIRC you pay the water company on a per usage basis even if they are subsidized with income taxes). The thing is is that in this case we have a tax on an item to pay for a right that is still not a right. I'm kind of partial to the canadian viewpoint. If you tax people for copying materials because they will copy music, even the people that don't copy music, then they should all have the right to copy music. To use a car analogy, imagine if I drove only offroad or on privately owned roads, but my gas was still taxed to pay for the public roads. This is the same situation, only we can't use the public roads now :-/

I hope they expand the levy to DVDs and more... (1)

Panaqqa (927615) | more than 7 years ago | (#20615061)

IANAL, but my own thoughts on it are that since I have paid the levy I am free to copy whatever music I want onto those blank CDs. I would be interested to know if the artists actually are getting the proceeds - if so then I would think this would be doubly bad for the Canadian mafiAA. After all, if the artists are getting paid then most mafiAA claims to the moral high road go out the window.

At the time the levy was imposed DVDs were not available as a storage medium for the mainstream. Now that it is time to update the laws I hear of not only DVDs being potentially included, but also iPods and other mp3 players, HDDs over a certain capacity, etc. I have a bit of a problem with HDDs because I believe the majority of them never see a copyrighted song file. But DVDs work for me.

All I have to say to the mafiAA concerning these levies and their unintended consequences is this: careful what you ask for - you just might get it.

Re:I hope they expand the levy to DVDs and more... (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616941)

Apparently the copyright organizations who get the levy aren't so good at paying it out to their member artists. If I remember correctly someone figured out that they hadn't paid out ANY of the levy funds and there was a small scandal over it. It seems the music copyright cartels don't care about the artists. Who would have thought?

canada as the new mp3.com? (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 7 years ago | (#20615119)

it will be interesting to see how long will this "loophole" stay on, and will some arms be twisted in canada before it is "closed". the international copyright "protection" organizations seem to cry a lot about some "rights" being abused and laws being violated. at the same time they keep using mafia-like tactics on a large (twisting the arms of the Russian government to close mp3.com early and the Swedish government to raid the pirate bay) and small (frivolously suing left and right in the US) scale. i for one won't be surprised at all if we see a lot of both if really downloads are recognized as legal in canada.

Re:canada as the new mp3.com? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#20615295)

No the way it works is it's not illegal to possess copied audio cds [or mp3s]. It's illegal to distribute them. We pay a levy which means we are entitled to copies.

So basically downloading is legal, uploading is illegal.

Re:canada as the new mp3.com? (1)

mh101 (620659) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616187)

twisting the arms of the Russian government to close mp3.com
Just a quick correction, mp3.com and allofmp3.com are two unrelated companies. It's the second that is the Russian group of questionable legality.

Re:canada as the new mp3.com? (1)

kaos07 (1113443) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616231)

It will be interesting to "see" how "long" it "takes" before you "break" the "record" for the most "amount" of quotation "marks" in a Slashdot "comment".

Reminds me of the ol' Microsoft vs. Sun discussion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20615157)

Microsoft: "We'd like to update our JVM that we include with Windows"
Sun: "Screw you!"
Microsoft: "But our JVM is getting outdated and we can't run the latest Java stuff"
Sun laughs evilly and twirls his moustache.
Microsoft thinks for a moment and smiles.
Microsoft: "Well, okay." Microsoft goes off to create C#
Sun thinks for a moment.
Sun: "Oh shit!"

Sun, like CIRA, needs to think a little harder about this.
Now excuse me while I go back to my legal downloading.

Re:Reminds me of the ol' Microsoft vs. Sun discuss (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616047)

And there are about a million devices worldwide that use java - from cell phones to computers to whatever

... and C# is used where ....? Windows boxes.

And no, mono doesn't count. It sucks (but then again, so does C3).

So, to put it back into the context - the CRIA wanted a guaranteed revenue stream by taxing blank CDs ... it no longer works in their favour, so they want to change the rules of the game. Sounds a LOT like Microsoft. The only thing left is for them to start throwing chairs, and secretly funding other groups to sue people a la SCO.

You forgot and important part in your analogy (1)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616981)

Ummm...interesting analogy but too bad you left out the most important part. Microsoft violated Java licensing by modifying the language and adding Windows only specific functionality to it. That is what Sun had a problem with and why for a short time between offering Java on windows and then C# there existed J++ which was what Microsoft had to call it since Sun would not allow them to call it Java.

You left some important parts out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20620971)

Microsoft: "We'd like to update our JVM that we include with Windows"
Sun: "Sounds great, here's the source for the latest version."
Microsoft: "Oh... not that kind of update. The kind where we put in stuff that only works with Windows."
Sun: "Screw you!"
Microsoft: "But blah blah blah synergies paradigms etc."
Sun glares.
Microsoft thinks for a moment and smiles.
Microsoft: "Well, okay." Microsoft goes off to create C#
Sun thinks for a moment.
Sun: "Oh shit!"

Nothing Sun could have done, really. Microsoft is Microsoft.

Headline is a little misleading. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20615317)

The CRIA didn't admit that P2P downloading is legal here: "While Henderson and CRIA make it clear that they disagree with this interpretation, they are obviously sufficiently concerned that it reflects Canadian law that they have burned their remaining bridges with Canadian music in order to try to persuade the Federal Court of Appeal to allow them to intervene in iPod hearings."

I'm pretty confident that if the Copyright board ruled that P2P downloading was legal that the act would be amended in short order. My own interpretation of the act is that the right to copy is circumscribed by the fact that you can't make a copy for 'distribution'. If you were downloading it via bittorrent, I think that would be caught by the distribution rule.

This is not to say that it would be impossible to write a filesharing program that was not caught by the distribution rule, but it would be a less efficient system because it would encourage leeching, unlike bittorrent which rewards sharing.

Re:Headline is a little misleading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20616499)

It isn't an issue as to whether they admit it or not. Frankly I don't see why this is news. The Supreme Court has ruled on this issue. It's game over under the current laws.

Re:Headline is a little misleading. (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617601)

This is not to say that it would be impossible to write a filesharing program that was not caught by the distribution rule, but it would be a less efficient system because it would encourage leeching, unlike bittorrent which rewards sharing.
 
I believe the word you're looking for here is Usenet.

Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20615489)

The CRIA has actively attempted to fool Canadian consumers into believing that downloading music was somehow illegal. Anyone who read the Copyright Act knew better.

Michael Liberal Geist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20616241)

Yawn.

The CRIA is not Canadian (1, Informative)

Rix (54095) | more than 7 years ago | (#20616591)

It's just a rebranded wing of the RIAA.

The association representing Canadian artists is the Canadian Music Creators Coalition [musiccreators.ca] .

Re:The CRIA is not Canadian (2, Informative)

aoni782 (1075319) | more than 7 years ago | (#20617855)

This isn't true, the CMCC represents only 179 artists [musiccreators.ca] .

Also, the CRIA was formed in 1963 [thecanadia...opedia.com] as the Canadian Record Manufacturer's Association, and aren't a 'wing' of the RIAA. They are the RIAA's counterpart in Canada.

Higher in Canada (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20618333)

I wonder if buying a Canadian iPod, and paying the "copyright exemption tax", even if it's shipped abroad (eg. America, UK, Azerbaijan...) would exempt the owner from liability in that country. In the US at least, paying Canadian taxes usually exempts one from paying the US equivalent (Canadian taxes are usually higher). I'd love to see a good lawyer argue the RIAA's lame lawyers out of landing liability on these American users of Canadian iPods. Not least because iPods are like the drugs Americans are already turning to Canada to get without the expense and legal restrictions. And iPods are refillable across the Net.

In soviet Russia... (1)

ShakaZ (1002825) | more than 7 years ago | (#20619475)

err no... in Belgium we already have levies on CDs, DVDs, hard disks & some others. They are collected for artist copyrights association which redistributes them essentially in function of artists sales. I think those taxes only go to music artist for the moment but that will probably change someday as software companies and computer games providers should get their share as well. As far as i know not one case of p2p copyright infringement from users has been brought to the court as copies for personal use are still respected around here. The only big issue has been Razorback, the world's biggest eMule network server, that has been brought down around a year ago. With the exception of France which has adopted harsh laws against p2p filesharing last year (which hasn't changed anything btw), most European countries are still on the right track. Come Canada keep the pressure & remove these stupid new laws about copying movies at the cinema!
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