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F & F


File sharing ruled legal by Canadian Federal Court
posted by scubacuda on Thursday April 01, @03:06AM
from the dept.
News JayCurrie writes
"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. Without the names, CRIA can't begin filing lawsuits against the alleged high-volume music traders, identified only as John and Jane Does. It also reaffirms what the Copyright Board of Canada has already ruled -- downloading music in this country is not illegal. Von Finckenstein 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. "No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings," he wrote in his 28-page ruling. "They merely placed personal copies into their shared directories which were accessible by other computer users via a P2P service." (from canoe.ca)

With all of the usual cavets about appeals, this decision makes it practically impossible to prosecute file sharers in Canada. von Finkenstein has gone well beyond the idea that downloading is legal in Canada. By expressly mentioning "merely placing personal copies into their shared directories" does not constitute distribution he has blown a huge hole in the arguments which swirled around the whole question of the legality of uploading in Canada.

You can read the PDF of the decision here."

Report on UN's Global Forum on Internet Governance | Egyptian ISPs  >


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    File sharing ruled legal by Canadian Federal Court | Login/Create an Account | Top | 3 comments | Search Discussion
    The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
    Title Slightly Misleading (Score:2, Informative)
    by TomWiles on Thursday April 01, @10:36AM (#1518)
    User #396 Info

    The Judge did not rule file sharing legal, what he ruled on is the presumption of innocents.

    Leaving a file in a shared directory is no different than a library leaving a copy machine in the stacks.

    As long as there is a non-infringing (fair use) use, then the recording industry must prove that an infringement has taken place. The mere act of downloading does not prove that.

    The Judge presumed innocent unless proven otherwise, and the recording industry provided no proof that an infringement had occured.

    With proof, the decission could have been very different.
    Re:Title Slightly Misleading (Score:1, Interesting)
    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 01, @11:45AM (#1519)

    A slight correction. DOWNLOADING is legal in Canada for Personal Use - We pay a tariff on recordable media already.

    The judge ruled that by not advertising, not profitting, (i.e. not making a POSITIVE act) the mere placing of files in a shared folder is akin to having the photocopier in a library.

    The Supreme Court Of Canada recently (2004) that the photocopier issue is NOT infringement.

    Therefore, in CANADA only, and until Parliament ratifies WIPO (God, I hope they don't), sharing files is NOT infringement provided there are no POSITIVE acts to make it one, and DOWNLOADING is NOT INFRINGEMENT if only for PERSONAL USE.

    Regards, bwh

    Re:Title Slightly Misleading (Score:1)
    by alien on Tuesday April 06, @11:53AM (#1524)
    User #868 Info
    Which interestingly seems to be a close match to how the majority of the public views mp3 sharing, copying songs off the radio via cassette tape and making "mix tapes" for people, and recording your favorite show and lending it to friends.

    There was some very interesting discussion on this, from all points of view, on CBC radio recently: "Is music file sharing killing the music industry or reviving it?" [www.cbc.ca]

    Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov

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