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Legal To Download Music: Court Sides With Music Swappers

FILESWAPPING In a victory for the privacy rights of Canadians, the Federal Court on Wednesday, March 31, denied the music industry's request for Internet Service Providers to disclose the identifty of subscribers alleged to have infringed copyright laws. The court's decision comes on the heels of the Tuesday release of a study which found that online music sharing does not clearly affect CD sales.

Matthew Ingram, in today's Globe and Mail, writes “on the topic of downloading, the judge was succinct: Canada's Copyright Act allows users to reproduce a musical work onto a recording medium for their private use, and thus, “downloading a song... does not amount to infringement.”

Also in the Globe, Janet McFarland tells the Recording Industry Association to ...

“Do nothing on the legal front, and let people continue to copy music files just like they have copied songs and movies and TV shows on cassettes for years. It's a frustrating solution, because a huge amount of revenue is lost when people copy music instead of buying it. But the problem is not easily fixed with legal action. The ruling Wednesday shows the courts have little sympathy for the cause. And the Internet is too large to police effectively anyway; websites and file-sharing service are too easily shifted to plug every hole.”

McFarland goes on to suggest that the recording industry continue to encourage the development of paid music sites on the Internet, such as iTunes and Napster, and the made-in-Canada / G-7 and European Union solution to peer-to-peer file swapping: levies on recordable CDs and on MP3 players, with future consideration being given to the implementation of surcharges on Internet use to further compensate the music industry.

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at April 1, 2004 12:38 AM in Music


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