Legal Victory for Canadian File Sharers

How sweet it is! In the case of [too many record companies to name] v. “John Doe, Jane Doe, and all those persons who are infringing copyright in the plaintiffs’ sound recordings”, Mr. Justice von Finckenstein decided against the music industry’s request that ISPs provide them with the identity of alleged copyright infringers. This is a major victory for privacy advocates in this country, and hopefully we’ll avoid a travesty like the USA’s DMCA. Referring to the case of CCH Canada LTD v. Law Society of Canada, which ruled “…that setting up facilities that allow copying to take place does not amount to authorizing infringement.”, the Justice said “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 linked to a P2P service.” Just putting a file in a shared folder in one’s computer “does not amount to distribution”. The music industry would have us believe just that. They actually call it “theft”, despite the fact that people do not make money when they share their music files on kazaa. Mercifully, we have mostly sane judges in this country, at least in our Federal Court. Add to this the news that recent (non-industry sponsored) findings show that file sharing does not hurt CD sales, and we’re having a good week.

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The Neighbourhood

I ran into a fellow regular at the Barfly this evening who asked me point-blank when I was going to update the blog again. so I figure I might as well get it going again if only to change the top entry. The regular’s only complaint was “too much politics and not enough about the Main”, and he’s “absolutely” right. I really did want this to be about my neighborhood, among other things. I’ve lived on the Main for 11 years and still love it. Things have changed over the last 4 years, but thankfully Quebec’s progressive tenant’s rights laws mean that a lot of people have managed to stay put while rents everywhere else on the Plateau have skyrocketed. I’m one of those people, and I plan on staying put.

But where to start talking about this wonderful street I call home? It goes without saying that people make a neighbourhood, and the Plateau draws people of all stripes. Without getting into it, for some reason the Plateau area of Montreal draws an interesting assortment of people. Places to meet people also abound, so it’s a very social place to live. The place many of my neighbours and I go to is Barfly – a diamond in the rough if ever there was one. It’s usually a dark and smokey place with a recroom decor you’d expect from a collection of die hard Montreal Canadiens fans. During the day, it’s usually quiet with a few regulars from the neighbourhood stopping in or staying in. Habs games are always on with the sound, and bands are usually told no soundchecks until the intermission or until the game is over. There’s quite a pack of hockey regulars, and this season the bar fills up to standing room only by the second period. And then there’s the music culture of the bar, the legacy of it’s previous (and legendary) incarnation as Bar G-Sharp. There’s a fair amount of history here that I won’t get into in this entry, but suffice it to say that Barfly is one of the great very small venues in the city. Go there Sunday, Tuesday, or Wednesday if you like bluegrass, jazz, or blues. You won’t be disappointed.

Then there’s Le Vieux St-Laurent, my favourite local diner. It’sa day place – they’re open from 7AM to 5PM Sunday through Saturday. Great burgers, breakfasts, pizzas, and the best souflaki south of Mile End. Nothing fancy, just a really good diner where you tend to meet people who either live or work in the neighbourhood.

There’s loads I could write about the neighbourhood….but I have to get some sleep…..

After a Long Hiatus

…I’m back, I think;-)

I could get into an involved story about just how screwed up this past winter has been, but I won’t get into it. It was a case of an already tenous situation getting much worse until it finally ended on Feb. 23. Suffice it to say that I’m currently unemployed, but relieved that the situation worked out alright and my relationship with my previous employer is over. I qualify for EI benefits and I’m currently looking for work. There are no hard feelings. Time to move on.

I am slowly beginning to regain focus, trying re-create my day in such a way that everything I want to do I do, and that requires some kind of order, both in time and space. If I don’t stick to a schedule and organise the day ahead of me I’ll putter and dabble, never really getting anything done. And I want to get things done.

I’m feeling the need to create something from the various fragments that make up my life. Writing in this little blog is a big part of it because it’s my space to write as I please and work out idle thoughts and develop ideas. Of course, I could do all this in a paper journal, but where’s the fun in that? I’m going to take on the task of getting comments working, or may just move this journal over to Moveable Type