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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