March 31, 2004
Time to Move to Canada

An Ottawa Federal Court has denied the Canandian Recording Industry's (CRIA's) demand for the names of alleged music sharers, on grounds that remind us why diversity in copyright laws is a good thing: Canada's got this one right.

The court ruled that plaintiffs had not shown that they had the right targets or that their targets infringed copyright (they failed to "establish a prima facie case against the unknown alleged wrongdoer").

  • Downloading a song for personal use does not amount to infringement
  • Placing personal copies into a shared directory is not "distributing" or "authorizing the reproduction" of sound recordings
  • There was no evidence of knowledge, necessary to secondary infringement liability
Congrats to the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, whose intervention helped the court get there.

The court "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." The court also held that the CRIA had delayed its requests too long, presented too little evidence of methods for tracking users, and would have to reimburse ISPs if it were ever permitted discovery.

Posted by Wendy at 12:10 PM