Not a bad read; but it is frustrating when (after so many so-called Canadian journalists go about giving the impression the RIAA has anything to do with Canada, and that copying music is illegal when it is most certainly not) this guy only gets it partly right, causing a uproar on newsgroups all across America and on Slashdot, to boot.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) represents record companies in the US. The CRIA represents them in Canada, and the IFPI represents them worldwide. Both the RIAA and CIRA are members of the IFPI.
He is correct that it is legal to make a copy of music for your own personal use in Canada. He even alludes to the rest of Part VIII, Section 80 when he mentions that he can't lend or sell a copy he makes to a friend.
But then he blows it.
He calls the status of copying "radically different" in Canada compared to the US. Maybe, but not regarding the RIAA and lawsuits against file sharers.
" ... Every song on my hard drive comes from a CD in my collection or from a CD in someone else's collection which I have found on a P2P network. In either case I will have made the copy and will claim safe harbor under the "private copying" provision. ..."
So far, so good.
But then he says:
... If you find that song in my shared folder and make a copy this will also be "private copying." I have not made you a copy, rather you have downloaded the song yourself. ..."
Right after Section 80 says:
" ... the act of reproducing all or any substantial part of onto an audio recording medium for the private use of the person who makes the copy does not constitute an infringement of the copyright ..."
It goes right into:
[This exemption] does not apply if the act described in that subsection is done for the purpose of ... b) distributing, whether or not for the purpose of trade or ... (c) communicating to the public by telecommunication ..."
In other words, allowing your copied music to be shared on a P2P network is both distributing (in this case, not for trade, which is another way of saying you didn't charge money for it) and communicating by telecommunication (if that sounds weird, just check the defininiton of telecommunication thoughtfully provided in the statute).
He then goes on to suggest P2P networks could thrive in Canada, that the RIAA should get Congress to do what we do (without mentioning that it's nearly impossible in America to alter copyright laws meaningfully because in the US Copyright is in the Constitution. Try changing that sometime; Gun Control people can't do it, and they actually kill people with guns). All based on his false premise that it's OK to share files in Canada.
He might have correctly said something like this:
".. If you find that song in my shared folder and make a copy this will also be "private copying" for you. I have not made you a copy, rather you have downloaded the song yourself. As for me, I broke the law by offering the music in the first place and CIRA can sue my ass off, just like the RIAA is doing to people who upload songs and offer them for file sharing in the US. Afer all, they haven't sued anyone who merely downloaded music, just like you can do in Canada. Even worse, by offering my music on a P2P network, I am no longer exempt from copyright infringement under the Private Copying provision of Section 80; so all my copied music is now instantly illegal, including the ones I actually own the CD for. ..."
I did like the part where he reminded everyone that the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) were the ones who asked for the change in the law allowing private copying in the first place.
The moral: burn your CDs, download those mp3 if you must. But share one music file, and you have broken the law; you are no longer protected by Section 80's exemption, and you can get sued for copyright infringement in Canada by the CIRA just like in America by the RIAA.
Very interesting article, and great reply from
gordguide. Thanks for clearing that up; you may have potentially saved someone from unwittingly getting themselves in a mess someday.
If it's OK with you, I'd like to quote some of your post on other forums where this article is starting to pop up. As you know ,every US forum is ablaze with RIAA threads these days.No point trying to improve on yours, if you dont mind.