Monday, 26 April 2004

Blame Canada? An American would have to find it first

It's great to see that Canada is finally putting themselves on the map. Unbending in their ways, Canadian law has made it legal to download and share music via P2P services. This must be infuriating that ragtag bunch of annoying lobbyists called the RIAA. Their Canadian comrades, the CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association), have done everything to get the Canadian government to outlaw the evil P2P sharing system, but the legislation that's in place to make it legal is down to the CRIA.

Ironic losers.

Here's the 411. Back a few years ago, the CRIA realised that musicians were losing money to CD and tape copying. They therefore lobbied for the government to put a surcharge (or levy or the so-called "copy tax") on recordable media - including tapes, CDs, and flash memory and hard drives used in audio devices like the iPod. The effect of this? You're already paying to be a criminal, might as well act like one.

Aside: The problem with this? Most of the money from the levy goes to big-league artists like Bryan Adams and Celine Dion who really don't need it. Fringe artists who don't sell a lot and would benefit from this kinda cash don't really get a look in.

In a recent Canadian ruling, a judge went on to state: "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."

A similar argument was made about Sony's Betamax machine in the early 80s. It wasn't a source of piracy then, and the inevitable source of revenue from home video (be it Beta, VHS, LD, or DVD) placed a shed load of money into the coffers of the entertainment industry that can't seem to see further into the future than next week.

Glad to see that one piece of dire legislation is putting the knife into the potential for another.
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