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Canadian judge says swapping songs online is legal

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  • Canadian judge says swapping songs online is legal

    Potential good news if you download music online.

    Canadian judge says swapping songs online is legal
    By Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY
    Internet file-sharing is legal, a Canadian judge ruled Wednesday, a potentially big setback for the music industry.

    Record labels have been suing customers globally in a bid to stem the tide of online piracy. The Recording Industry Association of America has filed copyright infringement lawsuits against nearly 2,000 song swappers since September. Tuesday, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) began legal action against 247 individuals in Germany, Italy, Denmark and Canada.

    The IFPI says sales are down 20% over a three-year period. It blames unauthorized downloading from services such as Kazaa and Morpheus.

    While two courts ? in Denmark and the USA ? ruled in favor of file-sharing services in the past, Canadian Judge Konrad von Finckenstein is the first to OK the actions of file sharers.

    "Canadian law isn't binding," says New York copyright attorney Whitney Broussard. "But you could see lawyers here making the same kind of arguments and pointing to the Canadian decision."

    In Canada, the IFPI sought to sue 29 individuals. Von Finckenstein said the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) didn't prove that the PC users were infringing.

    The CRIA says it will appeal. "In our view, the copyright law in Canada does not allow people to put hundreds or thousands of music files on the Internet for copying, transmission and distribution to millions of strangers," said CRIA general counsel Richard Pfohl.

    "This is a lower-court decision that affects local jurisdictions but has wide implications globally," says Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa. Record labels might question whether to continue filing these types of lawsuits "because a judge could rule against the industry."

    The music industry has targeted "uploaders" ? people who offer copyrighted songs for sharing online ? rather than the people who take the songs free in a download. They believe services such as Kazaa won't have any users if the song supply dries up. "Now a haven has been created for millions of Canadians to do file-sharing lawfully," says Ohio State law professor Peter Swire. "Canadians are free to upload."

  • #2
    good fuck lars. we bought the music, we should be able to share if we want with our property
    time is the best teacher, to bad it ends up killing its pupil