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Canada Immune From RIAA? 1130

Nick McKay writes "Tech Central Station is carrying a story on how Canadians are legally allowed to copy music not only in the home environment, but also on P2P networks such as Kazaa."
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Canada Immune From RIAA?

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  • Canada-Runs! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JM Apocalypse ( 630055 ) * on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:51AM (#6975950)
    It seems as if Canada has become the land of the free, while the United States has become seemingly less thrilling to live in. I, for one, would be glad to be able to make legal copies of music and other goods, and only having to pay a small tax on media and (possibly) computer products. This would make it much easier to pay the RIAA and similar evil organizations, and would keep P2P infurioratingly legal.

    I have a feeling that emigration to Canada will become increasingly more common if it gets to the point where if you have a file on your computer that may have possibly originated from a P2P network or other illegal source, you could pay hefty fines and jail terms. Will Canada border-hopping now include underage drinking and underage stealing? You decide. So, now if you want to escape the U.S. Justice system ... you know where to go. No more 3rd-world country that nobody has every heard of (Hurray!)

    The only problem with this method is that companies cannot track who owes them how much, and which companies get the bigger share of the chunk of taxes. Why not have it so that, people report how many songs they downloaded and what they are, and that determines their tax (or refund, if they haven't downloaded anything). Then, the companies can easily divvy out the money to one another (but some companies will like the equal-split method better * wink wink *)
    • Welcome! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Jucius Maximus ( 229128 ) <> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:55AM (#6976005) Journal
      I, for one, welcome our new...

      Wait a sec, I am Canadian. Never mind.

      • Re:Welcome! (Score:5, Funny)

        by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) <> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @03:09PM (#6978213) Journal
        We, of the United States, think Canada sucks because you have better health care, lower crime, and legal file sharing. If you're government embraces open source, we'll have to consider the nuclear option.

        Just a warning. =P
    • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Brad Cossette ( 319687 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:57AM (#6976042)
      Considering we're 1/10th the U.S.'s size, it's foolish to think this'll last for long. The Canadian variant of the RIAA has been making noises here as well. The law here on copying files is a little murky - the articles up here indicate that a similar "sue-em-all" campaign could be launched, just that it'd be harder. Some of our ISP's (Bell for example) have ownership by U.S. corporations/parent companys, and you could expect some leverage applied that way.

      I guess it'll give more mileage to South Park's "Blame Canada!" song...

      • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:08PM (#6976240)
        Some of our ISP's (Bell for example) have ownership by U.S. corporations/parent companys, and you could expect some leverage applied that way.

        Are you nuts? Bell (I assume you mean Bell Canada, not Bell Helicopter) is a Canadian-owned company and must be by law. Many people don't like the ownership restrictions on Canadian telecom companies, (Rogers and AT&T in particular)

        The big Schedule I banks (CIBC, Royal, TD, BMO, Scotia) have similar ownership limits.
    • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Jucius Maximus ( 229128 ) <> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:57AM (#6976044) Journal
      "Will Canada border-hopping now include underage drinking and underage stealing? You decide."

      Canada != Cuba. There is an extradition treaty between the USA and Canada so if you commit a crime in the USA and then run across the border you could still legally be extradited.

      • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TopShelf ( 92521 ) * on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:05PM (#6976189) Homepage Journal
        file sharing isn't a crime, though - it's a civil offense for which the RIAA sues your butt off...

      • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jhylkema ( 545853 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @02:06PM (#6977627)

        /* DISCLAIMER

        This is not legal advice. You are not a client. I'm not even an attorney. If you want legal advice, contact an attorney. What I am saying here is probably 100% wrong and if you do anything based on it, you are a flaming idiot who deserves whatever bad shit is very likely to befall you.

        DISCLAIMER */

        Arrite, now that that's outta the way . . .

        File sharing IS a crime under the No Electronic Theft ("NET") Act [] if the material infringed has a retail value of greater than $1,000. Read it - if you're convicted, the court will order your computer destroyed AND order you trotted off to chokey.

        The poster is correct that Canada and the US have an extradition treaty. However, as evidenced by the recent abortion killer case [], extradition treaties are not absolute. France only agreed to give him up on the condition that the US would not seek the death penalty against him.

        For me, a hometown example of this is a contemptible piece of human garbage named Martin Pang []. This guy torched his family's frozen food warehouse so he could collect the insurance money, resulting in the deaths of four firefighters. Brazil refused to extradite him unless we agreed to not charge him with murder. (Under Washington's felony murder rule, if someone gets killed during the course of a felony, you go down for murder one.)

        Bum deal, huh? Well, not always. Especially during the Cold War, the US and other civilized countries regularly refused to extradite people back to their communist shitpiles^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H countries who were wanted for political "crimes" on the grounds that those were not extraditable offenses. So, it works both ways.

        The point is, I'm sure that if someone were charged with a file-trading related crime in America and fled to Canada, the latter would take the position that file trading-related "crimes" are not extraditable offenses. They did so with the Vietnam war draft dodgers - Canada took the position that crimes related to avoidance of military service were not extraditable. In fact, if it's not a crime in Canada, the odds are that they would not extradite.

        Hope this clears up any confusion. But read the disclaimer above carefully before you do anything. Plus, I haven't read the extradition treaty, so I could be wrong and it could be an extraditable offense.

    • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by s20451 ( 410424 )
      Canada and the US have a fairly strong extradition treaty, and if you commit a crime in the US and run to Canada, it makes no difference whether that act is legal in Canada. With all the existing and more important disputes between the Canadian and American governments (including softwood lumber, beef imports, continental missile defence, Iraq, ...), our government is not going to stick its neck out to protect you for file sharing.

      But if you're thinking of emigrating to Canada, legal P2P is but one of man
    • Weed! (Score:5, Informative)

      by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:05PM (#6976184)
      Screw file trading. Canada is more free in ways that *really* matter, like drugs. In Canada, if you want to ingest pot, you can without being arrested by jack-booted Ashcroft thugs and thrown in prison for the rest of your life. On that same subject, their gov't isn't still feeding them the "Reefer Madness" bullshit from the 20's.
      Canada seems to be a lot better in other ways too. Just watch "Bowling for Columbine"...
      • Re:Weed! (Score:3, Informative)

        Screw file trading. Canada is more free in ways that *really* matter, like drugs. In Canada, if you want to ingest pot, you can without being arrested by jack-booted Ashcroft thugs and thrown in prison for the rest of your life.
        Canada seems to be a lot better in other ways too. Just watch "Bowling for Columbine"...

        I should mention that the current state of affairs in Canada where pot possession is completely legal is only a temporary situation due to a dispute between the government and the courts. But t
    • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Vic ( 6867 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:07PM (#6976226) Homepage
      I, for one, would be glad to be able to make legal copies of music and other goods, and only having to pay a small tax on media and (possibly) computer products.

      As a Canadian I definitely disagree with that statement. I don't want to pay $0.77 extra for every CDR that I buy. This almost quadruples the price I would pay for CDRs! My CDRs are mainly used to burn my own digital pictures, make Linux CDs (currently burning about 100 Knoppix CDs for my LUG), and other completely non-Pirate activities. Why should I have to pay a levy to the recording/movie/proprietary-software industries if I'm not doing anything wrong? The assumption of guilt bothers me.

      Besides, I don't want to copy any of the RIAA's music. I spend enough of my own money on independent artists. So I have a pretty decent record and CD collection that is not pirated.

      • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:5, Interesting)

        by RobinH ( 124750 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:37PM (#6976597) Homepage
        I don't want to pay $0.77 extra for every CDR that I buy.

        As another Canadian, I wholeheartedly agree. It's not quite, but almost as stupid as that espresso tax they're talking about in Seattle. How can you say that espresso drinkers are by-and-large also parents who use pre-Kindergarten? It's the same with CDR's - if 99% of CDRs were used to copy copyrighted music, then I'd say it's pretty fair, but that's simply not the case.

        I understand taxing gas to pay for the roads, and even taxing cigarettes to fund cancer research, but this tax is wrong. Also, the money from the tax doesn't necessarily go to the artist whose song I'm copying - it's a bad system all around.

        My feeling is this: until the music industry provides a reasonable service for downloading music over the internet, and allows me to use that copy anywhere (my home stereo, car, computer, etc.), then there should be no restrictions on this new technology. The recording industry shouldn't be allowed to sue you unless you made a profit off of selling copyrighted music.
      • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:4, Informative)

        by |<amikaze ( 155975 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:42PM (#6976668)

        CD-Rs and CD-RWs: 5.2 cents per unit

        A substantially lower levy applies to these digital media due to, among other reasons, the fact that only a relatively small portion of sales of these media are to individual consumers and they are used for a wide variety of uses other than copying sound recordings (e.g., computer data storage).

        On your stack of 100 Knoppix CDs, you actually paid $5 worth of tax. Unless you're only paying about 2 cents per disc, that's not really "quadrupling" your costs.
      • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by JoeBuck ( 7947 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @01:08PM (#6976979) Homepage

        Well, what if, when you use a CDR to make a Debian CD, your $0.77 CDN were divided between the Free Software Foundation, SPI (the nonprofit that handles donations to Debian), Linux International, etc. instead of going to the RIAA?

        The idea would be that random surveys are done once in a while to figure out how CDRs are being used. If a lot of them are being used to copy free software, then some of the tax would go to the copyright holders.

        To divide up the money, there would be a rating system that would include not only music but software and data. Copying proprietary software (other than making a backup copy, which is blessed in the US as well as in some other countries) would remain illegal.

        This was actually one of the ideas that Stallman proposed back in the 80s as one alternative to fund software development if all software is to be free.

        I know, I know, you want free beer. But if a tax on digital media will stop the copyright cartels from destroying the net, I'll take it.

    • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:10PM (#6976262) Homepage Journal
      i made this exact same point two days ago right here []. ah, well, duplication time:

      from the copyright faq:

      To paraphrase the introduction to an early Copyright Board ruling:

      On March 19, 1998, Part VIII of the Copyright Act came into force. Until then, copying any sound recording for almost any purpose infringed copyright. Part VIII legalizes one such activity: copying of sound recordings of musical works onto recording media for the private use of the person who makes the copy.

      It does not matter whether you own the original sound recording (on any medium), you can legally make a copy for your own private use.

      To emphasize this point, endnote 4 of an early Copyright Board ruling says:

      Section 80 does not legalize (a) copies made for the use of someone other than the person making the copy; and (b) copies of anything else than sound recordings of musical works. It does legalize making a personal copy of a recording owned by someone else.

      Note that the Copyright Act ONLY allows for copies to be made of "sound recordings of musical works". Nonmusical works, such as audio books or books-on-tape are NOT covered.

      The wording of the Copyright Act gives rise to some very odd situations. In the 6 examples below, "commercial CD" means a commercially pressed CD that you would normally buy at a retail store.

      1. If someone steals a commercial CD, steals a blank CD-R, and then copies the commercial CD onto the CD-R, they are a thief, but they have not infringed copyright.
      2. You can legally lend a commercial CD to a friend, give him a blank CD-R, let him use your computer, and help him burn the CD-R which he can keep for his own private use.
      3. You can legally copy a commercial CD , keep the copy, and give your friend the original.
      4. You cannot legally make the copy yourself and give your friend the copy.
      5. Your friends Alice and Benoit really like the new commercial CD you just purchased. Alice borrows it and makes a copy for her own use. She then passes the commercial CD on to Benoit, who makes a copy for his own use. Benoit gives the commercial CD back to you. This is all perfectly legal.
      6. However, if Alice had copied the commercial CD, given it back to you, and passed her copy on to Benoit to make a copy for his own use, then copyright would have "probably" been infringed. There is some doubt here because Alice's original intent is important. In the strictest terms, her copy was no longer just for her private use. Pretty strange considering that the end result of examples 5 and 6 are exactly the same!
      • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:3, Insightful)

        Speaking of technicalities, isn't the law dependent on who makes the copy?

        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. 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.

        If I am sharing a f
    • Re:Canada-Runs! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ratamacue ( 593855 )
      I, for one, would be glad to be able to make legal copies of music and other goods, and only having to pay a small tax on media and (possibly) computer products.

      And I'm sure you would have no problem with allowing government to FORCE the same on everyone else, ignoring the fact that other people use these technologies for purposes that have nothing to do with your special interests.

      This is exactly how government becomes so expensive, oppressive, and destructive in the first place. Everyone wants their l

  • Canada != US (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:52AM (#6975953) Homepage Journal

    "Canada Immune From RIAA?"

    Being that the last letter in RIAA stands for "America", I would hope that all nations outside of the US are immune..
  • Business Opportunity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AllDigital ( 682202 ) * on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:52AM (#6975955)
    Wow....I bet a Canadian company could make a fortune selling high speed Internet access to those in the US, Or possibly just a high speed proxy service.

    Then when the RIAA asked them for the user of the IP that is 'stealing' their music...they could tell them to take a flying leap.

    Any bets as to how long it will take some enterprising Canadian to come up with this business model?

    Or as to how long before the RIAA starts buying off memebers of Canada's parliment, the way that they buy our Senators and Representatives?
    • by Astin ( 177479 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:16PM (#6976364)
      On your last point. There are some differences in the Canadian governmental system than American, and buying off our representatives is a bit harder. Not impossible, mind you.

      Our Senate is appointed, not elected, so campaign funding on that front isn't really viable. Although out-and-out bribery could still be a possibility.

      The Prime Minister is the leader of the party with the most seats in the House of Commons, not a separately elected individual, and therefore controls how the party votes.

      The ethics minister (theoretically) is a watchdog to prevent abuses of power or introducing bills based on the needs of special interest.

      Add into this that each MP has limited power, based on the fact that their ridings are relatively small compared to US electoral areas (population-wise, I'm sure many of the geographical areas are quite large), and it would take a very concentrated effort to garner enough support through bribery and financing to make a dent.

      Of course, this is all from the deep recesses of my high school social science memories, so I could be a bit off.
  • Not so fast... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Henry Stern ( 30869 ) <> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:54AM (#6975992) Homepage

    To quote Jay Currie (emphasis mine):

    The amendment to the Act legalized copying of sound recordings of musical works onto
    audio recording media for the private use of the person who makes the copy (referred to as "private copying"). [1]

    Audio recording media is defined as "Analog Audio Casette Tapes," "MiniDisc, CD-R Audio and CD-RW Audio" and "CD-R and CD-RW." [2] This does not include hard drives (I recall discussion of extending the levy to hard drives), so therefore your hard drive is not "audio recording media" and thus the Act does not legalize file sharing.

    This being said, it would be harder to argue if you immediately burned the downloaded songs to an audio CD, promptly deleting the copy on your hard drive.

    • So Fast (Score:5, Informative)

      by CheeseburgerBlue ( 553720 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:57AM (#6976050) Homepage Journal
      Read the act more carefully. Back-ups of any and all digital media for personal use is absolutely covered [].

    • Re:Not so fast... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Recovery1 ( 217499 )
      They recently revamped it. Hard drives are now included, as are flash cards.
  • by DaScope ( 316783 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:55AM (#6976008)
    I am proud to be a Canadian. Especially after seeing Bowling for Columbine... makes you think huh!
  • Hmm... (Score:4, Funny)

    by kurosawdust ( 654754 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:57AM (#6976045)
    Universal health care? Check.
    Lax marijuana laws? Check.
    Can marry another man if for some reason I was feeling saucey? Check.
    and now freedom to share music?

    Are they accepting applications??

    • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Funny)

      by Frag-A-Muffin ( 5490 )

      Universal health care? Check.
      Lax marijuana laws? Check.
      Can marry another man if for some reason I was feeling saucey? Check.
      and now freedom to share music?

      Are they accepting applications??

      Applications? Just show up to the border with a beer in your hand (preferrably a Canadian brand) and tell'em you here to watch the hockey game! Presto! You're in!

      GO LEAFS GO!
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

      by EinarH ( 583836 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:12PM (#6976291) Journal
      Are they accepting applications??

      Immigrating to Canada as a Skilled Worker []
      I don't know how diffiacult it is or about their acceptaince ratios, but if you got an education it should not be that hard.

      Kind of strange that there are so few from US that emmigrate to Canada given that Canada is objectively a better place to live.

    • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Informative)

      by ab762 ( 138582 )
      Yup - this page [] will tell you a lot.
    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Famatra ( 669740 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:14PM (#6976318) Journal

      Universal health care? Check.
      Lax marijuana laws? Check.
      Can marry another man if for some reason I was feeling saucey? Check.
      and now freedom to share music?

      Canada has always been very free, for example Canada (BC, Quebec) did away with prohibition years (1921 vs. 1933), with the rest of the provinces following soon after, before America ( 00-1999.html [] ).

      The problem with Americans saying that they are the freest country is that they tend to believe it even if it isnt necessarily so. Self denial and delusion prevents the problem being resolved; ask alcoholics anonymous and why the first step is admitting there is a problem ;).

    • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Universal health care? Check.
      Lax marijuana laws? Check.
      Can marry another man if for some reason I was feeling saucey? Check.
      and now freedom to share music?
      Are they accepting applications??

      Just show up at the border and claim to be a refugee.

      It will take a year before your first hearing, during which time you get welfare & free health care. When your bogus claim is rejected, appeal. When your bogus appeal is rejected, appeal again to the courts. Appeal again to the court of appeal.

      Then file an appea
    • by Astin ( 177479 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:22PM (#6976438)
      - Booze and TOTALLY NAKED women in our strip clubs
      - Toronto (much like NYC I think) allows women to walk around topless (not that any do, but the possibility is there)
      - Casinos popping up all over the place
      - An increasingly larger separation of Church and State (hence the allowed gay marriages)
      - Better beer
      - Cheaper CDs, DVDs, computer hardware, software, and just about any other form of entertainment
      - Cheaper medicine

      Of course, a lot of this is paid for with much higher taxes, user fees, levies, and the fact we all live in igloos and have to hunt baby seals once the snow starts in August.

      • Hmm... for some reason you reminded me of The Register []'s little Canadian-themed word puzzle. The idea is that you change one letter from the word above to form a new word and you have to meet the word at the end. The puzzle:

        S E A L
        - - - -
        - - - -
        - - - -
        C O A T

        And now, for their answer:


        S E A L
        C L U B
        C L U B
        C L U B
        C O A T

        As I recall, they got a lot of flack for that. (I suppose I should mention that there is a way to do it "properly," by changing one letter.)
  • by twistedcubic ( 577194 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:58AM (#6976055)

    The amendment to the Act legalized copying of sound recordings of musical works onto audio recording media for the private use of the person who makes the copy (referred to as "private copying"). In addition, the amendment made provision for the imposition of a levy on blank audio recording media to compensate authors, performers and makers who own copyright in eligible sound recordings being copied for private use.

    Looks the same as fair use in the U.S.A. Moreover, the author of this article says that the DMCA is what makes file sharing illegal in the U.S.A. This isn't true, and probably hints at the level of understanding the author has of the situation. Unfortunately, people are going to start believing this. The author could be sued.
    • It's not the same as Fair Use in the USA. Borrowing a friend's original copy of a CD (or borrowing an original copy from the library) and then making a copy of it seems to be legal in Canada, but not in the U.S.

      Note that in order to be legal in Canada, you need to copy off of original media -- second-generation copies are probably not allowed. Hence, the P2P implications are murky (unless you have that particular CD in your CD drive, and that's what you're sharing P2P.)

      And, the DMCA may not be what makes

    • by ahfoo ( 223186 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:08PM (#6976239) Journal
      You're right to an extent, but it is the DMCA makes enforcement possible. Without the DMCA, the relationship between the ISP and the individual citizen is confidential and without the confidential records from the ISP, there is nothing but heresay evidence from questionable enforcement agencies who would have to defend themselves from the accusation that they simply made up the data.
      But, you're right. It's the NETAct which makes sharing a crime. However, that was only be a late amendment that redefined the term "commercial" to mean any exchange of value.
      This is such an absurd abuse of logic, that I doubt that either the NETAct, or the DMCA will be around for the long haul. It's too easy to make good arguments against bad logic.
  • by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:59AM (#6976073) Homepage

    Our home and native land!!!!

  • by mgs1000 ( 583340 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @11:59AM (#6976074) Journal
    "As the RIAA's "sue your customer" campaign begins to run into stiffening opposition and serious procedural obstacles it may be time to think about a "Plan B". A small levy on storage media, say a penny a megabyte, would be more lucrative than trying to extract 60 million dollars from a music obsessed, file sharing, thirteen year-old."

    Does this guy know how many megabytes are on a typical CD-R? or on a new hard drive? Let's see, the tax on a new 120Gig drive would be, what, $1200?

    • by kardar ( 636122 )
      It's the proposed $21 per gig on mp3 players that have hard drives, like the i-pod, etc... It's a proposed levy, it hasn't been accepted yet.

      But the thing is that the only people that have to pay the levy are wholesalers that bring the media into the country - you would pay the levy at the CompUSA type places in Canada, but if you mail-order blanks from the US or elsewhere, as an individual, not a reseller, you don't have to pay the levy.

      Only resellers have to pay the levy and pass it on to their customer
  • by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:00PM (#6976094)
    I'm not a lawyer but I have heard from two sources (lawyer friend and woman in work who is involved in legal content issues) and in the UK you don't have the "fair use" right that is in the US.

    Therefore even if you own the CD, you have absolutely no right to transfer it to a different format. With your CD, you purchase a right to listen to that music on that medium only. You do not have any rights to transfer it to any other medium. There is no provision in law to allow you to do so.

    Having said that, MP3 players are sold and the BPI (our equivilant of the RIAA) have stated that they have "no plans" at the moment to go chasing people who do download and transfer music from CD's to other mediums.

    I know Slashdot isn't a hot-bed of legal eagles, but does anyone know of anything different? This somewhat spooks me a little that the CD I purchased cannot be legally transfered to my mp3 player for the gym.

  • Son of a.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheTomcat ( 53158 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:00PM (#6976095) Homepage
    Hey Nick McKay and Tech Central Station: SHUT UP.

    This was one of our best kept secrets..

    Thanks for waving the proverbial red cape in front of the raging bull (RIAA).

  • by wiggys ( 621350 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:00PM (#6976099)
    They have to pay "$0.77 CDN for a blank CD and .29 a blank tape, whether used for recording music or not."

    So that means every time you buy a CD to backup your Word documents, or photos, or home movies etc you pay a $0.77 tax which ends up going to the music industry.

    They give it with one hand and take it with the other.

    • by tcc ( 140386 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:12PM (#6976287) Homepage Journal
      > They have to pay "$0.77 CDN for a blank CD and .29 a blank tape, whether used for recording music or not."

      Funny... I'm Canadian, I just bought a spindle of 100 CD-R for 29.99$CAD...

      been like that for the past year.

      Dunno where you get your numbers but they are wrong.
    • by Ami Ganguli ( 921 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:15PM (#6976348) Homepage

      I have to admit I hated the blank media tax when it was introduced, but...

      Over time it's come to sound like a sensible solution to a difficult problem. Note that the tax isn't $5 (or whatever you think it might take to compensate the label fully for the lost sale), it's much less. I assume the rate is calculated to take into account the fact that a lot of media isn't used for music.

      Anyway, I'm not arguing it's the perfect solution, but it sounds like one of the least evil ways to address the problem. A typically Canadian compromise.

    • Actual levy amounts (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hamster Lover ( 558288 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:29PM (#6976506) Journal
      Audio Cassettes (40 minutes or more in length): 29 cents
      CD-R or CD-RW: 21 cents
      CD-R Audio, CD-RW Audio or MiniDisc: 77 cents

      So the actual levy on CD-R/RW is 21 cents, not 77 cents.

      I believe the Copyright Board is considering a proposed increase in the levy on CD-R/RW to 59 cents per CD and applying the levy to hard drives, blank DVDs and memory cards. No decision has been made and I honestly believe the Copyright board will back down from the proposed levy on hard drives and other computer related media since industry outcry has been substantial. The obvious benefit to the levy is I can legally borrow and make a copy of a friend's CD for my own personal use and know that I am not committing a crime.

      Many people in Canada are also not aware that you can apply for an exemption from the levy if your primary use of the levied media falls under certain categories. So companies such as the one I work for have an exemption from the levy since we only use blank CDs for in-house software.
  • by GreenCrackBaby ( 203293 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:01PM (#6976117) Homepage
    The blank CD levy was a tradeoff that gives Canadians very specific rights:

    I can borrow a friend's CD and copy that CD onto a blank.

    There's nothing about P2P networks, and until the levies come in on hard drives (in the works) I don't see how any copying involving hard drives can be considered covered.

    From the article:
    "In Canada, if I own a CD and you borrow it and make a copy of it that is legal private copying; however, if I make you a copy of that same CD and give it to you that would be infringement. Odd, but ideal for protecting 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. 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.

    Note the bolded text -- "CD". P2P files are not CDs! Even if they come from a CD, they aren't on a CD when you copy them, and so you're not covered by the levy.

  • by ( 687626 ) * on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:05PM (#6976182)
    According to the article, 70 million dollars was generated with the Candanian levy. I would be willing to bet that none of that money went to any artist.
  • by Mantrid ( 250133 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:10PM (#6976271) Journal
    This media levy pisses me off to no end - I've bought 100's of CD-R's over the years and I've used exactly 3 for music - and that was just for music that I already owned.

    I don't want free music, I want cheaper recordable media! I'm not sure about this $0.77 per CD though - I'm sure i've bought CD's for $0.50 before on spindles.

    This levy is utter B.S. I mean why not compensate SOFTWARE publishers as well as musicians? I wonder what the ratio is of pirated music vs. pirated software - especially if you take the MSRP of software - i mean it takes a lot of music CD's to equal the cost of one copy of 3ds MAX or Photoshop.
  • by dabadab ( 126782 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:16PM (#6976366)
    Well, it seems that Canada has the same rules as most of the Europen countries.
    This means, that you can copy any music/video for yourself, so downloading them off the internet is OK.
    However, distribution of these is still considered to be copyright infringement, so uploading stuff for which you do not the rights to publish to P2P networks is still not OK and you can be sued for it.

    As I understand, things work the same way in the USA, too.

    Would someone please mod the article -1, Troll?
  • by Evangelion ( 2145 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:17PM (#6976367) Homepage
    I would like to direct your attention to the Private Copying section of the Canadian Copyright act here [].

    Specifically, 80.2(c) -- Subsection (1) [the private copying exception] does not apply if the act described in that subsection is done for the purpose of doing any of the following : (c) communicating to the public by telecommunication;

    In order for file sharing as we know it to be legal, you would have to make the argument that putting something up on Kazaa is NOT communicating to the public by telecommunications.

    I'm not saying it can't be done (indeed, I don't belive any of this has ever actually been tested in court), but good fucking luck.

    Something like dc++ with a private hub between friends would be a much less challenging scenario to argue, as the general public isn't involved.

    Note that the intent of this law was that people would be able to share music (note that this ONLY applies to MUSICAL AUDIO RECORDINGS -- spoken word recordings, or even sound effect recordings (and certainly not video) aren't covered by this) with thier family and friends without it being illegal. Basically, they looked at the fact that most people would be considered criminals under the current laws, and decided that there's really no point in that, and used the situation as an excuse to find another way for the goverenment to get money out of people. But since you're Canadian, you're used to that by now.

    Kazaa and such are not for that purpose -- they are intended to share music with the anonymous internet in exchange for getting music you want back from the anonymous interent. If you ever wind up in court, and try and defend yourself with this exception, the intent of the law is going to be taken into account by the judge.
  • Indifferent?!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sebby ( 238625 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:19PM (#6976404)
    "While hardware vendors whine about the levy, consumers seem fairly indifferent"

    Says who?!?? There's plenty of people that are opposing this, not just manufacturers: here [] and and here [], there's plenty more. Plus I've sent letters to whatever MP I could contact.

    It's had some effect, since the 'new' rates were supposed to be introduced in Jan 2003.

    I'm hardly 'indifferent' about it!

  • by heironymouscoward ( 683461 ) <[heironymouscoward] [at] []> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:21PM (#6976418) Journal
    This made me think of an interesting aspect of globalization and migration.

    Governments are starting to realize that the future health of their nations depend on encouraging immigration (in the case of coountries with ageing populations) and discouraging emmigration (in the case of countries losing their citizens).

    A large part of the USA's economic and political strength comes from its attractiveness to migrants, especially skilled migrants. Compare the USA's Green Card programme with the immigration programmes offered by EU countries...

    Now, Canada is to many migrants as attractive as the US, just slightly colder, maybe. It certainly has a reputation as being more hospitable for political refugees than most EU countries.

    P2P is just one of many civil liberties, but if one takes the value of migration to a logical extreme, won't we see future governments actively competing for skilled migrants, offering better legal systems, more civil liberties, easier integration, etc. etc.

    It's an optimistic viewpoint, but perhaps globalization will bring competition into governance in a way never seen before. Living in a country is, after all, a vote and an investment.

  • by Cplus ( 79286 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:23PM (#6976449) Homepage Journal
    On Sept 10th I received several IM's on my k-lite from CRIA [] (google cache []). They seemed to be under the impression that I was somehow breaking the law and needed a reminder of that. The notice came across as well-intentioned and non-threatening, just an appeal to traders of mp3's to think about the poor artists and how wonderful the industry is.

    If anyone is interested in reading the message text I could post it, just ask.

  • Thick Headed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mobileskimo ( 461008 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:26PM (#6976478) Journal
    To think that they could make just as much money from levying a tax and spend less time aggrevating their customers seems so foreign to them that it must be a Canadian thing, huh?

    Much of the World (especially Europe) has the same attitude. People will do what people will do. Let them. Get over it. Find a way to compensate or accept it.

    Instead, in the US the prevailing notion is to resolve by bullying and brute force. How young and inexperienced a country the US is. As strong as it is, it still hasn't learned how to play nice with others.
  • by colonel ( 4464 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:40PM (#6976629) Homepage
    We Canadians don't pay $0.77 for each blank CD we buy -- only for blank AUDIO CDs. The blank Audio CDs can be bought in audio stores for much more money and have some magic bit pre-burned or whatever. Normal DATA CDs that don't have this audio flag on them won't work in consumer audio CD burners that go in your stereo, only in computer burners.

    Next -- this law may legalize downloading from P2P, but does NOT legalize making your copy publicly available on P2P systems, which is all the recording industry cares about anyhow. That would be a "public performance" or "publishing" or "distribution" -- none of which are legal.

    Oh, and just for the record, pot isn't legal here. You just get a ticket now instead of a court date. This means that the cops will no longer be ignoring pot because of the paperwork burden, and the likelihood of potsmokers getting busted has gone UP.
  • Grain of salt (Score:3, Informative)

    by stubear ( 130454 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:45PM (#6976704)
    The author is not a lawyer and in no way is his article sound legal advice. From his resume:

    Several years ago I began to write for publication. Mainly literary journalism but also opinion pieces, business articles and various bits of reporting.

    I have tended to specialise in science, biography and history but have happily turned my hand to everything from genre novels to travel books. I published and edited two chairs magazine, a general interest literary magazine, for two years. (Soon I will put the archivedtwo chairs website up just for fun and reference.)

    One man's misunderstanding coudl quickly become another's admission into the prison queen hall of fame. Personally I think Mr. Currie misunderstands the meaning behind where the original files can come from. I think you'll find that even Canada will eventually rule that you can only make copies from the original CD if and only if you own it. Canada is part of the WIPO and as such all members will eventually have to standardize their copyright laws. Why do you think the US extended its copyright terms to life of author plus 70 years? Disney might get the blame but in reality it was to bring the European and US terms into balance. Disney simply went along.
  • by Sabu mark ( 205793 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:45PM (#6976718)
    As in The RIAA, Eh?

  • by PSaltyDS ( 467134 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @12:49PM (#6976773) Journal
    "A small levy on storage media, say a penny a megabyte, would be more lucrative than trying to extract 60 million dollars from a music obsessed, file sharing, thirteen year-old."

    That's about $7 per CD-R, and $40 per DVD-R?!!! BOVINE SCAT!!!

  • by uw_dwarf ( 611383 ) <wjjordan@oakencross . c a> on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @01:10PM (#6977005)

    The CPCC levy isn't the only reason why private copying via P2P networks is not a legal problem in Canada. There are privacy laws (about which the US has already complained [] are a hinderance to their terrorist investigations) that prevent the RIAA from issuing subpoenas to Canadian ISPs demanding their logs and subscribers.

    This doesn't mean that your file-sharing information is not inaccessible. If you're sharing music, you'll be fine--you're not in violation of Canadian law and practice. If you're sharing kiddy porn or hate literature, the Canadian police can get the data because you're involved in another crime.

    The CBC has a brief article and opinion [] about this.

    If the RIAA was to follow the lead of Canadian direct broadcast satellite providers, they'd make an appeal to morality to address their problem, since the laws here won't help them.

  • by redelm ( 54142 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @01:15PM (#6977064) Homepage
    There is currently alot of controversy around the "sharing" of digital music files over the objections of the copyright holders (RIAA for short). Some users feel guilt (occasionally shown as defiance) over having received something valuable so cheaply.

    I'd like to calm the rhetoric. Sure, common sense would indicate the RIAA's copyrights have been violated. But copyright has been heavily legislated over the past century to the point that common sense or common law is nearly absent. It has such things as compulsory licences and device royalties. Morality should be confined to governing personal actions and advocating revisions to intellectual property law. It is disingenuous for the RIAA to invoke morality when if anything they have had excessive influence in crafting legislation.

    IANAL but lets look at the law. Once you know the tokens, legalese is not usually harder to parse than APL :) Apologies for a US-centric viewpoint but I believe a statutory situation exists in all other common-law countries with different details. There's an excellent copy of the United States Code, Title 17 - Copyrights at Cornell []. Chapter 10 covers DIGITAL AUDIO RECORDING DEVICES AND MEDIA . Particularly interesting is:

    Sec. 1008. - Prohibition on certain infringement actions... No action may be brought under this title alleging infringement of copyright based on the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a digital audio recording device, a digital audio recording medium, an analog recording device, or an analog recording medium, or based on the noncommercial use by a consumer of such a device or medium for making digital musical recordings or analog musical recordings

    Simply breathtaking! The words "this title" mean Title 17, which contains all of US copyright law. The first "based on" means these things are not actionable as contributory negligence ("burglars tools"). The second "based on" means non-commercial use of these things does not violate copyright. Wow!

    The definitions in Sec.1001 would seem to include computers. They sure are designed, advertised and used that way amongst others. But all is not [Guns'N'] roses. The manufacturers of these recording devices would seem to owe a device tax that gets paid through the Librarian-of-Congress (of all people!) to the RIAA as specified. There are also requirements related to the Serial Copy Management System. I trust that RIAA have settled this with their long-standing antagonists, appliance manufacturers, now including Dell, HP, et al. But even if not, how does it affect me?

    The term "noncommercial use" would almost certainly cover receiving music files to make recordings on a hard-disk. Offering to transmit music files might not be covered and fall under the exceptionally byzantine Sec.114 as an "interactive service". But a lawyer specialising in Copyright law should be able to give a better interpretation including case precedents. The Diamond Rio MP3 player case [] is probably relevant. Is there a lawyer in the house?

  • This is bogus (Score:4, Informative)

    by MadChicken ( 36468 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @01:57PM (#6977539) Homepage Journal
    I've read through the copyright act (and related discussions) a fair bit, and it doesn't give a carte blanche for P2P.

    You are allowed to make a personal copy from an original, meaning you can borrow an original from a friend or the library and burn or rip all you want ([Canadians] pay for it when we buy blank CD-Rs).

    From what I understand, you CANNOT copy the copy. See this [] for some details.

    So if that follows, you can legally download from P2P *only if* it's an original. Since you typically have to rip it, it's already one generation away from the original.

    In addition: this [] seems to indicate the resulting copy *has to* be on a medium for which you have paid the levy. To quote:

    If the music is put onto a blank CD, then it is not infringement. If the music is left on a computer hard-disk, it is currently considered infringement.

    IANAL, and when it gets this complicated, I'm kinda glad for that...

    Interestingly, the levy only applies to BLANK media. To sell a hard drive MP3 player, prerecord a little "welcome" tune on there, and you're off the hook. :)
  • Some useful info (Score:5, Informative)

    by gordguide ( 307383 ) on Tuesday September 16, 2003 @05:07PM (#6979430)
    The Copyright Act 1985 c-42 Canada [] is available here. It's been amended a few times (latest, April 2003) but those changes have little bearing on the slashdot subject. Users with little time want to check out Part VIII, Private Copying; and in particular Section 80; Copying for Private Use.

    Some comments on the discussion so far:
    The Recording Industry Association of America represents US record companies. They don't now, and never have, anything to do with Canada or any other country.

    The RIAA is a member of the IFPI [], which represents the recording industry worldwide. Their website has a great link called "Anti-Piracy" and a defintion under What is Piracy? [] Please note the definition has not a word about dowloading, or copying a buddy's CD, but instead refers to what the RIAA tends to call Counterfeiting.

    The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CIRA) is the body which represents the industry in Canada. They are the equivalent to the RIAA in that country and if anyone was suing anybody in Canada, they would be doing it, not the RIAA. Ever.

    Uploading music is completely illegal in Canada, as is allowing it to be shared. CIRA can and probably will sue anyone who does it, and they will win. Damages, on the other hand, won't be even close to the numbers the US courts give out, which probably explains why they're not hiring a floorful of lawyers about it, so far.

    What the Copyright Act allows, is the copying, for personal use, of music from any source. So, downloading is fine, as is borrowing the CD from the public library (most Canadian libraries have extensive music collections available) or a buddy, or any other source you can imagine. There are no restricitons, of any kind, on the source of the music you use to create a copy.

    Steal a disk and copy it; the crime remains the theft of a $20 disk, not the copying of that "illegal" disk.

    The restriction is only the person making the copy has any right to use it. You cannot lend, give away, or otherwise distribute a Personal Copy made under authorization of Section 80.

    Thus, allowing your mp3s to be available to others via a shared drive or network is against the law in Canada, as is making a disk and giving it to Grandma for Christmas. Granny has to run her own burner. And moving to Canada would not protect any of those who the RIAA has sued recently; what they do is still against the law north of 49.

    The US media, especially the RIAA, has done a great job of marketing their message worldwide, not just in their jurisdiction. Thus, almost every Canadian (and absolutely every journalist; lazy no check-facting idiots that they are) is completely unaware of the Act, or how it applies to copying. They all think it's illegal to burn CDs in Canada.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern