Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Cyberpiracy north of the border

This is an article I had intended to post about yesterday. This article by Declan McCullagh takes a peek at Canadian copyright laws and how the differences between American and Canadian laws have resulted in very different approaches to p2p.

Filesharing isn't the issue in Canada that it is here in the USA. Why? Because blank media is taxed, and these taxes subsidize artists. Originally created to deal with small-scale personal copying, this is a very different approach to copying media. Note, though, that while copying for personal, noncommercial purposes is legal, distribution isn't. So, theoretically, downloading and copying isn't a crime, but sharing MP3s with others would be.

The interview points out that, with regard to p2p, this understanding is at the theoretical level, because there haven't been any cases brought against Canadian filesharers. Why not? No DMCA power of subpoena.

Two questions from McCullagh and Michael Geist's responses:

And the DMCA's anticircumvention section, which SunComm recently used to threaten a Princeton University graduate student?
We don't have anything like that, either. Digital rights management and circumvention issues are not part of our copyright law.

Is Canada a freer country when it comes to the Internet, as a result?
Based on an innovation perspective, we haven't run into the same problems the United States has, with lawsuits brought against researchers, garage door manufacturers and printing companies. Most Canadians look at those cases and are rather puzzled.

- posted by laurie @ 10/29/2003 06:27:00 AM
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