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Canada Plans P2P and file-sharing Crackdown
March 24, 2005
Thomas Mennecke
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For over two years, Canadians have enjoyed a freedom their American brethren do not - the ability to download media files legally. In December of 2003, the Canadian Copyright Board ruled that downloading files off a P2P network is legal. However, the board stressed that uploading files was still an illegal act.

And so, two years have passed and Canadians have been downloading merrily without consequence. However, it appears this free ride is in danger of ending very soon.

In a joint press release issued in Ottawa, Canada by the Ministry of Industry and Canadian Heritage, the Federal government proposed drastic changes to the current Copyright Act.

"We are pleased to have this opportunity to show Canadians how we intend
to build a copyright framework for the 21st century," said Minister Frulla. "We must strengthen the hand of our creators and cultural industries against the unauthorized use of their works on the Internet."

The goal of the proposed copyright legislation will be to implement the provisions of the 1996 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaties. Some of the more substantial changes are as follows:

  • the circumvention for infringing purposes of technological protection measures (TPMs) applied to copyright material would constitute an infringement of copyright;

  • the alteration or removal of rights management information (RMI) embedded in copyright material, when done to further or conceal infringement, would constitute an infringement of copyright;

  • A "notice and notice" regime in relation to the hosting and file-sharing activities of an ISP's subscribers would be provided for. When an ISP receives notice from a rights holder that one of its subscribers is allegedly hosting or sharing infringing material, the ISP would be required to forward the notice to the subscriber, and to keep a record of relevant information for a specified time.

Although these proposed changes have not been signed into law just yet, this marks an significant change in Canada's file-sharing philosophy. The proposed legislation is to be presented before the House of Commons later this spring. If the provisions of the WIPO become law, the days of legal file-sharing will over for Canadians.

"This is terrific news," comments CRIA President Graham Henderson. "Canada is one step closer to having a copyright law that will reflect the realities of the digital marketplace and allow the music industry a chance to prosper. We want to thank the government and the opposition parties for their support in getting to this stage."

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
File-Sharing/P2P Related :: International

You can read Canada's Federal press release here.

You can read the CRIA's press release here.

You can discuss this article here - 78 replies

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