Sharing Copyrighted Works in Canada is Legal

In a surprising setback to record labels, a judge in Canada has ruled that downloading copyrighted works from peer to peer networks such as Kazaa and Morpheus is legal. Recording industry bodies have enjoyed success in a variety of countries by suing individuals for downloading and uploading music files, so this ruling must have come as quite a shock.

The ruling is specific to Canada, but will have far wider implications especially when other countries’ legislative bodies look too their peers for guidance – however, courts in Canada have yet to decide if the uploading of copyrighted files is legal.

The decision was made when Canadian record labels began the process to sue 29 alleged file swappers – and were denied authorisation to identify them. The ruling is based on legislation in Canada that states that most copying for personal use is permitted – this is possible because there is a levy imposed on all blank tapes, CDs and MP3 players to make up for potential lost revenue. on the story

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?