CRIA motion quashed
A federal court judge has turned down a motion filed by the
Canadian Recording Industry Association that requested Internet
service providers to disclose the identities of 29 individuals
accused of swapping thousands of files over Kazaa, a file sharing
Tuesday’s decision, based partly on section 80 of the
Copyright Act, stated that “downloading a song for personal
use does not amount to infringement.”
Western assistant law professor Samuel Trosow stressed the
need to find a balance between the rights of Internet users
and those of copyright owners.
“The reason we have copyright law is to give creative
artists, authors and musicians some incentive to go about their
innovative work so we can give them compensation,” he
said, noting that overcompensation could, conversely, place
too many restrictions on users.
“We have to remember that [file-sharing] can legitimately
be used to share music files of unsigned bands — music
that is intentionally being put on Kazaa by the copyright owner,” said
Keir Keightley, assistant professor of media, information and
technoculture at Western.
Megan Davis Williams, national director of the Canadian Conference
of Arts, said she thinks the courts need to rethink the decision.
“It’s one thing to download something for yourself
and listen to it, but it’s different when you’re
parking other people’s music on your website,” Williams
said. “Where our interest lies is that artists need to
be paid for their work, and file-sharing circumvents their
chance of getting royalties.
“I don’t think the ruling was definitive,” she
added “I’m sure [the CRIA] will appeal.”
According to Mark Perry, assistant professor of law and computer
science, the court may allow access to users’ Internet
protocol addresses in the future. “What [the CRIA has]
to do is convince the court that the people they’re going
after are indeed breaching copyright and making unauthorized
copies of works themselves.”
The CRIA issued a press release yesterday stating they will
appeal the court’s decision, but they were unavailable