Lots of coverage today on two major Canadian security breaches – 470,000 Canadians hit by a CIBC security breach, while two million credit cards may have been captured in a hacking job against Winners, a clother retailer.
Archive for January 18th, 2007
This was report-card week for the global recording industry as they issued reports on music sales for 2006. Lost among the various headlines (Howard points to 10% growth in Canada; press reports talked about the IFPI targeting ISPs) is a far more significant development. Canada was among the fastest growing digital download markets in the world, outpacing the United States and Europe. Last week, CRIA President Graham Henderson was telling the media that the Canadian digital market was not taking off and that "people are simply abandoning the marketplace altogether, and they've made the decision they'll just download the music and worry about how the artist gets paid later."
Not so. Canadian digital download sales grew by 122 percent last year, increasing from 6.7 million to 14.9 million (digital albums increased by a similar percentage). By comparison, the U.S. grew 65 percent and Europe by 80 percent. These are the industry's own numbers – far from abandoning the digital market, the Canadian market is growing faster on a percentage basis than the United States and Europe.
Yesterday Macleans.ca posted an article on copyright reform that calls attention to the growing public interest in copyright, last year's Bulte fight, and the prospect that Canadian Heritage Minister Oda could face similar opposition if the Conservatives introduce DMCA-like legislation in Canada. The story arose in light of a BoingBoing posting that picked up on a Canadian Press story on "imminent" copyright reform.
While it is great that the article notes the public concern with copyright, I think it actually misses the mark in a couple of respects. First, it argues that consumers "who have grown accustomed to the lax standards currently in place would see further regulation as an infringement on their rights." I don't think that is quite right. Canada does not have lax standards when it comes to copyright. Our laws are compliant with our international obligations and indeed are far more restrictive in certain respects (ie. fair use) than laws found in the United States. The outcry from the public won't happen because they're used to lax laws, but rather because if we're going to get reform, Canadians want the reform to reflect their needs rather than those promoted by the U.S. Trade Representative.
Second, by focusing on the role of bloggers, I think there is a danger of missing the bigger picture.