CRIA Announces Shut Down of Canadian Counterfeiting Operation

I'm at Canadian Music Week in Toronto this week (where a representative of the RIAA urged Canadians to increase the "hassle" factor of P2P by launching lawsuits and polluting the P2P networks with fake files) where CRIA just issued a press release heralding the shut down and arrest of a major music counterfeiting operation in Manitoba.  The release claims that 30 percent of pirated CDs seized in Toronto originate from the operation.  CRIA's Graham Henderson is quoted as saying that "today's arrests send out a clear message that commercial piracy will no longer be tolerated in Canada."  I'm not sure that commercial piracy was ever tolerated in Canada, but I'm in agreement that this is good news.  Commercial piracy – which can and should be distinguished from non-commercial cases – should not be tolerated and it is good to see that Canadian law and Canadian law enforcement are clearly up to the challenge of dealing with the issue.

Update: In a rather bizarre chain of events, CRIA issued a correction to this initial release last night indicating that there had been no arrests. Hours later, there is an RCMP press release indicating that there were arrests (using the Copyright Act), though the release is hosted at a private website and is currently not on the RCMP's own site.


  1. Michael Geist agrees with CRIA? Is this an alternate universe?

  2. Against commercial piracy
    I too agree with CRIA on this. I don’t think anyone has argued in favor of commercial piracy. I have repeatedly seen fair copyright advocates reject it.

  3. Darryl Moore says:

    Facts first
    Yeah, sure on the face of it, I’d agree with the CRIA too. Get the facts from an independent source too. These types of organizations have been known to misrepresent their case before.

    [ link ]

  4. Facts is Right
    [ link ]

    From the last line in the story by the Canadian Press:

    “Under Canada’s Copyright Act, it is illegal to manufacture CDs, DVDs and digital downloads for sale, rent, distribution or public exhibition.”

    What if you have licence?

    Secondly, “… illegal to manufacture .. digital downloads”

    Has the Copyright Act been updated in private?

    Was this part of the press release too?

    The quote above is from the “news” story. I can’t find the press release at the moment to compare the two.

    Good point to Darryl Moore.

    There has been a change in the press release or the news story …

    TORONTO, March 7 /CNW/ – In the CRIA media release of March 6, it was erroneously reported that RCMP had filed criminal charges against four people in connection with the RCMP investigation into Ltd. CRIA has
    received information that no one has been charged with an offence in respect of this matter.

    [ link ]

  6. Michael_S says:

    I heard this reported on CBC radio this morning. They were nice enough to include an interview with an independent artist (forget the name) as well as some sound-bites from Graham Henderson, both of who had harsh words about “download pirates.”
    I found it quite funny since downloaders (“pirates” or otherwise have absolutely nothing to do with this story.

    Is the CBC really that ignorant or are they now a mouth-piece for CRIA?

  7. While I can agree to some extent that commercial piracy should be distinguished in some way from non-commercial, the biggest concern I might have over not being concerned about non-commercial piracy is that commercial organizations that may be intent on breaking the law would invariably just get more creative in their approaches to piracy… perhaps doing it all “under the table” as it were, under the guise of a noncommercial operation, so that there was no obvious commercial profit in it (but even if they weren’t actually charging money, they may still be benefiting from increased notoriety that could result, which could easily have the side effect of improving otherwise completely legitimate profits).

  8. lord of freeeeee
    p2p had nothing to do with this
    how is me dling for non profit non commercial uses a factor in manatoba HUH. GOOD GO GET THEM NOOBS LEAVE ME ALONE

  9. Praetorian says:

    I could imagine the CRIA boardroom after the initial release:

    “Wait a minute! If we congratulate the RCMP and support their efforts, someone might say the system works and we won’t have a leg to stand on for amending the Copyright Act!!! RETRACT RETRACT RETRACT

  10. I’m going to start a business where CRIA-represented CDs are loaned to people at central locations for free, though fees are indirectly collected by all taxpayers. Oh, wait – there’s already someone doing this. They call them libraries.

  11. I suppose I’m more surprised than anything else that someone thought it profitable to run a counterfeit operation here. I would guess that only those who thought they were paying for legitimate goods paid anything out for them.

    That said, I normally hate to say this, but good on the CRIA for this one. This is the sort of scam they *should* be watching out for because, unlike with downloads, each disc the counterfeiters sold is unquestionably a lost sale for the industry.

  12. Actually, Jon, each disc the counterfeiters sold is unquestionably *NOT* a lost sale for the industry. It *could* have been a sale for the industry if the price was what the customer felt comfortable paying.

    $19.99 for A CD? No wonder people by pirate versions or download for free! *THAT* is the reality.