A Week in the Life of the Canadian DMCA: Part Five

The week in the life of the Canadian DMCA concludes (day one, day two, day three, day four) with Stephen.

Stephen is a big music fan.  Tonight, he is going with his girlfriend to see his favourite band in concert.  He has purchased every CD issued by the band. To get ready for concert, he downloads a live version of one of his favourite songs that was released commercially in Europe (it is not available in Canada) that he finds on a file-sharing network.  The song is downloaded to an external hard drive that he uses to store his music.  While on the network, one hundred songs on the hard drive were available in his shared folder for others to download, though none were.  At his girlfriend’s request, he also copies three of the band's best songs onto a CD to play during the drive to the concert.  He gives the CD to his girlfriend as a gift.

If Industry Minister Jim Prentice’s Bill C-61 becomes law, all of these copying activity – with one exception – would arguably violate the law.
Stephen’s download of a live version of a song arguably does not violate the law since the copy was completed for personal, non-commercial purposes on a medium that could be subject to the private copying levy.  As such, the copy may be a legal private copy.

Making available one hundred songs to the file sharing network for others to download, however briefly, raises the prospect of significant liability.  The much-discussed $500 personal download damage award does not apply here.  Instead, Stephen faces up to $20,000 per infringement or up to $2 million dollars despite the fact that there was no evidence that anyone downloaded anything from his computer.

Copying three songs to a CD for his girlfriend is also likely a violation of the law. The copies were not personal copies and thus do not qualify for the private copying right. Bill C-61 allows users to shift their music to other devices or medium, but they are not permitted to give away the copy (Section 29.22 (1)(e)).


  1. Has anyone heard Prentice’s interview on the CBC Search Engine podcast? It is worth checking out:

    [ link ]

  2. rogers
    intreasting facts with \”rogers\” not that this \”bill\” has been proposed. last week i recevied and advertisment \”personalized\” letter about how switching to rogers with ALL the information/communications mediums would be in my \”advantage\”( i am not not even going to talk about the $130+tax+ hidden fees rip-offs).ok so far, but monday i received a follow up to the same very letter stating with the line \” we hope that you had a CHANCE to consider our previous letter\”….ok garbage right asway..BUT today, friday and 4 days later i receive YET ANOTHER letter with same persuasions and the word \”free\” everywhere ( ya right!). also longer and even more persuading…

    my point is rogers wiched to get as many customers LOCKED in their service when this bill will pass or they HOPE it does, no matter what comments their PR might be making this days( they bet that out of convenience customers will \”stay\” with them, since switching or unlocking phones/etc will be extra expenses due to new handesets needed for example)

    onto why this bill ISSUES are not debated within the french province…well it is obvious that their local party is in \”bed\” with the conservatives and they have already agreed to vote PRO-bill…i am very dissipointed with them and the fact they made this pro-bush conservative party a REALITY in the first place. it is quiet odd that this province has given canada its best laws and the canadian charter itself, only for them to be hijacked now by this somehow \”extremist\” own party. there needs to be more awarness created in montreal or the whole province before is too late.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Someone should take out full page ads in the Montreal and QC city area’s to educate the people there that granny is going to lose her house.

  4. Why does the personal download damage award not apply?

  5. Anonymous says:


    \”Why does the personal download damage award not apply?\”

    If your refering to the 100 songs, because they are available for upload, therfore $20,000 per.
    If your refering to the song that was not available in Canada that Stephen downloaded. I dissagree it would ne subject to the $500 per incident, or %20,000 if it was ripped from a DRM cd.

  6. The personal download doesn’t apply because he wasn’t downloading those 100 songs, he was making them available to be uploaded. The making available clause of this bill holds him liable for up to $20,000 per song.

  7. Xetheriel says:

    Important Notes
    For the most part, I’ve really enjoyed this series from Mr. Geist, but this one should have some additional explanation added, and thus:

    A. The download of the live broadcast should indeed be legal, as the existing private copying levy covers external hard drives. This application of the levy, however, has not been tested in court, so theres no real way to be sure.

    B. Making 100 songs available for download would indeed be illegal under the new bill C-61, and arguably would have been fine under the old law. Also, no limitation on statutory damages because in this case, it would be an upload, not a download. Again, this clause has not been tested in court, and I think it would be a stretch to enforce this type of clause. Without evidence of *actual* infringement, I can’t see how the courts could rule in favor of a copyright holder based on making available alone. Look at it this way:

    If I leave a cd on my desk in a dorm that houses many students, and another student takes that cd, makes a copy, and then returns the cd to my desk, should *I* be liable for the infringement? Any reasonable court would likely see it this way, given that in most cases, file sharing software gives you little choice, or obscures the options to *not* share your files. It may not be the exact same thing, but its a reasonable comparison.

    C. Making a CD of music for *anybody* is infringing activity even under the existing copyright regime. I can’t see how this example does anything to further the case against bill C-61.

    I considered something today that is limited by this new bill… the wording of the bill is:

    29.22(1)(d)the individual reproduces the sound recording no more than once for each device that the individual owns, whether the reproduction is made directly onto the device or is made onto a medium that is to be used with the device;

    So when format shifting music, you still cannot extensively make mix CD’s and such. Take this example:

    I have 4 songs that I want to mix, A, B, C and D. I purchased CD’s containing these songs, and format shifted them onto my PC (non-infringing).

    I want to mix A, B, and C onto one CD to be played in my car, and A, C, and D to also be played in my car. This would be infringing activity, because you can only make a single copy *per device*. Yet another clause in this bill that was not well thought out.

    I’m of the opinion that I should be able to mix my music onto CD’s as much as I want as long as its for personal use. But this new bill restricts me from using any given song more than once per device. And I know I’m not the only one thats had a song appear on more than one mix CD.

    Food for thought.


  8. never forget the fact that when buying ANY cd/dvd you OWN it. period!

    now the fine line is this: if anyone DISTRIBUTE it for monetary GAIN then THE PERSON SHOULD BE LIABLE. BUT IF I AM “SHARING” IT TO PEOPLE I LIKE FOR FREE (as the case would be be for “sharing” folder) then i make no money of it and how WOULD THEY BE ABLE TO PROVE THAT I COULD BE A “PIRATE” IF THERE ARE NO MONEY TRAILS!?!?!??!?!?!

    THAT is the part this bill LEAVES out, making sure ANYONE is liable so big coorporations can sue you at their discretion!and i am not buying political responses as “we won’s sue you”. after all income tax was introduced as a “WAR MEASURE” during the great war and never taken off…REMEMBER?

    point is that if this goes into law, i will NEVER stop my PERSONal ACTivities; and IF i am taken to court i will counter-sue for damages (not that i would get any, but i WANT TO FORCE THIS BIG COORPORATIONS PAY EVEN MORE MONEY FOR THEIR LAWYERS!). there is absolute no way they can win since i make no MONEY out of sharing! however , as i said, someone that shares files and GETS PAID for it should go to jail indeed.

    it is as simple as that. and each and everyone that might get involved in such “problems” should represent themselves. in the end that will make this whole industry colapse , and eventually not having any money left for LOBBYST in foreign governments!

    focus on the main issues, do not let “compromises” being FORCED down our throats by some money making machines.

  9. Anonymous says:

    the very POINT of having and buying to OWN “intelectual property” is to DEBATE IT/share it/exchange points of view. who in their right mind would not get or buy music or movies and not SHARE that at least with family/friends!?!?1

  10. Xetheriel says:

    To victor:

    There is one flaw in what you are saying there, and that is: making and distributing copies of copyrighted works for *any* reason is infringing activity and subject to damages, even if you made no money from it, and yes, that is the case, even under CURRENT canadian copyright laws.

    Remember, that a portion of every CD you purchase, no matter how small that portion, goes to the artist that created it.

    Personally, I would rather find a way to ensure that more money goes to the artists than the big corporations. But arbitrarily distributing copyrighted materials because you think its OK, is not OK.

    On the other hand, I’m of the mind that: I bought it, I own it. Thus:

    1. I should be able to format shift it into any format, any number of times, onto any device or media, as long as it is for *personal use*.

    2. I should be able to use reasonable clips for the purposes of reporting, documentary, commentary and satire.

    3. I should be able to record any broadcast and watch it as many times as I like, and keep it as long as I like. And if I want to have people over to watch the hockey game I recorded last night, I should be able to, as long as I’m not charging admission.

    4. If the item in question is guarded by a digital lock, I should be able to circumvent that digital lock *by any means necessary* to enforce my rights in 1, 2 and 3.

    *THAT* is what this reform is about. Enforcing copyrights, while still maintaining user and creator rights. Joe blow that never buys CD’s and just downloads all the music and movies he wants, is infringing copyrights, and should be punished.

    Honest people that pay good money for content, and legitimately want to support their favorite artists, studios, etc… should be rewarded with the rights they deserve.

    Corporations that want to produce good content, and are willing to listen to their user base and adapt to new technologies will be rewarded with people willing to pay for that content.

    Corporations that act as nothing short of a cartel to sue and harass users for downloading a few songs, should be restricted from doing so.

    Artists that create a good product should be rewarded with royalties that will act as an incentive for them to create new content.

    Artists that want to live comfortably forever on the single album they released that had only 1 good song on it, should be restricted from doing so by the market.

    In a perfect world, this is how a balanced copyright regime would work.

    Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, thus we have Bill C-61.



  11. Common sense
    >> In a perfect world, this is how a balanced copyright regime would work

    In a less perfect world this is how “common sense” would work.
    Unfortunately we leave in a world that doesn’t make any sense any more.

    I hope that paraphrasing your words and further elaborating them I didn’t break any law 😉

  12. Making availalbe may be enough
    Xetheriel: I read this -> “I can’t see how the courts could rule in favor of a copyright holder based on making available alone.” and couldn’t help but think of the US example. If I’ve been reading things correctly, the US courts have quite clearly stated that making available is on its own enough.

  13. Xetheriel says:

    Re: Making availalbe may be enough

    while you are correct that there is *one* case in the states in which a court ruled that making available constituted infringement, that ruling will likely be overturned on appeal due to the fact that many other states have rejected that argument from the recording industry outright, and have forced them to provide evidence of *actual* infringement.

    You seldom hear about those cases, because as soon as a case looks to be “going south” as it were, they promptly drop the case.


  14. R. Bassett Jr. says:

    Making Available
    “Making Available” in the USA is a ciminal offence. I am at work and do not have time to find the cases that have been won by the recording indrusty, where “Making Available” was considered an act of distribution even though there was no evidence that any files were shared.

    One woman had to pay $200,000 worth of damages for that.

    Do not believe for a moment we will be safe, becuase our courts are benign. After all, Canada is the country that no longer has the death penalty, because we were killing too many innocent people…

  15. Anonymous says:

    in regards to R. Bassett Jr previous post, please see:
    [ link ]

    Its not a black & white case as you allude it to be.

  16. tangent
    Sorry to make a comment not directly addressing this posting but I thought it important to note that there isn’t a singe mention of copyright or bill c-61 on

    copyright on [ link ]=

    c-61 on [ link ]=


    even hoping to get some spin from the horses mouth failed.

    playing devils advocate and giving mr. prentice the benefit of the doubt that google might not have indexed this content i spent a considerable amount of time navigating his site. and found nothing relating to this bill. nothing.

  17. re: making available
    Actually, the judge in that case now believes he made a serious mistake when he instructed the jury that making available was the same as distribution

    [ link ]

    [ link ]

  18. Sorry to go off topic a little but this is in regards to the people above taking about that US case.

    If you guys are looking for a good library of P2P cases in the US, look at [ link ] (use the tabs near the top). Its all covered there.

    Some law firm uses this site as a library for their cases and one lawyer in particular in the US makes comment posts once in a while on the happenings/news over there.

    What you guys are discussing can be found there using its search or thumbing through it, I recall reading it.

    What \”hal\” is saying is true. Read it there and seen some US lawyer mentioning it there as well.

    Its a nice little resource on the injustice done with their US DMCA.

    It also serves as an example of what is to come here if this bill is passed.

    Wait till this bill affects the universities and all the DMCA style notices and 20K fines and 500$ fines start flying at U of Ottawa and Carlton and McGill and Condordia and… on and on.

    History repeats itself.

  19. READ PEOPLE says:

    Making Available is NOT a USA offense
    making available in the USA is NOT a criminal offense in fact the only case the RIAA won is now being sent back to trial because of the very fact of the making available has been struck down in several other cases making a appeal more able so the judge has or is re ordering it back to trial , this means that most sensibly you have to PROVE they are uploading to someone.

  20. Cruel and unusual punishment
    I can only hope that the Supreme Courts are wise enough to view these proposed punishments as cruel and unusual. A $20k fine would leave me unemployed, on the street, with my child in tow. Do they want that? Really? For file sharing? How about a foster home for him while I go to jail?

    The stupidest part is this: forget this BS about 100 songs, I have over 100 full discographies of big bands. If you don’t already do it, just search for “discography” or “discographia”, or select files of type “archive” when you look for a band’s name, so you get the big .zip files. That’s how it’s done, and we’re talking minimums 1000’s of songs, not 10’s. We’re talking say 100 discographies x 10 albums x 10 songs = 10000 songs on my comp., and growing. I could download that again the next time I’m out of town for a week, easily. Supposing I use Emule or BitTorrent like most people (the vast majority), the downloads complete in about 4 days, and then remain shared for another solid 3 while I’m away.

    I have got ISP forwarded infringement warning notices before while DLing games, even though I unshared them immediately when completed, so even bringing down a single file that’s a discography could land you a $2 million fine (1000 songs).

    That 1000 song, single .zip file download would have been a $5 million fine, except that I can’t block sharing while I’m downloading, or between the time it’s done and I get home. So that’s a $200 million fine. That’s how the the real numbers run. Fair and ballanced my sore ass. And I can guarantee you that I wasn’t going to buy a single dollar’s worth anyways, so the industry has actually lost nothing on my behalf that they would have otherwise gained. My activity cost them NOTHING. I bought the bandwidth and the server.

    $200 million = get fucking real. They use the similar logic pricing the “street value” of drugs.

    Sadly, because the maximums are rediculous, what we will get is some gray middle ground where innocent little people get badly hurt, court battles bleed on for years, families and homes are torn apart, criminal records that damage people for life, etc. All the usual bagage that comes with the criminalization of anything.

    And pan-criminalization seems to be the fad these days. I’m tired of fucking facists. And that’s what this is.

  21. ^Oops, a few zero's out says:

    Sorry, scrambled the math a just a wee bit. If I grab 100 discographies next week, that’s 100000 songs, all shared while I’m downloading.

    That’s merely $2 billions of dollars.

    Or just grab a single 1000 song dicography, with downloading only would have been a mere $5mil, but now becomes $20 millions for sharing.

    Maybe, because it’s such a huge number, the’ll just have to give me jail time instead. Say the max (100000 songs, OMFG), and my kid can go to a foster home. Yeah!

    It’s all OK though, I’m a bad person. A really bad person.

  22. addiction
    That should be treated as an addiction (not with jail time). The funny thing is that you would never be able to listen to all that massive amount of music. You are a victim of years and years of commercials which have shown you that the more you buy the more you have the more you are happy. You have just found a shortcut to that happiness. You cannot be blamed for that.

  23. Representatives?
    I’ve read a few of Mr Geist’s columns, and seen the comments left by others. So far I haven’t seen anyone mention my view of the current situation – as a relatively young Canadian (25) who is technologically competent, working full time, and interested in the activities of our government.

    My view is this – I have voted every time I have been given the opportunity, and I have seen no change in policy or procedure. I have seen the government draft legislation in response to lobby groups, foreign interests, and of course, self interest. These laws all seem to be inflicted on, rather than at the request of, the Canadian populace.

    I have no idea how to get those in power to pay attention. Write all the letters you want, in this digital age it’s ridiculously easy to ignore mail, and especially e-mail. If you can physically corner one of our MP(P)s you’d have much better luck, if you aren’t charged with harassment.

    Me, I’m jaded. I see no white light at the end of this tunnel. I don’t have a tv, or cable. I don’t buy any music anymore. I rarely go to the theater. I can find anything on the internet. Thanks to the collaborative power of thousands DRM is broken relatively quickly.

    I refuse to worry about what our government will try to do to me next. My time and energy is much better spent finding out how to get around it all.

  24. NDP’s are giving me hope in this countr
    Jim Prentice Tries To Defend The Canadian DMCA Bill C-61

    [ link ]

    Prentice answer is very much like this one [ link ]

  25. keep going says:

    Part 6
    I want to see a part 6 where they get nailed for each infringement found in each of the 5 stories.

  26. Meet Harper says:

    Harper coming to Quebec on 24th, take no
    From 105.7 Rythme FM Montreal:

    “Le premier ministre Stephen Harper sera au Quebec mardi pour celebrer la Saint-Jean-Baptiste dans la circonscription vacante de Saint-Lambert, sur la rive sude de Montreal. Contrairement a une rumeur qui circulait, le premier ministre ne profitera pas de l’occasion pour annoncer la tenue de deux elections partielles en septembre dans la region de Montreal, soit dans Saint-Lambert et dans Westmount-Ville-Marie.”

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper will be in Quebec on Tuesday to celebrate Saint-Jean-Baptiste in the vacant riding of Saint-Lambert, on the south shore of Montreal. Contrary to rumors, Prime Minister will not use this opportunity to announce two partial elections to be held in September in Montreal region, in Saint-Lambert and in Westmount-Ville-Marie, to be exact.

    So, if you can meet our Prime Minister Harper on June 24th, PLEASE DO SO! Michael Geist says this is important to do:

    “Take 30 minutes from your summer, to meet directly with your MP. From late June through much of the summer, your MP will be back in your local community attending local events and making themselves available to meet with constituents. Give them a call and ask for a meeting. Every MP in the country should return to Ottawa in the fall having heard from their constituents on this issue.”

    Found via comment:

    [ link ]

  27. addiction… NOT
    ^ ENO, “That should be treated as an addiction (not with jail time).”

    No, it’s not addiction, it’s a way of life. Every time I want a few songs by band XXXXX (found on Youtube), it’s easiest to just grab the whole discography instead, and play anythng I want. My ususal fave is to just play an album (folder). It’s like having my own radio station, all the best bands, all the songs, NO ADS, and a SKIP button. It takes one search, one download, and one unzip (or unRAR), and voila, I have several new albums. This is my answer to NOT having to waste my time on singles. It’s like grabbing handfulls of disks from the music store, with no worries about the cost. Just hit play and enjoy, and delete the ones that suck, no loss.

    I download movies too, but don’t have to pay late fees or “new release” prices for junk. I also have real variety, documentaries and older films. This podunk little town I’m in has no competition for video rentals, gets crap for selection, and loses all the good films within a few years, so I can’t show them to my kid as he’s growing up. I think someone already made enough money off of The Blues Brothers, but I’ll be damned if my son won’t see it sometime soon, this time for free.

    I think it’s important to realize that 500gigabyte hard drives are $100 a pop, and hold over well over 5000 music cd’s of storage (using mp3 files). I can’t buy a physical rack to hold disks for that cheap. Hell, you can’t buy blank CD’s that cheap. And I can download hundreds of DISKS in a few days, not hundreds of songs. That same 500gig drive is also 300’ish movies, just hit play, no scratched disks, no burning. Do you need to ask why I bought a 27″ monitor and leather recliners for my computer room / home office?

    This is the truth of the scale of digital media, and the reality is in very stark contrast to these piddling laws. They have no fucking clue where it’s at. If they pass this bullshit, we will encrypt, and raise our middle fingers.

    “The internet treats censorship as a malfunction and routes around it.”
    “You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.”
    “We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.”
    John Perry Barlow

  28. great essay
    by John Perry Barlow:
    [ link ]

    That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

  29. I am getting married next month. If we hire a professional photographer to take pictures of the wedding, does that mean the photographer owns the copyrights under the new law even though we commissioned the work?

    If our great grandkids someday use that work for the family tree, do they need to pay the photographer AGAIN to use our wedding photos?

    If so, then why would I ever let a photographer near our wedding? Why create such a mess, legally? Why pay extra to guarantee you own nothing, when spending nothing means you do?

    If I make a mockumentary of our wedding (something very likely), would I be breaking the copyrights of the original photographer, even if it is clearly transformative and satire? Do I have to pay the photographer AGAIN in order to make fun of myself?

    Or if I don’t do that, but the photographer instead creates a mockumentary of our wedding as part of his portfolio that is ok? Does the photographer have more rights to create a satirical piece of work of our wedding, than we do?

    Seems like it’s all getting a bit silly. I like silly, but not if it costs me money, or needs a lawyers approval. Instead, maybe the photographer should stay as an unpaid trespasser to our affairs, and the piece of cake he swiped is an infringement of my wife’s copyrighted recipe. Pay him a penny, and that situation changes entirely.

    Who said a penny wasn’t worth anything anymore?

  30. Long John Silver says:

    Re: Exploder
    Exploder, your whole post boils down to “I like copyright infringement.”

    Despite what you may believe, you don’t have a “right” to free music, movies, or other forms of entertainment.

  31. … *sigh*
    No matter how you try to justify yourself Exploder, you are NOT in the right here. The fact of the matter is YOU ARE STEALING, since at NO POINT has anyone been compensated for their works. As Long John Silver stated above, you don\’t have a \”right\” to free music, movies, or other forms of entertainment.

    Furthermore Exploder, I\’m curious how you reached the determination that those involved with Blues Brothers had \”made enough money\” from it. So, under the same circumstances, if you were the owner of a shop Exploder, I should be allowed to rob you of all your goods since in my opinion I had determined you had made enough from their sale. No doubt you wouldn\’t be happy if I were to do that.

    Exercise some common sense here in the future.

    If you condone or engage in activities like Exploder, quite honestly, you deserve to be punished with huge fines. For those of us who simply wish to be able to use our legally purchased content as we set fit (i.e. fair use), we should not be punished for doing so, which is something this bill does not allow.

  32. not understanding tech
    Sadly, you guys don’t understand the real size of this technology. My whole point in posting is to try to give a real example of JUST HOW BIG the numbers really are. I’m just a messenger folks, trying to inject a little current reality into a crucially misconcieved discussion. The numbers matter here, they are practically the whole discussion, so don’t flub the math.

    All the examples you see talk about singles or tens of “works”. This is MYOPIC and OBSOLETE and DISHONEST. The real numbers are SEVERAL MAGNITUDES LARGER. And will likely have doubled again by the time any reform has passed into law in Canada.

    If you don’t get my point, then you miss the fact that the normal maximum fines will be in the TENS OR HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, and maximum jail times. This is what your average teen will face. Are they really that EVIL? This is insanity. This is what laws that are out of touch with digital reality mean.

    As for me, of course I LOVE how well this whole setup works. Who wouldn’t?

    Give a Formula 1 race car to a teenager, and tell him he can NEVER put the pedal down to the floor, never take it above 100km/h. 99.999% of the time, you know what will happen.

    What’s more, the kid knows that unlike physical theft, nothing goes missing. The kid also see’s he has practically no money, and all the music or movie world is nothing but a perpetual bragging about how fantastically wealthy they are. So the kid adds two plus two, makes his own new copy, keeps the little money he has, and big content still have their copy, and still appear to be exceedingly wealthy.

    I know, let’s slap the kid with a $1000000 fine, because he had the nerve to be sharing 10000 songs. He’s just evil, and needs the jail time.

    Yeah, I know, if I had a store, I deserve to be punished with huge fines, I just like stealing, what-fucking-ever.

    Wake up fools, corporations and government are trying to destroy your privacy and freedom, and you won’t get it back so easily when it’s gone.

  33. … *duh*
    BTW, not once did I ever say I was right, or have the right, or whatever. I would just like our rights to be free from cruel and disproportionate punishments to be respected. Hopefully without dozens of decimating trips to the Supreme Courts over nonsense laws.

  34. I am kind of surprised reading over the last few comments. If I may, I would like to interject my opinion on the matters discussed.

    1. I don\’t think anyone is calling people who download content illegally are evil. However, the fact remains they are acquiring content without compensating the efforts of those who produced it, which at the very least is morally reprehensible.

    2. \”Give a Formula 1 race car to a teenager, and tell him he can NEVER put the pedal down to the floor, never take it above 100km/h. 99.999% of the time, you know what will happen.\”

    There are speed limits imposed on drivers, which is basically what you are describing above. Yes, you can choose to go above the speed limit, since vehicles are capable of it. However, don\’t be surprised when you receive a hefty speeding ticket or possibly criminal charges for reckless driving.

    We live in a society where there are laws, and as citizens, we are expected to adhere to them regardless. In addition, ignorance of the law is not considering a valid reason.

    3. I think it is misleading describing kids as the only group of people who illegally download content. I can think of individuals who engage in such activities who would not be defined as kids. The whole \”think of the kids\” angle is merely an appeal to emotion fallacy.

    4. \”What\’s more, the kid knows that unlike physical theft, nothing goes missing. The kid also see\’s he has practically no money, and all the music or movie world is nothing but a perpetual bragging about how fantastically wealthy they are. So the kid adds two plus two, makes his own new copy, keeps the little money he has, and big content still have their copy, and still appear to be exceedingly wealthy.\”

    This scenario is certainly plausible. However, the kid knowingly chose to engage in such activities, and as such, he should not be surprised if there are consequences for his actions. Again, ignorance is not a valid reason.

    Furthermore, while no physical theft takes place, the fact remains the individuals responsible for the content have been robbed of the money duly owed to them under the law.

    5. I agree fines should be reasonable. However at the same time, they must be steep enough to act as a deterrent, otherwise there is no point in enacting them. The problem here is determining what is a reasonable fine. Do you charge the illegal downloader 99 cents (the average cost of a legal download) per infringing song, and/or do you charge the illegal uploader 99 cents per download of the infringing song? It\’s definitely something to ponder.

    6. \”I know, let\’s slap the kid with a $1000000 fine, because he had the nerve to be sharing 10000 songs.\”

    Assuming the songs shared were in fact downloaded by other people, then his situation is no different than if he were to make physical copies and sell them on the street corner, with the only difference being he is charging nothing by doing it online. At the end of the day, the content creators are not being compensated for their efforts in either cases.

    Make no mistake, I am not pleased at all with the proposed copyright reforms put forth by the Conservative government. I believe all of us want copyright reforms that allows to use the content we legally purchase as we see fit (aka fair use).

    However, if you choose to acquire content through non-legal methods, do not be surprised if there are consequences. Keep in mind there is a simple solution to this problem. If you want content, pay for it; if you can\’t, well then you\’ll just have to make do without it like the rest of us. It\’s a privilege, not a right.

  35. ^thanks
    thanks for the good thoughts. a few points in response:

    -We have laws against driving race cars in public, and the epidemic of street racing is raising the question with “souped up” cars too. We have no doubt about what happens, laws or no laws, there is street racing and death, so we have to think about restricting the cars. My point here is that your average $600 PC on the internet IS an F1 race car when it comes to file sharing. Your average peroson IS ALREADY DRIVING AN F1 CAR EVERYWHERE THEY GO, and this is a situation we cannot and should not change. Unless you propose to make fast computers and high speed internet illegal, as obviously dangerous tools of crime, that’s an important point to START our ideas with. This should help inform our discussion with regards to proportion. The laws might be specific about things like quantity, and we need them to be humane and workable, so we have to have the numbers right. We aren’t talking about 1 or 2 klicks over the limit here, more like 1000 or 2000, and we should just be greatfull there aren’t real chunks of fast metal and bodies involved here. But fines that say $500 a song are out to lunch. If I didn’t seem to be alone in raising this crucial point, I wouldn’t be harping on it. $500 x typical payload = $millions

    -in any case, the fines for this type of activity seem disproportionate compared to fines in other areas of law. If they were HARD CAPPED at $500 total max. for personal(ie. not for monetary gain), and $20k for commercial “trafficing for monetary gain”, then I would say they were perfectly in line with other laws. This would be perfectly fair disincentive, with little chance of crushing little people by cruel and devastating penalties.

    -I have to say that we should be very careful about selling out our rights to privacy in trade for protecting intellectual property. I personally have a hard time justifying the tradeoff, and without losing privacy, these laws will be unenforceable. Industry will not miss that point. So if you concede that we SHOULD be punished, then you are conceding that we SHOULD sacrifice our privacy for THEIR profit.

    -If you want content but can’t pay for it, then why don’t you just share copies with your friends, just like the rest of us? If you are worried about the producers, then send them some money if you can, and be glad that otherwise they still have EVERYTHING they started with, if regrettably nothing more.

    Copyright law is premised on some very profound fundamental principles of balance and justice in society. The era of digital empowerment that we live in COMPLETELY AND IRREVOCABLY changes the fundamental principals of the entire context of this area of law. If we want to talk about copyright reform, we need to be discussing EVERYTHING including first principals, some of which will be affected.

    If we let bill C-61 frame our thinking and debate about this issue, then we will the people will be utterly lost. C-61 makes an abject mockery of justice.

    So I urge you people to think way outside the box, on this one, and don’t stand down until our government joins us is some profound and deep questions, which is what we need if we actually want to survive in the digital age, with justice and dignity.

  36. Stop being obedient sheep
    newbie wrote:

    “We live in a society where there are laws, and as citizens, we are expected to adhere to them regardless. In addition, ignorance of the law is not considering a valid reason. ”

    Are we expected to mindlessly obey any law that politicians see fit to make? It is time for Canadians to stop being sheep and stand up to bad laws, even intentionally break them if need be. Some laws are legitimate as for safety and the rights of others, but I draw the line at laws made only for the benefit of a few greedy corporations, or worse still, another country. Where will these bad laws stop? We already lost the right to get HBO because of favoritism to Canadian businesses, we can’t get DirecTV because it might hurt Shaw and Bell, we get stuck with Global and CTV putting their crappy version of US programs over top the US channels we paid for. We lost our freedom speech in case we stay something that some special group doesn’t like because it hurts their feelings, even if true.

  37. Long John Silver says:

    Re: Written by Exploder at 2008-06-23 14
    “BTW, not once did I ever say I was right, or have the right, or whatever.”


    “Every time I want a few songs by band XXXXX (found on Youtube), it’s easiest to just grab the whole discography instead, and play anythng I want.”
    Yes, it’s absolutely necessary that you have the entire discography for free.

    “It’s like grabbing handfulls of disks from the music store, with no worries about the cost.”
    You’re certainly entitled to only the best music.

    “I download movies too, but don’t have to pay late fees or “new release” prices for junk.”
    Not only are you entitled to not pay a late fee, you’re entitled to the movie itself for free.

    “I also have real variety, documentaries and older films.”
    When I do find a good bit of entertainment that I enjoy, I’ve already stolen it, so why buy it?

    “This podunk little town I’m in has no competition for video rentals, gets crap for selection, and loses all the good films within a few years, so I can’t show them to my kid as he’s growing up.”
    My offspring are also entitled to the finest in today’s entertainment, and the world owes it to me for not providing it in a convenient fashion.

    “I think someone already made enough money off of The Blues Brothers, but I’ll be damned if my son won’t see it sometime soon, this time for free.”
    I also have deep insight into the financial matters of the movie industry.

    “If they pass this bullshit, we will encrypt, and raise our middle fingers.”
    That will certainly aid in dragging out your case through several years, reducing your family to financial ruin.