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Tuesday, 16 December 2003

WHAT GOES DOWN MUSTN'T COME UP SAYS CANADIAN COPYRIGHT BOARD

Friend of the IPKat the MediaBeak (who said cats and birds don’t get on?) brought the decision of the Canadian Copyright Board (reported on news.com) to the IPKat’s attention. The Board decided last Friday that uploading of P2P files is outlawed by Canadian copyright law. However, because the Copyright Act allows the public to make copies for personal use and does not address the source of those copies or whether the original has to be an authorised or non-infringing version, in certain circumstances at least, downloading P2P files may be permissible. The Board also imposed a levy on MP3 players, similar to the levy payable on the purchase of other recording devices, to make up for the revenues lost by artists through personal copying. The decision has not been welcomed by recording industry interest groups such as RIAA and remains to be tested in the courts.

The IPKat is puzzled by this approach. Allowing downloading but not uploading makes as much sense to him as legalising the taking of drugs but not allowing drugs to be sold – how are the users or downloaders expected to obtain the items that the law has said they are entitled to use? In the long run though, downloaders will still have to pay for the privilege of downloading, only they are paying in advance through the levy on the equipment that enables them to make use of their downloads.

More logic problems here, here and here


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