Downloading copyrighted music from peer-to-peer networks is legal in Canada, although uploading files is not, Canadian copyright regulators said yesterday.
In the same decision, the Copyright Board of Canada imposed a government fee of as much as $25 on iPod-like MP3 players, putting the devices in the same category as audio tapes and blank compact discs. The money collected from levies goes into a fund to pay musicians and songwriters for revenue lost from personal copying. Manufacturers are responsible for paying the fees and often pass the cost on to consumers.
The peer-to-peer component of the decision was prompted by questions from consumer and entertainment groups about ambiguous elements of Canadian law. Previously, most analysts had said uploading was illegal but that downloading for personal use might be allowed.