don't know if this has been posted, enjoy....
File-swapping hearing adjourned until March
CTV.ca News Staff
The Canadian Recording Industry Association launched its legal fight against music pirates Monday, but proceedings were quickly adjourned until March.
The CRIA wants a number of Internet service providers to hand over contact information for customers it suspects of "egregious" uploading of music files.
At least one of those companies, Calgary-based Shaw Communications, says it intends to oppose the CRIA, citing new federal privacy laws that protect its customers.
After an opening discussion, Justice Konrad Von Finklestein adjourned the proceedings until March 12, saying he wanted to know more about the technical requirements of the motion and how it would affect privacy legislation.
On behalf of major record labels, the CRIA is reportedly hunting for 29 Canadian customers from at least five different ISPs, including Shaw, Telus Corp., Rogers Cable, Bell Canada's Sympatico service and Quebec's Videotron.
So far, Shaw is the only ISP to openly oppose the CRIA's request. The company provides high-speed Internet service to about 900,000 Canadians.
Sympatico, Rogers and Telus want to inform their affected customers first and let those customers battle it out in court with the recording industry.
Videotron has said it will not oppose the request.
Videotron is in a unique position because its parent company, Quebecor, also sells music. Videotron said it is concerned about copyright protection and considers file sharing to be "theft."
Record labels contend that online file sharing violates copyright law and has hurt sales of albums and singles. Supporters of it say it stimulates demand for music and say the industry is to blame for falling sales.
The CRIA's search follows the lead of the Recording Industry Association of America, which has sued some 400 individuals in the United States. On both sides of the border, the recording industry is targeting computer users who upload musical files, not those who download songs.
In December, a California court ruled that the recording industry could not force ISPs to identify customers unless it launched a formal lawsuit and obtained a subpoena.
Such a ruling might be considered by a Canadian judge, but would not be a binding precedent.
There are also doubts about whether lawsuits against file sharers will be successful here, since Canadian laws on reproducing music for personal use differ from those in the United States.
For example, it has been legal in Canada since 1998 to make a single copy of a recording for personal use, such as copying a CD onto your hard drive or MP3 player. The practice is illegal in the U.S.
Under the Copyright Act, it remains illegal to give or sell a CD copy to a friend, since it's not for personal use. In the same vein, distributing copies to friends online is prohibited.