More word on Canada's version of the American Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which Industry Minister Jim Prentice is rumoured to be ready to release tomorrow
: it will include a $500/download fine, which means that if your kids download a couple of $0.99 singles without paying for them, the American labels will be able to take $1,000
out of her college fund (and those are Canadian dollars
, still worth something on the international market).
Some sources say that it comes as a result of Prentice's concern that the Conservatives could be tied to huge damage awards against teenagers for peer-to-peer file sharing. If that is indeed the case, it is not clear how this provision will solve that concern. While there are still many questions about this provision (does it target downloading or uploading? does it exempt sound recordings covered by the private copying levy? is the $500 a set amount or a maximum? is it per infringement or cover all activity? does it require actual evidence that files made available are downloaded?), consider a case involving 1000 song files, not an unusually high number. The "retail" value of those files is roughly $1000, yet on a per infringement basis the Prentice proposal could lead to a damage award of $500,000. Even small scale cases would lead to huge awards - 50 songs could lead to a $25,000 fine. Ironically, the prospect of huge damage awards comes as Canadian musicians and songwriters have both rejected lawsuits against individuals. If Prentice hopes that the provision reduces the concern associated with file sharing lawsuits, this move may actually have the opposite effect.
Those bowtie-shaped “motorized self-balancing two-wheeled scooters” you see in the windows of strip-mall cellphone repair shops and in mall-kiosks roared out of nowhere and are now everywhere, despite being so new that we don’t even know what they’re called.
BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music. has been trying to enlist Cox Cable as an accomplice in a copyright trolling scheme, demanding that the company pass on copyright infringement notices that accuse users of downloading music and order them to pay large sums of music or face punishing lawsuits.
In 2014, Britain strode boldly into the late 20th century, finally legalising “private copying” — ripping CDs, taping LPs, recording TV shows, backing up your ebooks and games — but now it’s thought better of the move.
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