Truth about myths about myths about file sharing in Canada

Canadian copyfighting attorney Howard Knopf has written a great response to the Canadian Record Industry Association's letter to the Toronto Star, in which they claimed that Michael Geist column, "Time to slay Canadian file-sharing myths" was incorrect. Yes, it's truths about myths about myths about file sharing!
A levy-free terabyte external hard drive that now sells for less than CDN $200 can hold about 250,000 songs downloaded via P2P. The fact that this is apparently legal in Canada is the direct consequence of the private copying levy scheme that Mr. Pfohl's employer, the Canadian Recording Media Association ("CRIA"), so enthusiastically and effectively lobbied for and was given in the 1997 amendments to the Copyright Act. CRIA was short sighted. Mass access to the internet was already in full flight and the concept of the "celestial juke box" was already old news at that time. The Canadian levy scheme has now generated more than a quarter billion dollars. CRIA members whine about the consequences of their legislation all the way to the bank (and indeed incessantly afterwords), but keep on cashing the cheques.

As CRIA must constantly be reminded, "be careful what you wish for." And hopefully, Government officials, MPs and Ministers will be careful about who they listens to when it comes to Canadian copyright law and sound public policy. CRIA and some of those who speak for it it, have a poor record for foresight, wisdom, credibility and even basic accuracy in these matters.

More Myths about Myths about File Sharing (via Michael Geist)


  1. Another issue I have as a digital consumer in Canada is that it’s nearly impossible to find legal ways to view or purchase digital content.

    Most online streaming sites(Hulu, ABC, NBC, CBS, Comedy Central etc) are US only. I know you can view them using a proxy, but that’s not the point.

    Purchasing digital content is even worse., and others have DRM free mp3s, but are US only, as is Zune Marketplace.

    On the video side, no Netflix, Sony Video marketplace, and Xbox video marketplace is bare bones, as is the iTunes video section. Even with a proxy, these sites allow only US credit card transactions.

    So my choices for digital content in Canada remain either ripping DVDs after I purchase them(which has all its own legal issues), or downloading illegal copies. With no cable cards even recording digital cable signals is impossible unless you want to watch it only on the box you recorded it on. (No digital Tivo)

    With the content owners blocking almost all legal digital purchases, what choices do Canadians really have?

  2. hey geekdadcanada don’t forget to add the way over the air HD is going..

    I used to get multiple channels over the air in HD living here in southern ontario (I refuse to pay for TV), meaning I was getting 1 american, with 2 underpowered – 4 canadian, 2 more underpowered.

    with major networks dragging there feet on the canadian version of the switch and those who already have switched lowering there voltage after a month or two.. they are forgetting that when I watch my fave shows on tv I watch ads and when I download or by the box sets they are outa the revenue loop.

    I agree, canadian implementation of the (mostly american) media conglomerate’s wishes are driving the illegal download market thru the roof.

  3. oh and geekdadcanada I bought a nice phillips dvr but since it has no cablebox tv guide programming it just takes the place of my old vcr, and has none of the benefits of a proper Tivo.. HD too, but really, its gimped and its a rare find in canada.

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