A small indie record store owner in Ottawa, Canada, has plead guilty to a charge of copyright infringement for importing rare CDs from abroad. Apparently, these discs (which are themselves licensed, as far as I can tell) aren't licensed for sale in Canada, and Canadian law (apparently) bans this kind of parallel importation.
But none of these CDs are actually available in Canada. And no one orders rare, expensive imports unless he's already got the artist's entire catalog. And, of course, the record labels that went after this record store owner (whose whole purpose in life is to sell their CDs) are presently being sued for $60 billion in copyright damages for ripping off artists, and have admitted to $50 million in liability already.
"I can't believe I'm standing here right now," Nolan said outside court. "I've never bought a pirated item in my life."
Prosecutor Rob Zsigo said in an agreed statement of facts that the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), acting as experts for the RCMP, concluded that 294 discs -- including live concerts, imports and CDs without UPC codes -- violated Canadian copyright law...
Nolan said the 100 CDs represent a tiny fraction of the hundreds of thousands of recordings in his collection and that the discs at issue are mostly imports.
An example is a recording of 1950s singer Gale Storm. Big labels don't press them but seniors still want to buy them so he orders them from import distributers [sic], Nolan said.
"I have to have the things the bigger chains don't have," Nolan said. "It's kept my business alive.
"I feel like the RCMP has robbed me."
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