Multinational record industry shill calls Canada's new copyright bill "a license to steal"

Michael Geist sez,

Canadian Recording Industry Association President Graham Henderson had some noteworthy comments on copyright reform in an article just published by While unsurprisingly supportive of Bill C-32 [ed: Canada's new copyright bill], Henderson expressed specific concern about changes to the statutory damages provision. After the government faced criticism for its $500 cap on downloading damages in Bill C-61, it shifted its approach by rightly distinguishing between commercial and non-commercial infringement. The bill now proposes to establish a maximum statutory damages penalty of $5,000 for infringement that the court considers to be non-commercial. While $5,000 is still very significant potential liability for non-commercial infringement, it apparently is viewed as licence to steal by CRIA. Henderson tells

"Once this bill is passed, you could go online and steal every movie that's ever made, every book, and every song, put them on your hard drive, admit liability, and write a $5,000 check. That would be the full extent of it — and it would be the first rights holder who would get all the money. Nobody else would get a cent. It's close to saying that for people who want to steal stuff, there's a compulsory license of $5,000.

Henderson's organization represents the US labels that have sued over 30,000 Americans for file-sharing; none of the "damages" they've recovered from Internet users have been passed on to musicians.

CRIA President: C-32's Statutory Damages Reform a Licence to Steal