Copyright Bill Unveiled

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While much of Canada's indie and independently minded music industry was gathering in Toronto for NXNE, Jim Prentice finally released his proposed new copyright legislation. I watched the press release on the plane.

I commented on a previous post, but thought that this deserved a new thread.

Three things that strike me up front, when it comes to the music industry. One is that they have in fact lowered the penalties for illegal downloading or file sharing to in many cases be capped at $500. Is this to make it 'reasonable' to go after teenagers with this kind of fine? As opposed to the thousands of dollars in fines that infringement could have brought previous to this legislation? I don't know.

Second, the legislation makes it incumbent upon companies to sue people who they believe are illegally sharing their product. This is kind of ridiculous as most small companies are not going to have the resources, nor the desire, to sue fans of their products.

Third, the ISPs and Tel-Coms get off free and easy - no responsibility, no liability, just of continued profits.

It seems to me that much of this establishes an updated legal boundary that is needed, we all know that there are file sharing practises that are illegal but they haven't been established as such in legislation, this does that. Where that boundary falls exactly may still require some adjustment.

What it doesn't do, is offer a way forward in terms of monitoring and monetizing digital media activity and contributing to a business environment that supports creators.

Here's two slightly contridictory responses from the Music Publishers Canada: applaud bill, hurts creators.

More info from the CBC, Michael Giest, the National Post, Globe and Mail.

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