Canadian Record Industry Praises Supreme Court Decision Preventing Internet Piracy Havens
Canada's recording industry has praised a ruling by the Supreme Court which shuts down the potential threat of copyright piracy havens; confirms that music rights holders in Canada need to be paid for music transmitted on the Internet from outside the country and calls for modernization of Canada's antiquated Copyright Act.
"Contrary to press reports on yesterday's Supreme Court decision on SOCAN's tariff for Internet Service Providers, the decision is not a 'set back' for the music industry," clarifies Richard Pfohl, General Counsel, Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). "The Court clearly affirms that Canada's Copyright Act applies to the Internet. This is a very good outcome for Canadian record companies."
The record industry had intervened in the Society of Canadian Composers, Authors and Music Publishers (SOCAN) case on the issue of internationally transmitted music. This issue is distinct from the proposed ISP tariff, on which the record companies took no position.
"The recording industry intervened in this case on a simple principle," explains Mr. Pfohl, "that communications which travel across Canada's border, and are received here, should be subject to Canadian copyright law. In upholding our position, the Court has sent an important signal to off-shore music pirates that they won't get away with sending illegal materials over the Internet into Canada. The Court not only supported our position, but went much further in calling for long over-due change to Canada's copyright law."
The Supreme Court also signalled that it will not be sympathetic to those who "abuse" the Internet by taking music they haven't paid for, stating that this was not a case of "those who abuse the Internet to obtain 'cheap music'."
"The Supreme Court of Canada has now added its weight to the unanimous call of the all-party House of Commons Committee on Canadian Heritage to modernize Canada's copyright law. That committee's report called for Parliament to amend the Copyright Act and immediately ratify international treaties on digital copyright it signed on to more than seven years ago," stated Mr. Pfohl. The Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage released its Interim Report on Copyright Reform in May 2004.
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