Canada

CRIA wants tougher internet piracy law in Canada

The CRIA -- representing companies that produce more than 95 per cent of all records sold in Canada -- wants the federal government to toughen internet piracy laws.

The Canadian Recording Industry Association said Canada has become a music piracy haven.

The CRIA -- representing companies that produce more than 95 per cent of all recorded music sold in Canada -- wants the federal government to toughen internet piracy laws.

This follows a federal court decision in Australia on Monday that found six defendants guilty of copyright infringement and ordered them to pay back 90 per cent of the recording industry's costs in the case.

The defendants included Kazaa's owner, Sharman Networks Ltd., and its Sydney-based chief executive officer, Nikki Hemming, as well as Altnet, a company that provided some of the software for the Kazaa website.

Software for Kazaa, which until recently was the largest unauthorized file-sharing service with a peak of 4.7 million users worldwide, will no longer be available to download in Australia.

Related story Australian Court decision

CRIA President Graham Henderson said: "The law that is currently on the books -- that's enforced -- is so antiquated that the net result has been, despite all of our best efforts, Canada's become a piracy haven."

According to a June report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Canada has the highest per capita rate of unauthorized file-swapping in the world.

It has also been reported to have the second highest level of broadband penetration, making it vulnerable to piracy.

Kazaa's lawyers had argued that the software was no different from a tape recorder or photocopier, and that Kazaa could therefore not control copyright infringement by users of the network.

It's an argument that CRIA lawyer Richard Pfohl said could be interpreted in the wording of Canada's existing draft legislation, and one that may protect internet pirates.

Henderson said: "Kazaa might well take a good look up here and (say) 'Canada looks pretty good.' And we can't have that."

The CRIA president said he hopes the government will make the amendments necessary to give Canada a robust copyright law when the legislation is debated in September, so that the record industry can get its fair share of the digital marketplace.

"The opportunity is here. The world -- legislators, courts, people around the world -- are speaking very clearly about what the new social norm is. And it's not free copyright," he said.

The Australian judgment comes 10 weeks after a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the file-swapping operator Grokster, and three years after the shutdown of the original Napster.

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