Canada

Online music swapping legal: court

Court rules against music industry in downloading copyright case.

Individuals who share personal copies of music files on the internet are safe after a Federal Court rejected a motion on Wednesday that would have allowed the music industry to sue them.

Justice Konrad von Finckenstein said the Canadian Recording Industry Association hadn't shown copyright infringement by 29 people who had allowed their music files to be uploaded.

Making files available in online, shared directories is within the bounds of Canadian copyright law, von Finckenstein ruled.

"No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings," von Finckenstein wrote in his 28-page ruling. "They merely placed personal copies into their shared directories which were accessible by other computer users via a P2P service."

The music industry wants to shut down internet file sharing of music, blaming it for plummeting sales of compact discs.

Last year, the recording industry in the United States began going after people who share music online.

The Recording Industry Association of America has sued about 400 individuals in the U.S. for allowing others access to song files. Several people have settled out of court for about $3,000 US each.

On Tuesday, the recording industry sent warning letters or filed charges against 247 people in Denmark, Germany, Italy and Canada.