Tuesday, 8 December 2009

File sharing and copyright...

Geist: Record industry faces liability over `infringement'

This is interesting (if not just a little ironic)...as the MPAA, RIAA and various other copyright agencies would have you believe, piracy of music and films is "destroying" the music industry - and not the banal, manufactured [sic.] music that is being produced and sold for extremely high prices in the shops.

We're all guilty, even singing "Happy Birthday" makes you guilty of copyright infringement and subject to prosecution in many countries (UK, USA etc). Download an mp3 of the same song 3 times and go to jail, lose internet connection etc etc.

Now the tables have been turned on one of these organisations - the Canadian Recording Industry Association (Canada's RIAA) - who have been accused of infringing copyright in exactly the same way as they've been accusing everyone else. Applying the same "mathematics" they've used for fining people over copyright infringement of individual songs they're being sued for 60,000,000,000 (sixty billion) dollars (presumably Canadian dollars)

Here's a quote from the story:
Chet Baker was a leading jazz musician in the 1950s, playing trumpet and providing vocals. Baker died in 1988, yet he is about to add a new claim to fame as the lead plaintiff in possibly the largest copyright infringement case in Canadian history. His estate, which still owns the copyright in more than 50 of his works, is part of a massive class-action lawsuit that has been underway for the past year.
The infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million and the full claim could exceed $60 billion. If the dollars don't shock, the target of the lawsuit undoubtedly will: The defendants in the case are Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association.

which can be found in full here.

Citation for the above (see the link at the top also):  By Michael Geist Internet Law Columnist at The Star  (Toronto Edition)

Approximately at the time of writing:

60,000,000,000 CAD = 56,900,000,000 USD = 38,400,000,000 EUR = 34,800,000,000 GBP = 2100 metric tonnes of Gold.

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