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O, CANADA!

Copyright Board of Canada Says File-Sharing Downloading Legal, Uploading Illegal
Canada, populated by nearly 32 million who look and talk just like Americans, except for a penchant for hockey and the occasional French-speaker, is now a place where downloading copyrighted music from P2P networks is legal, but uploading isn’t. That ruling by the The Copyright Board of Canada is likely to now be argued, in English and French, in front of Canadian courts.

Copyright Board Secretary General Claude Majeau said, “In reaching its decision, the Board took into consideration the substantial amount of detailed evidence brought forward by participants to the proceeding, which included comments on the proposed levies from over 1,500 parties and individuals…As far as computer hard drives are concerned, we say that for the time being, it is still legal, eh.”

General Counsel for the Canadian Recording Industry Association Richard Pfohl said: “Our position is that under Canadian law, downloading is also prohibited, eh. This is the opinion of the Copyright Board, but Canadian courts will decide this issue, eh.”

Like in the U.S., Canadian law allows consumers to make personal copies of music, and in 1998 the country added a sales tax to blank media. Following that law, the Copyright Board also levied a government fee of up to $25 on MP3 players. The money from those fees goes to a fund that pays musicians and songwriters for lost revenue from consumers’ personal copying. The money is paid by manufacturers who add the fee into the prices that consumers pay, eh.

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