$500 times 51,514 mp3s = $25,757,000 fine for me

The new copyright legislation is in the mail:

The federal Conservatives are set to introduce new copyright legislation that will include provisions to target users with a $500 fine for all illegal files transferred online, a move that legal experts say could see Canadians sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars if found guilty of infringement.

Sources have told the National Post that one of the provisions in the updated Copyright Act of Canada will include a fine for each “personal use download” found to be shared online through peer-to-peer software programs.

Other provisions in the bill, which is said to be tabled in the House of Commons tomorrow afternoon, will include measures to make it illegal to unlock cellphones or copy music from protected CDs to iPods as well as making it illegal to copy “time-shifted” shows on to personal video recorders if flagged by broadcasters.


Loss of Copyright Act right to make a copy of music for personal use.
Modifying electronics that you own will be illegal
Ripping copy-protected CDs that you own to play on mp3 players that you own will be illegal.

No one knows yet if this is going to be tabled tomorrow or next week, and no one knows if it’ll be left to die over summer recess or pushed through; so look up your MP, give them a ring on the hill, and let them know what you think.

14 thoughts on “$500 times 51,514 mp3s = $25,757,000 fine for me

  1. And people wonder why I’m not rushing to get back to Canada… not much difference near as I can tell anymore (except for health care… which I’m sure is next to go).

  2. “Multiple sources familiar with the matter have told the National Post that one of the provisions in the government’s updated Copyright Act of Canada will include a fine for each “personal use download” found to be shared online through peer-to-peer software programs.”

    So basically this part means that if you pay for the song to download it, and you’re found sharing it with someone else for free or you download a song from an unprotected CD and share it with someone for free that you’re breaking the law like a dirty criminal and should get a fine.

    Can’t argue with that part.

    In fact the only part that I can argue with is the part about the protected CD’s to Ipods bit, as I view that as a fair use download.

    Everything else looks to be above board and I think I should contact my MP to let them know that with minor modification this bill could actually work.


  3. Yes, it makes perfect sense that someone who downloads my mp3 collection should receive $25 million dollars in fines.

  4. The law is the law, you can either follow the law, or accept the penalties.

    For starters: This particular law hasn’t even been passed yet.

    Secondly: Some of us have Liberal candidates in the House of Commons, which may or may not be able to do anything {or care} in that particular vote.

    Thirdly: If you download something legally {IE: pay for it or a free sample, or something that’s just not available for purchase in Canadian CD stores} then I’m fine with it, but if you P2P stuff just for kicks and to test out entire records and not end up paying for half of them, then yes, I feel that fines should be coming your way.

    Part of the music industry is the advertising of CD’s in which you hear a song on the radio {or across the internet nowadays} and you go out to buy the CD, if they make it illegal to P2P the entire record just to ‘test it out’ then that’s perfectly fine with me.

    If you want, download a free sample from their website/listen to the song on their myspace page, then decide if you like it or not, what happens in those scenarios if you don’t like the artist? That artist doesn’t get paid their money because YOU don’t think it’s worthy?

    There are plenty of other ways of hearing the music than P2P downloads, and if folks suffer under hefty fines because they need to buy a clue, that’s not my problem.


  5. i think artists need to realize that the future of music is not on discs any longer. if they got a clue, they’d realize that making their music available digitally in the first place is the way to go.

    however, until the intarwebs are controlled by the state a la 1984/big brother-style, laws like these will be about as useful as the war on drugs.

  6. “Other provisions in the bill, which is said to be tabled in the House of Commons tomorrow afternoon, will include measures to make it illegal to unlock cellphones or copy music from protected CDs to iPods as well as making it illegal to copy “time-shifted” shows on to personal video recorders if flagged by broadcasters.”

    Reminds me of the fact that when I used to buy an album and then transfer it to tape so i could listen to it in my car I was actually breaking the law. Dubbing my album for you on tape was illegal. I somehow doubt that you were never guilty of this crime, but I may be dating myself here. I buy a song, I make you a copy, you like it and then make another copy for a friend and share it around.

    Tell me what is the difference?

    Personally I don’t like the state telling me what I can or cannot do with things I purchase. If I want to rip a cd that I bought so I can then put it on my ipod, then that is my business no? Afterall I did pay for it. Or should I have to pay for it twice? That seems to be part of the thrust of this legislation.

  7. First: We have to stop the law from being passed. Being apathetic about isn’t going to help.

    Second: If they’re in the house of commons, they need to be made aware of what they’re doing and how it affects people. See #1.

    Third: What the hell? Are you really that stupid? You think people deserve to completely destroyed because they’ve been fined millions of dollars for downloading some music? You think people deserve to be made homeless, unable to buy food, unable to afford health care (since it’s not really govt provided, that’s just a myth- if it wasn’t, we’d not have to pay for ambulance trips and medication), unable to live, just because they download a few MP3s? If you really believe that, you have some fucked up priorities.

    The music industry is a criminal organization that deserves to be crushed completely under the heels of the consumer. I cry no tears.

    And the law isn’t ‘the law’. Law is not morality. If you base your life on that assumption, you are giving up your freedom. If a law is a bad law, it deserves to be stopped or not followed. The quote from Martin Luther King stands: “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws”.

  8. Therein lies my earlier point that it needs a little revision.

    I think if you buy a CD you should be able to do what you want with it {within reason} if you want to give it to a friend, go nuts, if you want to download it to your Ipod, again, go nuts.

    But if you want to take it and spread the music around to everyone you know {not just a song an entire album} like a disease, then yes I do believe that’s not what was intended for you to do with the CD.

    You can’t argue on one hand that you support ‘teh artists’ and on the other hand download entire albums to see if you like a certain artist and then turn Caesar with a thumbs down to giving money to the ones you don’t like with the other hand.

    After all of that argue that this move by the government to get the artists the money they deserve is draconian? I don’t view it as being the Government telling you what to do with the things you buy, it’s the Government trying to get money to the artists that some folks who download albums and albums of music and sit on a high horse giving money to only those who ‘deserve it’ in their opinion.

    The difference being, in the digital age, it’s gotten WAY out of hand. If you buy a record {and yeah I’m that old too} and transfer it to tape, you have limited options for the amount of tapes you could have in your house as they took up more space on shelves and such than CDs. With a computer, you don’t have to spend minutes to hours making ONE mixed tape. You spend minutes {if even that} to download an entire record to your hard drive. Not only that it doesn’t take constant monitoring, you can download said record while you’re doing 10 other things, get a CD quality download and carry on about your day with no thought one way or the other if the band that you just nabbed stuff from is going to get any money at all from your download.

    Like I said, the “testing things out” theory doesn’t hold any water at all with me as there are plenty of ways to check out a band that you like or that you think you might like online without illegally downloading. The back in the day example doesn’t hold too much against the ‘ease of convenience’ that happens today either.


  9. First: ‘We’ have to do nothing of the sort.

    Second: They might want to amend it, they might not, they might even be in support of it, the needs of the many and all that.

    Third: If people do stuff that is illegal, that’s not my problem. If you download ‘a few MP3’s’ the fine won’t be that much.

    It targets people who go out of their way to rip people off by downloading entire records and multiple times illegally.

    Furthermore, don’t call people stupid just because they don’t agree with you when you support people who do things that are illegal, it’s not the best way to get folks on your side {and it’s a rather shitty debate tool}

    You might think that way about the music industry, but not all record labels are as evil as you make them out to be, that’s why I support local artists and the odd ‘major’ artist that I like. Everything else can be listened to with free samples, at a club, or via myspace.

    Tell you what Spartacus, if you feel the law is unjust and you want to fight it, get up on Parliament Hill with your laptop and show the first RCMP officer after the law passes your harddrive with downloaded music and explain to them why you don’t feel you should pay the fine.


  10. There are some artists that already do what you claim, but this isn’t about them. This is about the folks who haven’t released their music digitally and end up having their stuff traded like cigarettes in prison without their permission.

    The internet might not end up controlled like the state, it might end up being controlled by the likes of Rogers and Cogeco.


  11. Wow, is pretty much all I have to say about this, I really really really doubt that if this passes it’s going to kill anything, it’s just going to go more underground.

    P2P is the next Tape trading and they couldn’t stop that so they are not going to stop this.

  12. Whee! Let’s all go back to the dark ages!

    So… does this mean that you could get in shit for having ripped your own cd into mp3 format? :)

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