Canada, the final frontier of file-sharing?
May 7, 2008 5:52 AM   Subscribe

FileSharingFilter: With the possible exception of Sweden, Canada is today's frontier upon which the war of file-sharing legality is waged, with the greatest number of file-sharers per capita, and a steady increase in the number of persons who partake (according to the OECD). Historically, the CRIA's own piracy campaign (2004) was given birth only one year after the RIAA began suing individuals (2003) for participating in peer-to-peer file distribution. Unlike the RIAA, the CRIA was shot down by the courts, establishing a sort of precedent in favour of the end-user which has been upheld ever since, and indeed even reinforced. However, we may be seeing the beginning of the end as QuebecTorrent now fights the good fight to prevent a legal precedent outlawing Canadian BitTorrent trackers.
posted by tybeet (21 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now all they need to do is block net access to Nearly Every Other Country In The World and victory will be accomplished.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:16 AM on May 7, 2008


How odd. The government is making laws that line up with how the citizens, by and large, approach the issue.

As an American, I must ask: what's that like?
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:17 AM on May 7, 2008 [9 favorites]


Go Canada! Go!

Professor Michael Geist is always worth a read if you want to know what's up with these sorts of stories here in Canada.
posted by chunking express at 6:26 AM on May 7, 2008


[the head of copyright crime division] St-Hilaire explained [the RCMP] they would rather focus on crimes that actually hurt consumers such as copyright violations related to medicine and electrical appliances.

Not only does our government make laws that reflect how we act, our police care more about crimes that make people's lives worse. It's as if Canada actually makes sense. Which is funny, because the actual workings of Parliament & the Senate feel as if they're completely Fubared.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:57 AM on May 7, 2008


My knowledge of this issue is limited to Cory Doctorow's occasional hysterics about US-style copyright enforcement beginning to ingrain itself in Canada, so it's nice to hear that the government seems pro-user (though Bell Canada's throttling of their commercial customers is worrisome). Here's Michael Geist at the Public Policy forum in April on the "...'copyright myths' that have misleadingly cast Canada as weak on intellectual property and promoted the introduction of new copyright reforms."
posted by youarenothere at 7:02 AM on May 7, 2008


The final link about Quebec Torrent was from November 2007. I'm assuming things didn't go well with the case as in the interim Oink replacement What.cd moved to Canada.
posted by Keith Talent at 7:52 AM on May 7, 2008


"I'm assuming things didn't go well with the case..."

That all depends which side you're rooting for, I suppose.

While that link was from November, 2007 legal battles are usually slow-going, and it won't be until July that this case is heard before the courts.
posted by tybeet at 8:43 AM on May 7, 2008


How odd. The government is making laws that line up with how the citizens, by and large, approach the issue.

And this despite what I can imagine was intense lobbying from the wealthy and influential Canadian film industry.

Wait, Canada doesn't have a wealth and influential film industry to protect so what does the goverment of Canada care if it adopts legal measures that destroy the export value of this commercial product.
posted by three blind mice at 8:48 AM on May 7, 2008


so what does the goverment of Canada care if it adopts legal measures that destroy the export value of this commercial product.

Generally the legal measures have been adding to the export value - CBC, our national broadcaster, puts up one of their shows onto torrent sites in a bid to reach a larger audience, and by all metrics it seems to be working.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:38 AM on May 7, 2008


Canada doesn't have a wealth and influential film industry to protect

They sure as hell have a wealthy film industry...just not corporate entities that run production companies. If the US film companies threatened to boycott Canada and its studios and not shoot movies there, I'm guessing they could pull a lot of strings with the many Canadians involved in location and studio production.
posted by spicynuts at 9:41 AM on May 7, 2008


Here is a list of films shot in just Vancouver.
posted by spicynuts at 9:44 AM on May 7, 2008


They sure as hell have a wealthy film industry.

Damn skippy we do. I live in Vancouver, so watching BSG is a bit of a bummer for me when they do shots of Caprica. "Caprica City" was shot at the Quadrangle at Simon Fraser University, my alma mater.

Kind suspends disbelief for me. But Tricia Helfer and Grace Park are still hot, so I watch the show. I also had John DeLancie ("Q") cross the road in front of my vehicle one day, and Kate Hudson strolled by me once wearing huge sunglasses. It's all very weird regularly seeing people you'd mostly only expect to see in Hollywood. But I know from my friends in the film industry that business has been and continues to be very, very good.
posted by illiad at 11:43 AM on May 7, 2008


The government is making laws that line up with how the citizens, by and large, approach the issue.

Not so fast. To date, the combination of law, practice, law enforcement priorities, and judicial decision has worked pretty well to keep things in line with what real people do and want to do... but that doesn't mean the current government wants to keep it that way.

In fact there are several issues in the hopper right now that could threaten the reasonable (to my eyes) compromise that seems to exist at the moment. So - things are definitely reasonable now, but that's not to say it's going to stay that way.
posted by mikel at 12:45 PM on May 7, 2008


Generally the legal measures have been adding to the export value - CBC, our national broadcaster, puts up one of their shows onto torrent sites in a bid to reach a larger audience, and by all metrics it seems to be working.

And if the US bored horizontal tunnels under Canada we could increase our consumption of Canadian oil without making those bastards one cent richer than they already are.

Don't think the Canadian government would be too pleased with that increased metric.
posted by three blind mice at 3:20 PM on May 7, 2008


Unfortunately, the ministers who are responsible for determining how Canada is going to deal with copyright and media in the new millennium are bought and sold by their corporate media masters.

It's a Very Good Thing that we've someone like Geist keeping an eye on them and exposing the corruption.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:45 PM on May 7, 2008


Unfortunately, the ministers who are responsible for determining how Canada is going to deal with copyright and media in the new millennium are bought and sold by their corporate media masters.

Um, what kind of horseshit is that? The heritage minister does not have a "corporate media master". However, this perpetual little minority gov knows exactly what it's doing -- throwing some very tasty bones to the crowd (age of consent +2) while making changes that people should be concerned about but mostly aren't (minister-controlled immigration refusals), and then some win-win stuff that the rabble wants and so do the conservatives (more mandatory minimum sentences). They know how to politick. The Libs have forgotten how.

You may or may not also be aware that the various people that signed on to cabinet have made pledges of a sort (to Harper) to achieve certain things no matter the cost. Strings are being pulled, no tin foil hat needed.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:45 PM on May 7, 2008


Durn: Bev Oda, the previous minister, was bought by media interests. I don't have the search ju-jitsu to make Geist's site cough up the name of the minister who replaced her in the role in copyright reform, but the story on that minister was much the same.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:16 PM on May 7, 2008


Josée Verner. I wasn't aware of any mischief with her, though for sure the Oda debacle was something else.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:12 PM on May 8, 2008


Hmm, I'm finding typical politician's crap (excessive expenses, etc.) but nothing connected to the industry.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:26 PM on May 8, 2008


Maybe it was Oda's riding replacement. Anyhoo, I distinctly remember Giest reporting on Yet Another Crooked Politician screwing over the public interest for personal profit.

Didja hear the Foreign Minister MP is sleeping with a Hell's Angels broad? FFS, I can't believe how shitty our government is. I thought Canadians had more common sense than all this.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:42 PM on May 8, 2008


Hmm, past affair, looks like. But nice to know that cabinet members aren't screened at the level that rank-and-file civil servants are.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:55 PM on May 9, 2008


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