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Turnabout is FairPlay
December 7, 2009 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Canadian Recording Industry Faces $60 Billion Copyright Infringement Lawsuit.

From the article: The claims arise from a longstanding practice of the recording industry in Canada, described in the lawsuit as "exploit now, pay later if at all." It involves the use of works that are often included in compilation CDs (ie. the top dance tracks of 2009) or live recordings. The record labels create, press, distribute, and sell the CDs, but do not obtain the necessary copyright licences. Instead, the names of the songs on the CDs are placed on a "pending list", which signifies that approval and payment is pending. The pending list dates back to the late 1980s, when Canada changed its copyright law by replacing a compulsory licence with the need for specific authorization for each use.
posted by findango (46 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I wish them luck.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:48 PM on December 7, 2009


Nice mixtapes warezd00ds!
posted by Artw at 1:51 PM on December 7, 2009


i can haz schadenfreude?

I'm still ambivalent about the way IP law works and how it more often than not protects corporate exploitation and forces ideas and creativity to take the form of a commodity, but it does warm my black little heart to read about this.
posted by LMGM at 1:53 PM on December 7, 2009


It is difficult to understand why the industry has been so reluctant to pay its bills.

Because they are massive, greedy, nonproducing hypocrite assholes who steal from artists with one hand while they sue the fans with another?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:53 PM on December 7, 2009 [22 favorites]


self-righteous weasels.
posted by brokeaspoke at 1:54 PM on December 7, 2009


This from the guys that forced the introduction of a blank media tax in Canada.
posted by GuyZero at 1:54 PM on December 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


$60 billion, eh? Chet probably could have used that dough too.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:56 PM on December 7, 2009


♪ .. ♫ ... It's like raaaaain ... on your wedding day .. ♪ .. ♪ ... ♫
posted by exogenous at 1:57 PM on December 7, 2009 [30 favorites]


It is difficult to understand why the industry has been so reluctant to pay its bills.

Because they are massive, greedy, nonproducing hypocrite assholes who steal from artists with one hand while they sue the fans with another?


Well, yeah, sociopathy is kind of compulsory for corporations. I'm kind of more curious as to how the legal set-up which allowed this came to pass.
posted by Artw at 2:00 PM on December 7, 2009


The people with the stiffest wood for perpetual, ironclad copyright don't actually respect it, and nobody under 40 does either, so why does copyright even exist anymore? Are we just waiting for the over-fourties to die off?
posted by mullingitover at 2:02 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Lawyers representing Recording Industrry against listeners...Lawyers representing Musical Talent against the Recording Industry...

If someone can find a way for listeners to sue Celine Dion for... well Celine Dion we could have a circle of lawyerly love... otherwise... there's a phrase pertinant to plumbing and responsibility... Shit runs down hill.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:02 PM on December 7, 2009


If someone can find a way for listeners to sue Celine Dion for..

Her awful, awful chain of diners in Quebec?
posted by The Whelk at 2:05 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


IIRC, the concept of "complilation album" itself was first popularized here in Canada.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:07 PM on December 7, 2009


Where do the record labels get the masters to include on the compilations? It'd be the best Christmas ever if it turned out to be Pirate Bay.
posted by Keith Talent at 2:09 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


why does copyright even exist anymore?

Well, unlikely as it might sound people do actually like getting paid, and it does actually result in that sometimes (present case excepted).
posted by Artw at 2:10 PM on December 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


Are we just waiting for the over-fourties to die off?

The problem is there seems to be that they keep getting replaced. Don't trust let anyone over 40 live.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:16 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "Her awful, awful chain of diners in Quebec?"

I had to look this up.

The Nickels restaurant concept, an original creation of the celebrated pop diva Celine Dion, entered the restaurant scene with a whirlwind of publicity in 1990. ... Years of excellent customer service, a successful branding strategy and an ongoing relationship with the original creator, Celine Dion, have made Nickels one of the most recognized names in the Quebec and Ontario restaurant markets.

[boldface added, because why not]

Was the pork souvlaki plate Ms. Dion's idea? Because if so, y'all need to get off her back about that Titanic song.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:18 PM on December 7, 2009


Where do the record labels get the masters to include on the compilations? It'd be the best Christmas ever if it turned out to be Pirate Bay.

Well, apparently the bill goes back into the 1980's, well before The Pirate Bay, torrents, or the Internets as we know it even existed. In those early days they had to tape songs off the radio.
posted by carsonb at 2:19 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


more info (and balance) from Ars Technica.
posted by bonehead at 2:19 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


In those early days they had to tape songs off the radio.

What does "tape" and "radio" mean?
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:23 PM on December 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


I guess they forgot to call "no backsies" after suing.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:26 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


These norms are quite asymmetrical.
posted by aerotive at 2:40 PM on December 7, 2009


Joe Beese: $60 billion, eh? Chet probably could have used that dough too.

I was really hoping you were referring to Chet! from Barton Fink.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:53 PM on December 7, 2009


♪ .. ♫ ... It's like raaaaain ... on your wedding day .. ♪ .. ♪ ... ♫

Wait a second, that's not ironic at all!
posted by chugg at 2:57 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


For those wondering about the other side of this, MeFi had a nice discussion on it just last week.

Not exactly the same issue from a legal standpoint, but it nicely shows the outright contempt in which the recording industry holds its actual talent.

Warner made a $10,000 accounting error on our statement (in their favor, naturally). When I caught this mistake, and brought it to the attention of someone with the power to correct it, he wasn’t just befuddled by my anger – he laughed at it. “$10,000 is nothing!” he chuckled.
posted by pla at 3:00 PM on December 7, 2009


From the ARS Technica link:

One part of the complaint says the companies have shown "reckless, high-handed and arrogant conduct aggravated by their clandestine disregard for the copyright interests of the class members in contrast to their strict compliance enforcement policy and unremitting approach to consumers in the protection of their corporate copyright interests."

All this, yet still they value the interests of the artist above all others.
posted by philip-random at 3:02 PM on December 7, 2009


The problem is there seems to be that they keep getting replaced. Don't trust let anyone over 40 live.

Holy crap, so Carousel in Logan's Run was brought on by the wrath of young MP3 filesharers? That puts the movie in a whole new light. Next time the torrent I'm downloading runs out of seeds, there's only one thing to shout: Renew! Renew!
posted by crapmatic at 3:22 PM on December 7, 2009


"Nooooo saaaanctuary.... teeeeeeeee... shiiiirt!"
posted by Artw at 3:24 PM on December 7, 2009


I hope that:

1) All the companies and organizations involved go under.

2) This inspires similar lawsuits in the US.
posted by Pseudology at 3:26 PM on December 7, 2009


But are they done apologizing for Brian Adams?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:35 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't think I have felt more schadenfreude in my entire life.
posted by grouse at 3:43 PM on December 7, 2009


Geist has updated: the $60 billion was a typo. It's "only" $6 billion.
posted by Decimask at 4:24 PM on December 7, 2009


Although I am sure this will end up quite unsatisfactorily (from my point of view), I am almost ready to get religion just to see this succeed. Oh please oh please oh please oh please....


Still, I am really shocked. I mean seriously, does this mean I can like just copy music to my hearts delight, but just keep a list with a promise to settle up later?
posted by Bovine Love at 4:45 PM on December 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


You see? You see what happens when people pirate music? The companies feel so hurt and bereft that they begin to rip off the vaunted artists they swore they were trying to protect. And it's all the fault of those downloaders. For shame.
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:00 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Geist has updated: the $60 billion was a typo. It's "only" $6 billion.

I now have only 10 percent of my previous schadenfreude. Even after that, it is still vastly beyond any previous schadenfreude.
posted by grouse at 5:08 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


So when the record companies sue the listeners for piracy, it's a little like a carbon nanotube forested surface at absolute zero in a perfect vacuum in a totally radiation-proof enclosure some time after the heat death of the universe calling the kettle black?
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:03 PM on December 7, 2009 [6 favorites]


It's "only" $6 billion.

That's because they forgot to use the same math that claims damages on the order of 5 or 6 figures every time somebody downloads an individual track.

Because if they were held to those standards — and it's a damn shame if they aren't — the damages probably be bigger than Canada's GDP.
posted by namespan at 6:22 PM on December 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, an old version of a new strategy: too big to pay up.
posted by googly at 6:35 PM on December 7, 2009


David Basskin, the President and CEO of the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd., notes in his affidavit that "the record labels have devoted insufficient resources to identifying and paying the owners of musical works on the Pending Lists." Basskin adds that some labels believe addressing the issue would be "an unproductive use of their time."

Why does this sound suspiciously like the excuses the record companies make about the accounting procedures (or lack thereof) outlined in the article from that other music payment discussion thread?

It seems as though the entire industry, no matter what country, has been based on shady accounting and obfuscation for decades. I think maybe Congressional or Parlimentary oversight is called for.
posted by hippybear at 6:37 PM on December 7, 2009


"2) This inspires similar lawsuits in the US."

The US has compulsory licensing. That means that all they have to do is pay the statutory rates. A better lawsuit would be over Sound Exchange being miraculously unable to find assloads of artists to dispense their royalties, but the bullshit law that authorized their existence essentially clears them of that liability.

All said, though, I also make compilations and don't pay artists.
posted by klangklangston at 6:54 PM on December 7, 2009


From the comments below the article...

I'm not an infringer...
...my iTunes library is just my "pending list." I'll get around to paying everyone eventually... I promise.


Sweet.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:21 PM on December 7, 2009 [8 favorites]


I think maybe Congressional or Parlimentary oversight is called for.

Then they'll just get the status quo written into legislation and become untouchable.

Take them through the civil system where they can't lobby the judges and take them to the cleaners.
posted by Talez at 2:32 AM on December 8, 2009


You see, America? Canada does do irony.
posted by MuffinMan at 3:21 AM on December 8, 2009


Turnaboutoot is FairPlay.

FTFY.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:38 AM on December 8, 2009


Hmmmm... so if the Canadian major label music industry imploded, we'd only be left with Godspeed You Black Emperor, Rae Spoon, Final Fantasy, Arcade Fire, The Acorn, Basia Bulat...

I'm not too worried. Canadian music is in great shape, and could only really be improved by a high-speed bullet train that goes between Toronto and Winnipeg. (oh the poor touring musicians that have to content with the Western Ontario drive...)
posted by Theta States at 10:51 AM on December 8, 2009


Godspeed You Black Emperor, Rae Spoon, Final Fantasy, Arcade Fire, The Acorn, Basia Bulat...

And Holy Fuck. Don't forget Holy Fuck. because they are awesome.
posted by GuyZero at 11:00 AM on December 8, 2009


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