Monday, April 27, 2009

Canada Finally Guilty As Charged?

As we await in intense suspense the "Special 301" report from Washington, it is perhaps time for Canada to confess to its past piracy peccadilloes.

The NY Times has a dramatic exposé of Canadian piracy, counterfeiting, intermediary liability and cross border illicit commerce and piracy that has devastated the American music publishing industry by 50%. The American music publishers were sufficiently concerned that they held a three day conference about this "last week."

The thing is that "last week" was the first week or so of June, 1897. The technology involved was newspapers, the post office, classified ads and sheet music.

Here's the link to the NY Times story. See also below.

So, if the USTR can't come up with any current hard evidence for the "Special 301" blast we are expecting momentarily, or as a basis to check iPods and laptops and invade ISPs under ACTA, they can at say that Canada's piracy goes back at least to the 19th century.

Then, there are those who say that:
"The first American "pirate" was probably Benjamin Franklin (1706-90), who was, among other things, a Philadelphia printer who re-published the works of British authors in the eighteenth century without seeking their permission or offering remuneration."
The moral of the story may be that sometimes, maybe, you can step in the same river twice.

Or, that this is a new take on a "blast from the past."

HT to Cory and MG.



  1. Well, I must admit, there should be something done about this and I'm not very proud of Canada not really caring about this one. But yet, there is so many other countries in the world that do the same. Why blame Canada only. I do think that the situation is even worse in Asian countries. I'm sure all American music publishers would make twice as much profit if the situation was handled in Asia somehow. The amount of copyright laws broken in China is incredible, but yet nobody really cares about them. Nevertheless, thanks for the article, interesting read.

    Take care, Lorne

  2. I like the band spanking new copyright notice on the 1897 work.

  3. Wow, they really are dredging the bottom of the barrel for proof that "piracy" is worse in Canada than in other countries... I bet it's actually worse in the US.