Monday, August 20, 2007

No CDN lawsuits aginst individuals for file sharing?

There’s a Slyck interview from August 17, 2007 with David Basskin, spokesperson these days for the CPCC - the collector of private copying levies in Canada.

Leaving aside lots of other issues that merit comment, one answer was quite strange. Many people have argued for some time that sending lawsuits to people on P2P networks is a bad idea. Some are arguing that, instead of sending lawsuits, it's better to put a levy on ISPs to counteract what the industry considers losses over the internet. Is this something that the CPCC has considered? What are your thoughts on this idea?

David: No lawsuits have been brought in Canada against individuals with respect to unauthorized file "sharing".
Excuse me, but what about BMG v. Doe, in which the big record companies sued 29 John and Jane Doe Canadian defendants for file sharing? The result, as we all know, is that BMG et al failed to get disclosure of the names of the actual 29 individuals who were alleged to be illegally sharing files.

If the law suits didn’t actually proceed any further, it wasn’t for lack of effort. The record companies - backed by CRIA - lost in both the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. CRIA went through three prominent law firms to get this result. There was no lack of effort to sue individuals here.

See my comment on these cases here.

These major record companies - who tried to sue 29 individuals in Canada - happen to be major stakeholders in the private copying levy scheme, through one of the collectives that comprise the CPCC. CRIA was probably the prime mover for the levy scheme in the first place.

I should remind readers that I acted against the record companies in the BMG case and I have long acted against CPCC concerning the private copying levies.


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