Will Canada Tighten File Sharing Laws?

Published: 2004-04-07
Instead of concerning themselves with the real problems with the music industry – high priced CDs and image over music – music industry officials have chosen to go after the people sharing music files on the internet. Fans have been making copies of music and sharing it with other people for as long as recorded music has been around. The internet has just made that task a lot easier to share with a lot more people at the same time.

The industry attacked file sharing teens in the US with lawsuits first, then the suits expanded to more US citizens. Australia was next, then Europe and Canada. The music industry was dealt a blow when Canadian Justice Konrad von Finckenstein ruled against the industry by stating file sharing was not violating federal copyright laws.

As a result of recent events Federal Heritage Minister Helene Scherrer has vowed to plug the hose in the Canadian law that allows music fans to share music files. Copyright laws are designed to protect the original author or creator from others "stealing" his work and claiming it as their own. But the current music industry is so wrapped up in presenting a packaged image that they have neglected the laws of copyright themselves by allowing musicians to use the music of others to their own end (the Grey Album is a good example).

Among musicians themselves the issue of file sharing carries many different thoughts and opinions. They range from adamantly being opposed to file sharing, to the musician uploading the music themselves for their fans to share. Canadian Idol Ryan Malcolm's focus is on the music itself. "Whether people download or not, as long as they're listening to music," he said. Malcolm sees the file sharing issue as a challenge for the music industry.

Instead of attacking the people who support them and wasting money on law suits, music industry officials need to face the music and look in the mirror to solve their problems.

Writer: Sherrill Fulghum



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