Justice Konrad von Finckenstein's decision throws a wrench into plans by the music industry to sue people who share songs over the Internet. Unlike similar cases in the United States, he said the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) didn't prove there was copyright infringement by 29 so-called music uploaders.
Von Finckenstein said that downloading a song or making files available in the shared directories does not constitute copyright infringement under the current Canadian law.
"No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings," he wrote in his 28-page ruling. "They merely placed personal copies into their shared directories which were accessible by other computer users via a P2P service."
He compared the action to a photocopy machine in a library. "I cannot see a real difference between a library that places a photocopy machine in a room full of copyrighted material and a computer user that places a personal copy on a shared directory linked to a P2P service," he said."
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