Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The mere fact of placing a copy on a shared directory in a computer where that copy can be accessed via a P2P service does not amount to distribution. Before it constitutes distribution, there must be a positive act by the owner of the shared directory, such as sending or the copies or advertising that they are available for copying.
Say...I've noticed that when I have Kazaa running and connected, I receive requests to my computer asking if I have such and such files. 'Britney Spears'. 'XXX'. All that good stuff. But when I don't have Kazaa connected, I don't receive these search queries. So...just how do the searchers know when to ask me? I mean, apparently all I've done is set up a shared directory filled with files. I didn't advertise it at all, telling anyone else on the network know I have stuff to share.
No such evidence was presented by the plaintiffs in this case. They merely presented evidence that the alleged infringers made copies available on their shared drives.
Ah, so the judge isn't saying filesharing copyrighted material on Kazaa is legal. He's just saying the CRIA (RIAA of Canada) didn't bother to mention one I-thought-obvious-but-apparently-needing-explicit-stating detail. Whoops!
(Source: PDF, HTML (The results ('CRIA wrong; ISPs of filesharers right') of the appeal of the famous 'file sharing is legal in Canada' decision.))
(Note that Bill C-60 will fix this stupid ruling and lay down the groundwork for a bunch of worse ones in its stead.)

The appeal decision also mentions the old decision that putting a copier and copyrighted material close together isn't authorising someone to violate copyright.
True. Good decision, that was. However, is he claiming that--if the downloaders copied copyrighted music--they did it without authorisation, and therefore the people sending the music isn't to blame? The file sharers didn't authorise the downloading of this music when they, I don't know, installed a p2p program, configured it to share their music, connected it to the P2P network, and knowingly permitted it to then transfer the music to other people over their connection?

1 comment:

LKBM said...

I'm thinking maybe the problem is that I think of it as me using my computer when it's really them using my computer. The latter seems to be the judges position, but it just seems really weird to me. When I download something from, I'm _asking_ _them_ to send me the file. I'm not going onto their computer and using it to send myself the file. But it is automatically responding to my request, much the way a copier automatically responds to my pressing the 'Copy' button. (Actually, my copier doesn't work too well, but the point stands.)