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Canadian Federal Court: Music Downloads Legal

First medical marijuana, now this...

It was a setback for the music companies, which had targeted 29 large-volume song swappers in a test case to try to stem the downloading of music, which deprives them of revenue.

Federal Court Judge Konrad von Finckenstein, formerly Canada's competition commissioner, ruled that the music companies had failed to make a clear case of infringement and a case that public interest outweighed privacy concerns.

He noted that Canada's Copyright Act allows downloading of songs for personal use. And he pointed to a recent Supreme Court of Canada decision on photocopying, which established that setting up facilities that allow copying does not amount to authorizing infringement.

"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 (peer-to-peer) service," he wrote.

"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."

I suspect there's already someone out there figuring out a way to use this to circumvent US law.

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