Record Company Piracy = $6bn Losses


Record Company Piracy = $6bn Losses

How ironic.  Major record companies in Canada are facing a lawsuit for copyright infringement.  Apparently, these companies have a long standing practice of including songs on compilation CDs without paying the authors for doing so.  So, Michael Geist is helping them sue CRIA in Canada.   The record companies have successfully lobbied for excessive copyright damages to be enshrined in legislation.  Now they are potentially on the receiving end of them – at $20,000 per song for 300,000 songs, gives $6e9 (ie $6 billion Canadian dollars).  To use their (incorrect) rhetoric, they have ‘stolen’ this money from artists.   Presumably the cut and thrust of this sort of action would result in the parties reaching a settlement for a sum substantially less than this.  It will be interesting to see whether record companies argue that the full amount of such penalty damages should only be awarded for individual file sharers who do not profit from their infringement and not in the case of the organised infringement for profit that they have apparently been engaging in.   That would qualify them as unethical, as the essence of ethics is to not make an exception of yourself.

Further, of course, if there were any justice, then the Attorney General should be bringing criminal actions against them, since commercial infringement for profit typically brings with it criminal sanctions.  I suspect this won’t happen either.  Should the State pursue individuals at the record company’s behest, but fail to prosecute them in worse circumstances, that would be corruption.   What happens in Canada will determine whether or not widespread cynicism about copyright is justified.

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8 Responses to “Record Company Piracy = $6bn Losses”


  1. 1 sigs 9 December 2009 at 7:05 am

    Let this begin the fall of copyright oppression of the masses! Hooray for anarchy and bloody streets!

    • 2 blahaha 11 December 2009 at 3:11 am

      You fail to make it clear though what has copyright anything to do with anarchy and bloody streets. If you can’t make that clear, then you’re a … (feel free to fill in the dots).

  2. 3 Brian 9 December 2009 at 7:34 am

    Well if the lawsuit does somehow fall though it would still be excellent news. Just setup a “waiting” list for all the songs you download from wherever and if you ever get in trouble just tell them the artists are all on your waiting list.

  3. 4 OjM 9 December 2009 at 11:31 am

    One thing is wrong on this article I think. They do say that sharing is stealing, but they do real piracy, they sell that music without the owners consent and get money. Even Pirate Parties want to make only non-commercial sharing legal.

    They are professional pirates. They make pirated cd:s and sell them.

    It’s a couple of magnitudes bigger issue than some teen downloading some song and maybe even buying it later.

  4. 5 Jimmyfj 9 December 2009 at 12:11 pm

    This proves yet again that Richard M Stallman of the FSF is right:

    “The only fair way to sell music is through the artist’s own home page!”

    This case has so enormous consequences that we can’t cope with it right now. It calls for a debate on a more reasonable length of copyright, which should be no more than 5 years for any work since most works are obsolete by then both in case of software, hardware and art. On top of that the punishment for infringement by companies in cases such as this should be that the copyright goes back to the author immediately, and the money earned from the infringement be payed to the authorities who shall then be bound to make use of that money for the benefit of the public.

  5. 6 WJM 10 December 2009 at 2:07 am

    As a professional musician for over 30 years, I can testify to the bad faith which my industry deals in all the time. I’ve seen it for decades. It’s about time they get caught and hauled into court. Every time they have been audited in a court case, it’s been shown that they play fast and loose with the numbers every time.

    Go for it, Canada. Kick their miserable butts all over the north country. Maybe if you guys actually stand up to them, it MIGHT give someone in the lower 48 the idea that justice belongs here, too. It’s time that big business gets what it truly deserves, and the sooner the better.


  1. 1 Links 09/12/2009: Thundebird 3 is Out | Boycott Novell Trackback on 10 December 2009 at 4:09 am
  2. 2 Twitted by chris_bloke Trackback on 27 December 2009 at 1:13 pm

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