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Canadian recording industry files appeal of court decision

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Music related
TORONTO - The Canadian Recording Industry Association yesterday filed an appeal of the recent court decision denying CRIA's request that Internet service providers reveal the identities of alleged flagrant uploaders of digital music.

"Today we filed an appeal of last month's court decision," said CRIA general counsel Richard Pfohl. "We will argue that the decision was in error on a number of legal bases."

CRIA wants five major Canadian ISPs, Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications, Vid�otron lt�e, Bell Sympatico and Telus to give them the names of 29 customers attached to IP addresses CRIA says are flagrant music thieves. On March 31st, the court denied the motion filed earlier this year and went as far as to say it didn't see much harm in the practice.

The ISPs have all said they would comply with a court order, but really didn't want to provide CRIA with those customer names and all but Vid�otron appeared to fight the motion in court.

"In our view, Canadian copyright law does not allow people to make copies of hundreds or thousands of musical recordings for global copying, transmission and distribution to millions of strangers on the Internet," Pfohl added.

"This appeal is important for virtually all Canadian intellectual property owners," said CRIA president, Brian Robertson. "Any owner of intellectual property that can be digitally transmitted has a stake in this appeal process."

Last week, the international recording industry association, IFPI, released its annual report on global record sales, which reported the fourth year of falling global sales, reflecting a 7.6% drop in 2003 sales over 2002.

On a per-capita basis, the Canadian music industry has been one of the hardest hit of any country in the world by illegal file sharing. Retail sales are down by more than $425 million since 1999. In the last 12 months alone, staff layoffs at record companies have been at the 20% plus level, says CRIA.
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