Burn While You Can

Watch out, fellow music piraters! The Liberals plan to crack down on file sharing.

Bill C-60 would amend the Copyright Act, bringing it up to speed with today's technologies, namely Internet activities like file-sharing and burning unlimited copies of CDs and movies.

If passed, the bill would exempt Internet Service Providers, such as Rogers and Telus, from copyright liability. The ISPs would instead have to implement a new warning system, called "notice and notice," something they currently do on an informal basis.

Customers would receive a notice letter from their ISP that a rights holder is alleging the sharing of copyright-protected information. It would ask the individual to remove the material from the shared directory or face a lawsuit.

I have mixed feelings about file-sharing. Personally, I feel no guilt about downloading music because I can confidently say that I purchase more CDs now than I did before. It's the perfect way to sample new music that doesn't make it onto mainstream radio.

I also think more people would be willing to pay to download if labels and online music stores would get thier shit together. Stealing music is a huge pain the ass. Finding, downloading and checking the validity of tracks takes a ridiculous amount of time. I would happily pay to download from a useful site full of peer reviews and play lists (a la Amazon) with the right price point (99 cents/song ain't it).

The bill will have to jump through a number of legislative hoops and is not expected to become law until late 2005 or even Spring of 2006. Til then, burn 'em while you got 'em.