we’re all pirates

8 Dec

Here in the good ol’USA when we hear mention of the RIAA, we all get the warm fuzzies whilst we recall grandmothers and children getting sued for copyright infringement – at least I do… But let’s shift our attention north to our friendly neighbors in the fine land of Canada where a slightly different manner of lawsuit is being played out now.

The headline from Ars Technica caught my eye: “Artists’ lawsuit: major record labels are the real pirates“. I nearly flipped my chair when I jumped out of my seat in pure elation. This was worth a read. A $50 million – $6 billion music infringement lawsuit has been filed against members of the  Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) and even our big four favorites: Warner, Sony BMG, EMI, and Universal. This case was opened up back in 2008, but more and more musicians are raising their voices against the labels.

Apparently the issue is founded upon the notorious “pending list’ which was established back in the 1980s. Canada refined its compulsory license law allowing record companies to use songs without authorization/payment to copyright holders as long as the song was added to a list of music pending said authorization/payment… so artists got to twiddle their thumbs while their work was exploited with only the promise of compensation.

Well you know how things go and how lists can get out of control. Let’s not get all up in arms over the fact that the record industry completely blew off artists,  and continued to add more and more songs to the pending list without compensation or authorization. I’m sure they were busy cashing in on compilation albums like “NOW That’s What I Call Music ∞!” or “BEST OF [insert exploited artist here]”. Apparently the infamous pending list is comprised of over 300,000 songs from major and independent artists- at least this is one area where the record industry is completely unbiased.

So now the Canadian music industry is getting slammed with the same lawsuit they’ve been advocating since the dawn of the digital age and music discovery sites like Grogster and Napster. This whole situation is dripping in irony and I’m soaking it up for everything its worth – which could be as much as $20,000 per infringement, the same standards used against individual file sharers in the past. Joy.

If you’re interested in reading the fine details, here’s the lawsuit.

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One Response to “we’re all pirates”

  1. Kiley Cislo February 26, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    5 star article brilliant. I am not used to blogging and you used a langauge I can comprehend

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