A group of US rights holders want Canada to crack down on online piracy

February 20, 2017

The world has come a long way since Napster; the music industry, not so much. Unable to figure out a solution to dwindling sales that came largely as an effect of online music piracy, we ended up with streaming, which still doesn’t make much money compared to the good ol’ days, but at least it’s not illegal. But even with the ubiquitous presence of easily acquired mass hordes of music, piracy is still alive and well. Canada’s copyright laws have made it a pretty attractive place to do said pirating, and CBC reports that there’s a group of American rights holders who would like the country to put a stop to that.

The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) submitted an annual report to the U.S. Trade Representative that says progress has been made in the past year shutting down Canadian-based hosts of illegitimate content, but also says Canada has earned a reputation as a safe haven for illegal file sharing, and more needs to be done about the theft of intellectual property in the country. The IIPA is a private sector coalition that represents American copyright holders—including ones holding copyrights in music. The report also places Canada on a watch list of countries that are performing particularly poorly when it comes to enforcing the theft of intellectual property.

The solution, the IIPA posits, is strengthening legal incentives for internet service providers to work with rights holders and urging authorities to make enforcement of online copyright offenses a priority. Currently, internet service providers have no legal obligation to provide personal information about their clients, making it pretty much impossible for rights holders to target individuals they suspect have made copyright violations. Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly has said that the Parliament committee on heritage will be reviewing the Copyright Act later this year.

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About the Author

Matt Williams

Matt Williams is a writer and photographer. Born and raised on the Prairies in Winnipeg, he’s slowly made his way farther and farther east, spending a few years covering music in Toronto before running clear out of country and ending up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. In between, he’s made numerous detours, interviewing and photographing countless artists across North America and beyond. He heads up Amplify’s Instrumental series, where he talks with musicians about the relationships they’ve formed with their most important tools.

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