Mendacious Bodacious Piratical Infringers!

CRIA is, and i quote...

"The Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) is a non-profit trade organization that was founded in 1964 to represent the interests of Canadian companies that create, manufacture
and market sound recordings.

...and according to the president, CRIA is very concerned about people taking music without permission or payment of any kind.

He says "It's common sense: when people
can take music without paying for it: legitimate sales suffer, careers suffer."

pretty clear stuff.

righteous, even.

one thing CRIA is not is an organization
that squanders its members money
on fancy pants design!


one of the many things CRIA does is send messages to people it believes are sharing files
that include CRIAs music. it's worth a read...


“It appears that you are offering copyrighted music to others from your computer. While we appreciate your love of music, please be aware that sharing copyrighted music on the Internet without permission from the copyright owner is illegal.

When you do so, you hurt the artists, songwriters and musicians** who create the music and the other talented individuals who are involved in bringing you the music.

“More than 40,000 Canadians work hard producing and supporting the music you appear to enjoy, including producers, engineers, retailers, music publishers, distributors, manufacturers, record companies, concert promoters and broadcasters.

“When you break the law, you risk legal penalties. There is a simple way to avoid that risk: Don't distribute music to others on a file-sharing system like this. For further information, please go to www.cria.ca.

“Remember that you need music and music needs you.”


(cue CRIA)

i'm serious- if you type "CRIA" into
Google image, this is what comes up


BUT wait- if all this true,
what the hell?

how does it come to pass that Warner, Sony BMG, EMI and Universal Music - the 4 Riders of the Sonic Apocalypse (Canada, Ltd.) and the biting end of CRIA- end up facing a class-action suit for copyright infringement?

what's up with that?



it was just over a year ago, i was reading the business section in the Toronto Daily Star and i noticed this Michael Geist column:

Record industry faces liability
over 'infringement'

here's a few highlights that really bought my eye:

"The infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million and the full claim could exceed $6 billion. If the dollars don't shock, the target of the lawsuit undoubtedly will: The defendants in the case are Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association....

...The class action seeks the option of statutory damages for each infringement. At $20,000 per infringement, potential liability exceeds $6 billion.

wait for it...

These numbers may sound outrageous, yet they are based on the same rules that led the recording industry to claim a single file sharer is liable for millions in damages.

GEIST click here to read the whole thing. i'll wait....



anyway, the reason i was reminded was because
a year and a month after reading Mr. Geist's article, i came across this headline while zooming down the information super-highway today:

Canadian Record Labels Pay $45 Million to Settle Piracy Claims

here's the latest:

Faced with the certainty of a conviction for infringement, the CRIA has instead decided to settle the charges for $45 million.
“This is a very positive outcome for all parties,” said Graham Henderson, President, Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), on behalf of EMI Music Canada, Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada.

“I commend the counsel representing rights holders and the major record labels for their constructive approach in reaching an agreement and their diligence in working through highly complex issues.”

The proposed agreement also establishes a new mechanism that will “expedite” future royalty payments to copyright holders.


what the hell, indeed...

on the surface what we seem to have here is one more ironic tale of industrial hypocrisy, the shabby truth behind the shiny lies, with the Music Industry picking the pockets of the Poor Starving Artists, ho hum... but is it?
one can only hope not, and the signs and omens are that this is not the case:

-when it's mouthpiece for the music companies being sued making win-win in the press, i'm catching a whiff of gorgonzola wrapped in gym socks from somewhere.

- according to Mr. Geist, who i regard as a highly credible source in all this, "
the infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million".
...so how is it a year later the plaintiffs settle for less than the infringer had already copped to?

- with the potential for damages around $6 billion dollars, using the Industry's own numbers and legal precedents, the settlement is less that they copped to before the sit-downs started?

- where are the plaintiffs in all this? i have seen no artists dancing in the streets?

- whatever happened to the full audit that was a part of the plaintiffs original suit? instead, it is proudly announced that the settlement includes  "
a new mechanism that will “expedite” future royalty payments to copyright holders."

oh. weren't they already supposed to be doing that before, and anyway, according to contract law? it doesn't seem like it should count as a big deal.

- so when it came to the big sit down, were there lawyers for the Big 4 on both sides of the table, or what? was $45 million all they needed to take care of the big royalty earners besides themselves?

- how much did this epic mediation cost?

what the hell?


* discerning eyes will no doubt have discerned
the absence of  'artists'

** discerning eyes will have re-discerned
the new high profile of artists, etc.


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