ISPs don’t have to pay royalties


And speaking of important court rulings today, our supreme court at home has been tackling an important issue: music downloads.

Today, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that ISP’s don’t have to pay royalties to musicians to compensate them for the lost revenue from people downloading their music for free:

The court ruled that companies that provide access to the worldwide web are “intermediaries” who are not subject to copyright law.

[ . . . ]

“This decision is a victory for Canadians who have come to rely on the Internet as an increasingly important part of their daily lives,” said Jay Kerr-Wilson, the society’s vice-president for legal affairs.

This one, I agree with. Should we fine Canada Post for the costs of mail fraud? Should Bell Canada have to pay for people using the telephone to run scams? All the Supreme Court did today was reaffirm the principle that a technology is neutral, and that it is the responsibility of the people using it to obey the law, not of the ISPs to pay for those who don’t.

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