Friday, November 08, 2002

BLAME CANADA: Now the battle against file sharing is being taken to the streets of Canada. The CRIA (their equivalent of the RIAA) are launching a series of commercials to express the "Value of Music" and warn that, you know, if you download MP3s, there won't be as many artists around in the future. Or at least a whole lot less money to fund record company marketing departments.
Brian Robertson, head of the CRIA says "There's a whole mindset with a generation now that you don't necessarily have to pay for music to enjoy it" - older generations, of course, would slip a farthing in the speakerslot of the wireless for every tune they listened to; while even as recently as 1995 teenagers would think it wrong to gather in each other's bedrooms and listen to tapes without everyone ensuring they'd paid some sort of levy.
The article we've linked to - from the Globe and Mail - starts off by featuring someone so untypical as to suggest parody. Marcus Fryia, who "buys the occasional CD" but "he and his pals get most of their tunes free from" the interweb. We suspect he might be some sort of composite, as every music lover we've come across does download, but still buys as many CDs as they can possibly afford.
Anyway, there's a further complication in Canada, because downloading isn't illegal. At the behest of the CRIA, every single tape and blank CD sold in the country includes a mandatory tax which gets given straight to the recording industry. So, if the CD burners of the north have the idea that they're not doing anything wrong, it's because they're not. Indeed, people who use CD burners purely to store data and their own material are actually being ripped off. It's kind of ironic that a shedload of cash is being taken from consumers, given to record companies, who are using it to fund a campaign trying to make people feel bad about doing an activity they've paid through the nose for.
Unless, of course, the CRIA are willing to abandon it's levy?

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