Ever record a TV program? Ever buy a CD and transfer the music to your MP3 player? Well, you have broken the law. These two activities, known as format shifting and time shifting, respectfully, were technically illegal in Canada. Canada's copyright laws have not keep up with technology are have not be updated in over 10 years. Today, the government has finally updated the laws, making format shifting and time shifting legal. The bill also dictates that media with digital locks cannot be copied. For example, if an artist places a digital lock on the CD version, you will not be permitted to break that lock to place it on your MP3 player. You will have to buy the digital version from your favourite online store.
Internet Service Providers will now be mandated to inform a subscriber if a copyright holder is aware of a subscriber violating their copyright. ISP and search engines are exempt as they are simply the unwitting intermediary in the violation.
I'm glad to see the Canadian government finally making legal an activity that have been occurring in homes since the first Betamax was on the market. As far as digital locks go, I hope artists will not be using them. I can see consumers staying away from those artist who are, in fact, double-dipping. You buy the music in any form, you should have the right to listen to it in any form.
To read more about this new law, visit the Government of Canada Web site.