Are You Still Stealing Music? Then Watch for an Email

Okay, I’ll say it.  If you’re still stealing music, you’re stupid.  Given that high-quality, virus-free, properly tagged music is accessible for free (or very close to it), why are you wasting your time? It doesn’t make sense. And now someone is watching you.

A new change to Canadian copyright law went into effect January 1 that requires ISPs to send notices to people who are suspected of stealing copyrighted stuff.  In the past, this was a voluntary action. Now it’s the law.

ISPs also need to keep these notices on file for six months in case the owner of the copyright wants to pursue legal action and claim damages.  This means music, movies, TV shows, pirated text and software.

Consider everyone warned.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

10 thoughts on “Are You Still Stealing Music? Then Watch for an Email

  • January 2, 2015 at 9:30 am
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    Have a question (that I likely know the answer to, but have always wanted to ask someone ‘in the biz’). Is it ‘stealing’ if you download the CD you’ve borrowed from the public library? Not sure if or how much an artist is compensated for their work to be placed in this public space.

    Reply
    • January 2, 2015 at 9:36 am
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      That’s a really grey area. It’s stealing in the same sense that photocopying a book that you’ve borrowed from the library. Library use is intended as a loan, not as a way to possession.

      Reply
  • January 2, 2015 at 9:46 am
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    Thanks for the response. I get it and am (a little) guilty. Have downloaded in the past but tried to apply some sort of crazy ethics – i.e. ‘borrow’ and download old CD’s like, Stones and Zeppelin without thinking it’s hurting their pocketbook too much (again, my rationale, but still wrong), but I buy and download, or even better, go to a show and purchase merch from local and indie artists – and will continue to do so – way more fun. thanks again.

    Reply
  • January 2, 2015 at 2:02 pm
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    Alan, do you have any knowledge of the repercussions? I download rare and out-of-print stuff, as well as Walking Dead and Games Of Thrones on the nights when I have to work late and miss them.

    I’ve found frustratingly very little information about the changes except for the original articles on it from 2012.

    It seems pretty ludicrous to potentially have to pay some huge fine because I don’t own a DVR or want some B-sides that haven’t been in print since 1996.

    Reply
    • January 2, 2015 at 3:20 pm
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      Thanks Michael. There’s a lot of good information there.

      Reply
  • January 2, 2015 at 2:37 pm
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    The novelty of downloading disappeared for me, I buy CD’s in mass and I just did a count and last year alone I bought 127…. It means nothing to me unless I have a tangible copy.

    Reply
  • January 2, 2015 at 11:17 pm
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    All of my music is purchased. I prefer CDs and if the price is right, hi-res downloads. However, Google Play often has killer deals on albums starting from 99¢. When that happens, I pull the trigger. It’s also convenient having a copy instantly added to my library without having to rip or transcode. Plus, music purchased from Google doesn’t count towards the 20,000 song limit. At 320kbps the quality level is more than adequate for on-the-go listening, but at home I prefer a little more fidelity. This is where my grey area code of ethics kicks in; if I buy an album from Google, I torrent a FLAC version to burn onto a CD. In my (possibly wrong) mind, I’ve legally purchased the rights to this music and Google has compensated the artist at the standard rate regardless of how little they charged me. Am I justified in my actions? I Sleep pretty good at night.

    Reply
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