Thursday, April 01, 2004

Canadian courts choose privacy over profits

Choosing customer privacy over company profits, the Federal Court of Canada refused to allow the Canadian recording Industry Association to force Internet service providers to give up the personal information of their subscribers. in doing so, Justice Finckenstein raised the ire of many record company lawyers, who said that as a competition law expert, Finckenstein just didn't understand copyright law and the rights it gives copyright owners. It seems to me, however, that as a competition expert, Finckenstein saw copyright for exactly what it is - a government-granted monopoly- and accordingly put the screws to the recording industry when they weren't being competitive. Our economy is based on free-market competition, and this should apply to that which is stored on the compact disc as much as it applies to the disc itself. Record companies should have to follow the same rules that every other industry has to play by, and if that means they have to stop living so high on the hog, so be it

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