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Copyright fears are put to rest
April 2, 2004
Toronto Star

Many file swappers let out a sigh of relief when they heard Internet service providers wouldn't be forced to reveal the names of alleged file swappers.

The Canadian Recording Industry Association wanted contact information for 29 individuals it claimed were breaking copyright law by making music files available on the Internet.

But the judge in the case ruled that uploading a song to the Internet or downloading a track for personal use doesn't violate copyright law.

"I feel a lot more comfortable," said 21-year-old Will Duong.

The Ryerson University student says he downloads six or seven songs a week.

Duong said when he first heard the music industry was going to sue people who swapped songs online it made him nervous.

"Now I won't have to look over my shoulder."

Brian Sousa, a 17-year-old student from Oakwood Collegiate, is also relieved.

"It just makes me feel a little safer," Sousa said as he left the HMV store in the Eaton Centre.

Sousa admits he downloads a lot of music, about 30 songs a week, but says he buys a lot too. Yesterday, he picked up CDs from two of his favourite artists: Nas and Tupac Shakur.

"There are some CDs that I buy because I want the whole CD," he said. But if he only likes one or two songs, he'll download them from the Internet instead.

Toronto musician Kevin Jollimore, 44, said he supports that kind of behaviour and the judge's decision Wednesday.

The lead singer of Sin City Boys downloads music himself and occasionally finds his own songs on file sharing networks such as Kazaa.

"I don't really mind," he said. "Once (the music) has been created you should just let it go."

Jollimore said he believes in art for art's sake. He said he's happy if downloading hurts "fabricated" artists such as Britney Spears because they are only in it for the money. He doesn't feel he should have to pay to download music from artists he likes either, if he already bought the CD.

"I spent thousands of dollars listening to the Rolling Stones," he said.

"I own many of their albums in three or four formats. If I download a few Stones songs to my computer is that really stealing?"

Geoff Harvey, who works at a bookstore in downtown Toronto, thinks the music industry would be better off if it lowered prices. People just aren't willing to spend $20 or more for one or two good songs, he said.

Harvey thought the judge's decision was great. But he doesn't think it'll stick.

"It's not final. Obviously, they are going to appeal," he said.

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