Steve at AOV gave me the heads up to news of the ruling on file sharing in Canada's Federal Court today. Other than the grooviest name for a judge, Konrad von Finckenstein, the basis for the ruling is not available to me as I cannot find a copy of the ruling on either the Federal Court site or Quicklaw. So I must rely on the yellow press just like you down there amongst the unshaven, the unwashed...
From the CBC we have this much of a 28 page ruling:
"No evidence was presented that the alleged infringers either distributed or authorized the reproduction of sound recordings," von Finckenstein wrote in his 28-page ruling. "They merely placed personal copies into their shared directories which were accessible by other computer users via a P2P service."
When I find the report I will write again. That little passage reminds me of a case I saw ruled upon on Nova Scotia's South Shore in a small town court room. A fisherman without a tuna license catching one as bycatch (ie accident) on his swordfish longline was charged for giving the fish to someone with a license - one tuna can be worth thousands. It was proven only, the court held, that the first fisherman cut the line attached to the tuna and threw the line into the sea. It was not proven that the throw was actually to the other fisherman. Charges dismissed against the first. So maybe placing a file in your share folder is just that: placing it in a place others can come along and pick up. Not so much the pie on a window sill as like junk left out on big garbage day.
Analogies abound. Hopefully the ruling will be out soon.
A CBC news report on the case from February 2004 can be found here.
Later: Isaac sent the case as scanned off a fax. Read on yourself. I may post more.