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The Canadian Recording Industry Association is a non-profit trade organization that was founded in 1964 to represent the interests of companies that create, manufacture and market sound recordings in Canadamarker. The organization is based in Torontomarker.

CRIA is governed by a board of directors who are elected annually by CRIA members. To be eligible for election a candidate for the board must be among the chief executive officers of member companies of the organization. Graham Henderson (Universal Music Canada) is the current president of the CRIA.

Representation

Currently CRIA is undergoing somewhat of a crisis of integrity of whom they represent. Several smaller but more domestically representative labels (such as Nettwerk) have publicly disagreed with CRIA and claim it no longer represents them - only large American franchise labels. This controversy includes recent hard line stance against blank media tax and legal threats to BitTorrent websites - aggressive and extreme positions to take regarding filesharing.. A Canadian Press report on the departure of Nettwerk and five other labels from CRIA indicates that the split was 'over a disagreement about radio content rules and grant programs for emerging artists', and suggests that the labels have no issue with CRIA's other work, 'including advocating for copyright reform'.

Legal actions

On February 16, 2004, the CRIA applied to the Federal Court to force five major Canadian internet service providersShaw Communications Inc., Telus Corp., Rogers Cable, Bell Canada's Sympatico service and Quebec's Vidéotron — to hand over the names of 29 people accused of illegal filesharing. On April 2005, Vidéotron indicated its willingness to supply customer information to the CRIA.

On March 31, 2004, in the case of BMG v. John Doe, Justice Konrad von Finckenstein of the Federal Court of Canada ruled that making music available for download over the Internet was not equivalent to distribution and was thus noninfringing. The Justice compared the file trading activities to "having a photocopier in a library room full of copyrighted material" and wrote that there was no evidence of unauthorized distribution presented. The Federal Court of Appeal upheld the lower courts ruling denying the disclosure of the customers' identities, but, in reference to "what would or would not constitute infringement of copyright," stated: "such conclusions should not have been made in the very preliminary stages of this action, since they would require a consideration of the evidence as well as the law applicable to such evidence after it has been properly adduced, and could be damaging to the parties if a trial takes place."

The Copyright Board of Canada earlier that year had included downloading music in the list of "private copying" activities for which tariffs on blank media applied. (Private copying is the act of copying music for personal use from a noninfringing source, and is itself noninfringing.) That made it extremely unlikely that downloaders could be successfully prosecuted, leaving only the possibility of acting against uploaders, those supplying the works to others on the networks.

The CRIA has also threatened legal action on other occasions. For instance, on September 27, 2007, the CRIA sent a letter to Demonoid threatening legal action (copyright infringement), despite the fact that Demonoid does not host copyrighted material - merely torrents facilitating the downloading of copyrighted materials.

Demonoid shutdown

On November 08, 2007, the CRIA forced the closing of Demonoid by threatening the company from whom they are renting their servers.The site was left as a blank page with a short statement written on it:

"The CRIA threatened the company renting the servers to us, and because of this it is not possible to keep the site online. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your understanding."

However, the decision to take down servers is ultimately up to either Demonoid or the ISPs, as no legal order has been given.

As a reaction to the recent take-down of Demonoid by the CRIA, a few Canadians have banded together to form an organization called "Stop The CRIA" as an attempt to raise awareness of the situation and to help companies threatened by the CRIA to defend themselves in court.

Lawsuit against the CRIA

On September 8th, Gary Fung, President of Isohunt Web Technologies Inc. or 'isoHunt' announced on the Isohunt front page that he had made a preemptive move against an impending lawsuit from the CRIA by filing a petition to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. isoHunt argues that it is merely a search engine to find torrents that are scattered around the web, much the same as Google or any other search engine can be used in the same way.

Gary Fung's affidavit can be viewed here

The Petition to the Supreme Court of British Columbia can be viewed here

Album certifications

The CRIA certifications for albums released after May 1, 2008 are:
  • 40,000 units: Gold (previously 50,000)
  • 80,000 units: Platinum (previously 100,000)
  • 800,000 units: Diamond (previously 1,000,000)


Note: Multi-Platinum certification refers to albums that have sold 160,000 units or more (i.e. 160,000 is double Platinum) but have not yet sold 800,000 units (Diamond certification).

See also



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