RCMP do not consider file sharing a priority

A recent article from Le Devoir suggests that the RCMP is not concerning itself with prosecuting people who share files online. A quote form the force suggests that they are much more concerned with those counterfeit goods (fake drugs, for example) that have a real impact on Canadians.

The real question now is whether the copyright industry and music lobbyists will use this as another verse in their ongoing refrain for legislation that "gives them the tools to prosecute".

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Not criminal code..

Since unauthorized sharing isn't a criminal offense, but a civil offense (and not covered by the Private Copying regime as widely mis-reported), why would the RCMP be involved?

The entertainment industry already has the tools to sue. Even after the recording industry was given a blueprint by the Federal Court of Appeals (BMG vs Doe) on how to sue their potential customers, they decided on their own not to sue.

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.

RCMP involvement?

I have no idea why the RCMP would be involved in a civil case. At the very least, they seem to have thought, based on the article, that they should be involved. Or, someone told them they need to be involved.

Are you begging the question? Do you know why the RCMP thought they should be involved strongly enough to say the they're no longer involved in prosecuting file-sharing cases?

Not begging -- thinking out loud...

It's an honest question, not something I understand. If I had a contract dispute with you there wouldn't be police around to help me collect evidence. While there are criminal aspects in the act, non-commercial sharing isn't one of them. Section 42 under Criminal Remedies talks about those activities that are of a criminal nature, largely naming things like those stalls that knowingly sell infringing CDs, DVDs, etc.

The best guess I can make is that the recording industry is trying to warp the following to suit their needs:

(c) distributes infringing copies of a work or other subject-matter in which copyright subsists, either for the purpose of trade or to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright,

In order for such a claim to hold up they would need to prove to a court that P2P distributes copies "to such an extent as to affect prejudicially the owner of the copyright". This gets into the area of discussing the legitimate interests of the copyright holder, something that the Supreme Court has been talking about in recent years. The courts would have independent studies like the one recently done for Industry Canada, as well as other economic resources, making this claim far less likely than if people believed the press-release style studies coming out of the recording industry itself.

Maybe the RCMP believed the recording industry interpretation in the past, and has since been reading the evidence that suggests that while unauthorized P2P is an infringement, there is little credible evidence to suggest that it prejudicially affects the copyright holder.

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.