Major Record Labels Fined $45M For Piracy In Canada

Although the amount is  a drop in the bucket, it is an encouraging start. It would seem that the big labels haven’t bought enough Canadian politicians. They won’t have this problem in the US.

DailyTech reports –

After infringing on thousands of artists’ works, the big four labels agree to collectively pay them $45M USD. Since the 1980s, record companies have taken tracks from musicians who had not signed with them and put them on a “pending list”. This left thousands of musicians receiving no royalties as the major labels used, distributed, and even profited off their tracks. In Canada alone, this situation reached the point where 300,000 tracks, some dated back to the 1980s were listed as “pending”.  Some musicians were actively working — to no avail — to stop the record companies from pirating their tracks.

Now they have a bit of vindication.  After a long class action lawsuit dating back to 2008, filed on behalf of angry independent musicians, Warner Music, Sony BMG Music, EMI Music, and Universal Music have in effect acknowledged that they were engaging in copyright infringement.  They have agreed to settle to the tune of $45M USD. The Canadian Recording Industry Association CRIA, the Canadian sister organization of the RIAA, and the organization that represents the major labels claim that the payout is not an admission of guilt.  They write, “The settlement is a compromise of disputed claims and is not an admission of liability or wrongdoing by the record labels.” Apparently they believe that they did not pirate tracks or commit copyright infringement because they hoped to pay artists at some point — although they never did. In essence, their argument also boils down that it was too hard to find and legally purchase the tracks.

Continue reading HERE.

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