Murky laws make piracy suits less likely in Canada than U.S.

Thursday, 11 September 2003, 4:16 PM EST

When the U.S. record industry spread fear and loathing south of the border on Monday by filing lawsuits against music "pirates," Canadian file sharers were left looking over their shoulders wondering if the same thing could happen to them.

Canadian copyright law is not identical to that in the United States, but lawyers say at least some downloading activity in Canada is clearly illegal, and could draw lawsuits if the industry sees fit.

What makes the situation murky is that much of Canadian copyright law was written before music file sharing exploded, and interpreting how the Copyright Act applies to computer-based activities isn't crystal clear.

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