Reaping what they sow: Canadian record industry faces potential $6 billion fine for copyright infringement

Oh dear, oh dear. How utterly delightful! It seems that the major members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association have been a bit hypocritical over the last… oh, 20 years. It seems they’ve included a truly enormous amount of tracks on compilation CDs without paying the artists a dime, instead putting them on a “pending list.” This list is somewhere around 300,000 items long, and a class-action lawsuit is underway in which the plaintiffs are calling for (and this is the best part) the same statutory damages the recording industry has pursued with individuals: $20,000 per song. Ironisterical!

That’s $6 billion in damages if the industry plays by its own rules (or more), and so far they’ve admitted that they do in fact owe $50 million. It’s not quite an admission of guilt, but let’s say that during a rash of candy store robberies, you admitted to robbing half. You better believe the other half will be on the judge’s mind as he raises that gavel.

Actually, to be honest, I don’t expect the $6bn figure to fly, given that this is not only a different court but a different country from that where the RIAA’s ridiculous damages were awarded. Even if they end up owing “only” fifty mil, I’ll be happy to see them pay it.

The suit is in Canada, and has to do with Canadian royalties law, but I guarantee there are people scouring the RIAA’s records right now looking for a willful oversight like this. Oh man, I would die laughing if the RIAA went under on piracy charges.

[Correction: $6bn not $60bn. Still.]