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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know where to ask and get an honest answer. Many sites are claiming that file sharing (torrents) is not illegal in Canada. Does one put oneself at risk of prosecution using such sites as isoHunt or PirateBay (in Canada)?
 

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I'm not a lawyer but here is what harvard law says on the matter -

http://grep.law.harvard.edu/articles/03/08/22/1655233.shtml

In a nut shell P2P file sharing is illegal.

Summary of the article:

In Canada you can make a copy of a CD for your personal use because there are levies on blank tapes, CDs, mp3 players that allow you to do so.

However they way the law is worded:

1) You can borrow a friends CD and copy it for your use.
2) It is illegal for your friend to copy his CD and give you that copy.

P2P is illegal because while your are downloading you are also uploading thus you are making a copy to give to someone else.

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Best practice is to just buy the copyright material so you don't have to worry about whether its illegal or not. Also expect this to all change with the new proposed copyright laws in the works.
 

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Downloading files is currently legal in Canada. That will change should the pending legislation pass, but as of right now, downloading copyright content for personal use is not illegal (according to the Copyright Board and Mr. Justice Gomery).

Uploading or distributing copyright content is completely illegal. Therefore, downloading via bittorrent is also illegal because you are uploading content as you download. All P2P file sharing software that uploads while you download would be illegal.
 

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Also with P2P you are not necessarily uploading while you are downloading. For example, Limewire has an option not to share any songs on your computer (including ones from your personal CDs and ones you have downloaded from Limewire).
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I sure wish that the providers would get their act together.

I absolutely don't mind paying for my entertainment. All my music is ripped from Cds I have purchased (every single one) because Cds are the only place I can get full resolution wav files. On the other hand the DVD store doesn't carry a lot of the blurays I want and the one's they do carry are out of stock half the time. That leaves iTunes which is compressed and has very limited availability. Add to that the that you get gouged and charged full price for a radically compressed file and that doesn't leave a lot of goodwill left to go around.
 

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In a nut shell P2P file sharing is illegal.
That would depend on what you're sharing. If copyrighted material, yes it would be. On the other hand torrents are often used for entirely legal sharing of things like Linux distributions, OpenOffice etc.

All P2P file sharing software that uploads while you download would be illegal.
Only if used for copyrighted material. There is a lot of legal file sharing going on as well. For example, a lot of open source software is distributed that way.

Uploading or distributing copyright content is completely illegal.
Not necessarily. It's distributing without permission that's illegal. For example, any software released under the GPL licence is both copyrighted and legally sharable. It's not the tool, but how it's used that's illegal. For example a hammer can be used for legal purposes, such as building a home or illegal, such as breaking someone's window. To ban hammers because some people use them to break windows would be nonsense.
 
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