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OpenNap server puts Canadian copyright laws to test

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 18 Jul 2001 14:40

Two college students who operate Ontario, Canada -based OpenNap server (independent clone of Napster's server) are pushing Canadian copyright laws. They and their ISP received few weeks ago a letter from CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association, counterpart of RIAA) that insisted ISP to shut down the service that allows users to swap copyrighted songs just like Napster did. Letter also referenced to U.S. court order against Napster.
Twist in the case is that Canadian copyright law is not the same as American law -- Canadian law doesn't have terms like "contributory infringement" or "vicarious copyright liability". So, the Fairtunes OpenNap server decided not to shut down. Canada is about to upgrade their copyright laws, but this wont happen until 2003. And now these two college guys, who say that they're "making a political statement" with this issue, are planning to move their server to Sealand, independent """"country"""" right outside UK, located in international waters (not technically, but when this "country" declared its independence it was outside UK waters, although UK has expanded their borders since, but they declared independence before that, so it doesn't count).

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