Via Slashdot, we learn that, on top of Judge Konrad von Finckenstein’s (what a fine name!) decision in the spring, Canada’s Supreme Court has ruled in a 9-0 decision that ISPs are not liable for what people download:
The court ruled that companies providing wide access to the web are “intermediaries” who are not bound by federal copyright legislation. The Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, representing Canadian artists, argued that ISPs are liable because they have a hand in transmitting recorded music.
But the Canadian Association of Internet Providers, including companies like Bell, Sprint, and AOL, said artists should ask for royalties from sites that offer their works, not companies that provide the access.
It will be interesting to see what impact, if any, this has on child pornography investigations and legal activity in the near future. Regardless, I imagine that Canadian ISPs are breathing a collective sigh of relief.