The Canadian Recording Industry Assn. (CRIA) on July 12 filed arguments in its appeal over the March 31 ruling that Internet service providers could not be forced to reveal the identities of subscribe

TORONTO -- The Canadian Recording Industry Assn. (CRIA) on July 12 filed arguments in its appeal over the March 31 ruling that Internet service providers could not be forced to reveal the identities of subscribers. CRIA had sought the information as part of an attempt to begin suing individuals who make music available online.

CRIA filed the appeal April 13 with the Federal Court of Appeal in Ottawa. It is expected that the court will hear the case in the fall.

The new CRIA brief contends that the court should have let the group pursue the file swappers' identities, and that the act of uploading copyrighted files without permission does constitute illegal distribution of the works.

"This appeal is significant for virtually all Canadian intellectual property owners," says CRIA president Brian Robertson.

The Federal Court ruled that the ISPs -- Bell/Sympatico, Rogers Communications Inc., Shaw Communications Inc. and Telus Corp. -- could not be forced to reveal the names and addresses of 29 people who allegedly shared a "high volume" of songs via the Internet in November and December 2003. CRIA had filed motions with the court in February to require ISPs to disclose the identities of subscribers alleged to be large-scale distributors of digital music files.

In his 28-page March ruling, Justice Konrad von Finckenstein said CRIA did not prove there was copyright infringement by the alleged uploaders. He further ruled that downloading or uploading music files does not constitute copyright infringement under current Canadian law.