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Canadian Government would like border guards to search iPods


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I caught this article under (related content) after reading about Usher's new album being illegally downloaded over 550,000 times prior to its release. While that would make me angry as an artist demanding better security against piracy, I'm a little shocked by what the Canadian Government wants to do:


The agreement would create an international regulator that would turn border guards and other public security personnel into copyright police. The security officials would be charged with checking laptops, iPods and even cellular phones for content that "infringes" on copyright laws, such as ripped CDs and movies.

The guards would also be responsible for determining which content infringes on copyright laws.

The agreement also proposes that any content copied from a DVD or digital video recorder be open for scrutiny by officials - even if the content was copied legally.

"If Hollywood could order intellectual property laws for Christmas, what would they look like? This is pretty close," said David Fewer, staff counsel at the University of Ottawa's Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.

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I don't see something like the being too successful. For one thing, how would they prove what is on your ipod is illegal? You can easily go to a site like amazon.com and purchase mp3s and the like. They have no way of proving that you obtained it by illegal means and the only thing this will accomplish is a flurry of lawsuits that they would be unable to defend due to lack of evidence. Even on a laptop you can't prove it was downloaded illegally. For them to be able to charge you, they have credible evidence, such as an IP and MAC address that would link it and illegal download directly to you. Without that, it wouldn't hold water in court. Both US and Canadian courts require reasonable suspicion before they can search and the mere possession of a laptop or ipod is not close to being enough.

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