$20,000 Fine For Ripping Your CD to MP3

cdIndustry Minister Jim Prentice introduced new copyright legislation that is meant to deal with "iPod Nation". There's a component of this new legislation that really has me concerned. It's has to do with the ripping of store-bought CDs to MP3.

I'm a ripping machine. For the past five years I've been digitizing music from legally purchased store-bought CDs. I personally place the CD in my drive and rip each track to MP3 as per my preferred specifications using a piece of software called Audiograbber. I even have a script that automatically updates this web page with the names and tracks from every disc I rip. If you want to read more about this passion of mine, check out my MP3 collection category.

This new legislation being introduced by our Conservative government will make it illegal to copy a compact disc or DVD to a personal digital device such as an iPod - even if a consumer has already paid for the CD or DVD – if it involves breaking a so-called digital lock to make the copy. People caught hacking digital locks would face penalties of up to $20,000.

$20,000 because you took the new Foo Fighters CD you bought at HMV and ripped it to MP3 for use on your iPod. That's some scary shit.

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Comments (15 - click here to join in!)

Jason | GetYourOJ.com

Further, a $500 fine for downloading a single song from a site such as LimeWire.


June 13, 2008 @ 2:08 PM

Jason | GetYourOJ.com

Dude, the article YOU linked to actually puts me at ease. It's somewhat unenforceable and furthermore, most of the songs I download of the net are from sites like missingtoof.com and rcrdlbl.com & etc. (sites that have permission from the artist to host files)That's legit... meaning I'm less worried than yesterday...

On a side note, as these laws come into place, more and more entities are SENDING me songs to listen to and review... so as a music blogger they music is starting to come to me... rather than me having to always be the one searching for it... legally or otherwise...

This is interesting stuff.

June 13, 2008 @ 2:18 PM


Yeah, this "Made in the USA" legislation is scary as shit and is one of the clearest indications (to me anyway) that this government's sole interest is in serving its corporate sponsors.

This Prentice asshole runs around saying that the bill is supposed to "balance" the needs of content creators and consumers, but it doesn't.

It's clearly meant to allow the entertainment industry to cling to its pre-internet business models and to continue bastardizing the concept of copyright in the first place.

Many people are calling the anti-circumvention clauses the core of this bill and they definitely something to be worried about - what they're meant to do is prevent you (the consumer) from using content that you PURCHASE without having to pay up every time... Oh, you want to watch that movie you bought online on your iPod? You'll need to pay again. You want to put it on a DVD so you can watch it on your TV? Sorry, that'll cost you.

This pisses me off to no end (if you haven't already noticed hehe). This is taking copyright in the opposite direction that it needs to go, and it's all because the government is unable to do anything which doesn't involve licking corporate ass.

June 13, 2008 @ 2:55 PM


Michael Geist has always been a great advocate of fair copyright in Canada. Check out his blog entry on this topic for some great information:


June 13, 2008 @ 2:58 PM

Toronto Mike

Write your MP: http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseOfCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC

We're going backwards with this legislation. It's all about re-buying the same music or movie for each format - it's not fair to us, the consumers.

June 13, 2008 @ 3:06 PM

Jason | GetYourOJ.com

Look at the above entry. I warned Canada on Speaker's Corner not to elect Stephen Harper but I guess there were too many Buffalo Wing eating AM radio listening rednecks out there that didn't listen...

What's next?

June 13, 2008 @ 3:14 PM

Mike (Buffalo Boy)

Exactly mike, If thats the case, then everything and I mean EVERYTHING movies, music Tv shows everything that can be put on a disc needs to be available from Itunes, otherwise this is a junk law, I hope no one here in the states gets a hold of it.
Its so wrong to enforce or even try to enforce something like that especially since you the consumer, buys a new CD to use personally, you should be able to download it to your personal computer, share it on your personal webpage and store it and transform it into MP3 for your IPOD.

June 13, 2008 @ 3:18 PM

Toronto Mike

This legislation was going in the same direction when the Liberals were running the show.

In fact, my Liberal MP was so clearly owned by US copyright industries I wrote extensively about it, starting with this entry: http://www.torontomike.com/2006/01/what_the_sam_bulte.html

So, as much as I'd like to blame it all on Harper, it was heading down this same road when Paul Martin was living at 24 Sussex Drive.

June 13, 2008 @ 3:19 PM

Jason | GetYourOJ.com

Well I never liked him either ;-)

June 13, 2008 @ 3:27 PM

Ajax Mike

So is this the end of the weekly Wednesday MP3? :)

June 13, 2008 @ 4:04 PM

Toronto Mike

No, it just means I owe $500 each Wednesday if this thing passes.

p.s. Click the ads!!!!

June 13, 2008 @ 4:17 PM


Well, i can't speak to the $20,000 fine issue..

but the general idea that canada is trying to ban digital file sharing and "copyright violations" is a joke.

Aren't we already paying a tax on every piece of blank media we buy to off set "future potential copying ?"

..so, as were already paying for this.. can't we -all- sue to get that tax money back if these laws are passed ?

June 15, 2008 @ 12:09 AM


If I rip my CDs into MP3s, its because some of my CDs are rare, and I want to protect them. Ripping them saves them, so to speak.

December 29, 2009 @ 1:05 PM


Am I missing something here? Isn't it about deliberately defeating digital locks? I don't know about you, but I don't have a single commercial CD that has been protected with a digital lock.

September 13, 2010 @ 8:58 PM


The current Canadian government is clueless. Make sure to not vote conservative next time around, they get all their priorities mixed up. As for Ontario, well McGuinty's not carrying the Liberal name very well. As for burning your CD's, keep doing it.

November 15, 2010 @ 8:10 PM

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