Friday, March 07, 2008

Put a Finger Down Your Throat at the MEDIA!

"RCMP Raid Shuts Down Massive Alleged Music Counterfeiting Operation in Winnipeg, Following Investigation by Canadian Recording Industry Association"
"Following a year-long investigation by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA), the RCMP has shut down Ltd., a major alleged music counterfeiting operation in Winnipeg, and filed criminal charges against four individuals."

Toronto, Mar 06, 2008

News Article published by the CRIA

The MSM story was picked up here, here, here, but not here (yet) on the RCMP News Releases.

Canadian Press:

"A 31-year-old man from Winnipeg was arrested Wednesday after the raid. The man's name was not released by police because he has not been formally charged."

Now the CRIA has issued a correction here.

    TORONTO, March 7 /CNW/ - In the CRIA media release of March 6,
it was erroneously reported that RCMP had filed criminal charges
against four people in connection with the RCMP investigation into Ltd. CRIA has received information that no one has
been charged with an offence in respect of this matter.
(more with named party in apology)

Ok ... I am slow. Leaf fan.

The Canadian Press writes a story that people were arrested but not charged. The CRIA issues a glowing press release of the arrest naming names. Then the CRIA issues a correction that says there were no charges hence no arrests? But still has or had the Press Release that looks like "News Article" published on its own website here (at this moment) naming names.

Who is the "press" here?

There is no retraction yet in the media ... and likely we will see some more broken news ... This is awkward. Very.

UPDATE 1: 1:29 am

Following up to find what Media outlets pick this up story up the Mounties have not released a word yet on the "story" from their website still (1.29 am EST 7.3.2008)

The Mounties do have a clear message in their FAQ:

6. I have a friend who downloads music from the internet. Is he breaking the law?
Downloading music for personal use is currently not a criminal offence in Canada. However, this legislation is constantly being challenged and it would be wise to check often to ensure that the laws concerning this practice have not changed.

Is it a crime to threaten people of a crime though?

UPDATE 2: 1:32 am

CTV picks it up ... no names this time ... no charges .. but 1 is arrested ... how does that work? They have video 4 people arrested and 31 year old man faces charges.

UPDATE 3: 1:41 am

Manitoba RCMP

Four arrested in "Project DVD"

Winnipeg, Manitoba
March 6, 2008

In the morning of March 5, 2008, the Winnipeg RCMP Federal Enforcement Section executed a search warrant at the business premise of on Pembina Highway, in Winnipeg.

RCMP Federal Enforcement Section through the Canadian Recording Industry Association received dozens of complaints concerning this local internet business suspected, over the past three years, of operating a sophisticated commercial operation in the manufacturing and distribution of pirated compact discs, DVDs and most recently digital downloads throughout North and Central America, Europe and the Caribbean. was suspected of shipping tens of thousands of pirated CDs every month and pirating the work of legitimate artists, music labels, and music associations from around the world for its own financial gain.

The search warrant was executed under the Copyright Act at the business premise where investigators found an elaborate illegal operation. Investigators found and seized three computers and various related computer equipment, five burning towers with a total capacity of copying 11,500 discs a day (if operating 12 hr. a day), two Print Factory to label the discs, postage equipment and envelopes, video surveillance equipment and lastly approximately 100,000 printed and labeled CDs and DVDs were seized with as many or more blanks.

Four individuals were arrested in connection with this investigation. One 31 year-old male from Winnipeg has been released on conditions to appear before Federal Court on May 26, 2008 in Winnipeg. He will be facing numerous charges under the Copyright Act under sections 42(1) (a), (b) and (c). The other three individuals also from Winnipeg were released pending further investigation.

The public is reminded that the manufacturing for sale, distribution and rental or publicly exhibit compact discs, DVDs and digital downloads is illegal under the Copyright Act. Individuals convicted of such activities can face fines up to 1 million dollars or imprisonment to a term up to 5 years.

Sgt. Line Karpish
D Division RCMP / Media Liaison

In a strange coincidence, the site posting the "press release" of the D Divsion,, has that rare connection to the site, in sharing the same outfit for some of their services on the internet, a US firm,, served via US IP addresses. The Canadian Family Action Coalition. Is that familiar? Oh yes, Bill C-10 and evangelical, non-registered lobbyist (I just checked) Charles McVety ...

UPDATE 4: 4:26 am

I am strongly considering canceling my Globe and Mail Subscription: Page A-11, in print reads like its written from the CRIA press release without any independent research. I guess the correction in the next days paper will use the correction from the corrected CRIA press release.


The first CRIA "News Release" published March 6th, 2008 is no longer available from the CRIA's website. The current correction they publish does not point to the prior publication because I think they are afraid of the private person they named suing them: if the police won't name him, this has caused a challenge to the CRIA having named him. This is bizarre as Michael Geist
picked up on in his blog.

UPDATE 6: 8/3/2008 8:11 pm

The Globe and Mail has published an online correction to its print story, at some time today. I won't cancel them out but I will tell their publisher what I think. He responds to crap like this.

They post at the moment:

Four people arrested March 5 by Winnipeg RCMP in connection with an alleged piracy scheme involving DVDs, compact discs and digital downloads have been released without charge. The RCMP says one of the four, freed on an undertaking to reappear May 26, may face "numerous charges" under the Copyright Act for offences that carry a penalty of up to $1-million in fines and five years imprisonment, while the other three remain under investigation. Incorrect information appeared in a story yesterday.

UPDATE 7: 9/3/2008 12:23 am

Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day releases press release 7/3/2008 at
20:16 ET, to offer his congratulations to the police officers on "arrests and seizures" like this.

He also links "piracy" with "organized crime."

Minister Day Comments on the Largest Ever Seizure of Alleged Counterfeit CDs and DVDs in Canada

Read it if you care. Will it get pulled and be corrected? Interesting and interesting'r.


The use of "Alleged" in the title of the Minister's press release, presents a hint here to the difficulty faced with a seizure of this size, with likely significant amounts of goods seized that were likely too circumstantial before analysis to lay the charges to come, if they do. The documentary requirements here I imagine are significant ($$$,$$$), throwing the wrench in the planned public relations campaign. There are likely the D
J Mixes involved too which are going to be a huge PITA, both for the analysts, alleged property owners, and the lawyers involved (read this very interesting post by Jason K on the DJ /club mixes in general). Add in the Adult industry porn, and the classification of it, by owner, and its pedigree, without the aid of a "CRIA" like organization (maybe) to help, and well you have some delay in the news here to the charges, if any result.

My sense of this is that we are not dealing with "replica's" hence the charges not being laid. What the police were told and what they found are possibly a rather serious issue at the moment. I have to look for the news story to find out ...


The CBC has some interesting video with only 3 or 4 inaccuracies in it. I love the way the host puts a certain visual opprobrium into it. From the scene, that CTV did not get access to (or try?), the CBC video feed shows none of the named artists in the audio commentary, that come from the CRIA press release, so far ... one more video to watch ...

The retracted press release BTW is hosted now by a proxy domain service that put it up at with no traceable elements. Unless the CRIA the owner of the original content, puts up a fuss, with the proxy registrar, that is where it will be forever.


Marisa Dragani reports for CBC-TV (Runs: 1:56)
Play: Real Media »
Play: QuickTime »


This one is the best account of it right from the RCMP themselves in a TV interview with some of the video feed of the "international" CBC version at Update 8. The host is referring to a list that only includes the CRIA news release artists. No video evidence of any of those artists named. The "hard core pornography" the CRIA had mentioned, is not mentioned in this interview.


David Gray interviews RCMP Sgt. Line Karpish (Runs: 5:11)
Play: QuickTime »
Play: Real Media »
UPDATE 10: 9/03/2008

There is a very interesting comment here on what is a missing element to this whole sorry tale:

Its from here:

"This is NOT a good thing for reggae as a whole.
Yes he was selling material and not paying anyone…but he was organised and up to date and was beginning to stock a great collection of classics… for a NEW artist AUDIOMAXXX was agreat tool to get known wihtout spending too much money or time…
anyone who is REJOICING over this, doesn’t know how the crooked reggae industry operates…
too many unorganised and half assed labels have been the main reason why reggae is not the biggest ting in the world…artists like BUSY SIGNAL have benfited from Audiomaxxx…"

- Gappy Crucial, March 9, 2008

UPDATE 11:: 11/03/2008 12:00 PM

P2P Net has picked up this post and quoted extensively from it. In the Creative Commons world, he went to the races. No worries.

P2P Net
then went to hunt down some more broken news, rewriting the story without all the quotes from here, to make his own sense more coherent of what he sees: "CRIA 'biggest ever pirate bust' Debacle." He found the Hollywood Reporter picked up the "news release" story line hook, line and sinker. He also found that the Globe and Mail ONLINE edition was not corrected. The ONLINE print version was and the actual print version. Who knows what the eventual database record will show.

The Globe and Mail may regret the publication of its initially published story. It issued appropriately a correction to its print record. It still does not "correct" its searchable online version. In fact, the uncorrected version of the story comes prior to the corrected version of the story when searching on "CRIA."

This two version record I am personally very disappointed to learn about, as this creates a difficulty for future scholarship, as to which version is the "record." At this time arguably "two editions" exist, that would require the appropriate annotations, to get the "A+" that frankly professors and students may not even notice. Perhaps they will have this awareness after this "case study."

Search Results

News Articles: 199 results found

On-line 07/03/08 04:10 AM

RCMP has shut down an alleged music-counterfeiting operation based in Winnipeg

Print Edition 07/03/08 Page A11

In the largest raid of its kind ever seen in Canada, the RCMP has shut down an alleged music-counterfeiting operation based in Winnipeg, seized tens of thousands of pirated CDs and DVDs and laid multiple fraud charges under the Criminal Code and the Copyright Act.

Update 12: 11.03.2008

The news out there is still mainly broken.

The story had been picked up by (check out the comments first one is 06 Mar 2008 03:11 pm) which according to their "press" date is 06 Mar 2008 and they were able to refer to both the original CRIA news release and the second CRIA correction release. Funny how they could that, eh? On 06/03/2008, the 07/03/2008 second release was available, late at night. I picked it off early too. They got the story right with magic? ("need some drillin ...")

I looked finally at the Google cached version of the site. I looked at the archived versions before which is slightly different: i.e. what they were doing in 2005 and 2006 over at The people who were claimed to be infringed in the original news release, its kind of dare out there to dig those isolated cases out as they do not seem to fit the business niche (Shania Twain, Lionel Richie, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige and Nelly Furtado). The biggest group of people needing justice here is at the friends of the Boycott AudioMaxxx My Space page. They can celebrate maybe the actions here of our Mounties. That is not really my real story line here: its the broken media that gets to me the most. The lack of skepticism. The lack of digging. The cheapness of it all.

For those friends of the Boycott Audiomaxxx MySpace page who might end up here, I wish you the best, and hope you peace and justice in this matter. We will be watching the story in Canada as it develops further. I dig the fundamental rhythm beat making me move to your music whenever I hear it and hope we Canadians have done something here good for you. For more information on what we in Canada do and where you can complain or possibly follow up, see the RCMP's Reporting Intellectual Property Crime webpage.

UPDATE 13: 11/03/2008 11:37 PM

Toronto's Eye Weekly picks up the story of the broken news and gets an interview with Sgt. Karpish.

CRIA's big cock-up

Today on the Scroll: Canada’s beleaguered music biz lobby boasted of a bust last Thursday… so why did they issue a retraction the day after?

BY Marc Weisblott March 11, 2008 15:03

[catching up ...]

No retraction required, says Sgt. Line Karpish, the RCMP media liaison. “CRIA posted their media release before mine.” Was she happy about it? “What do you think? We are the ones conducting the investigation here. We are the ones who execute the search warrant, we have the evidence, and we do the arrests.

“In fairness to them, they were excited to tell the artist community that the RCMP got results on their behalf. It’s not my place to comment on their motives, though. We have a lot to sift through, and the other three may or may not be charged.”

Its still odd that on March 6th if one were paying attention to the timeline, (maybe real early morning March 7th?), another countries affected media got the story right, late at night, by probably starting the writing real late that night (maybe) then changed it as more news came in, keeping the original date? - the first comment is at 06 Mar 2008 03:11 pm (and there are lots of comments). They worked the story. See Update 12 above:

On with Mark's story, I check the link to the RCMP press release and its not to the mysteinbach but rather the Manitoba branch of the RCMP where they host their press releases to see I gather the real deal.

"The RCMP Press Release" that the Eye Weekly links to, does not have the "same title" as the one posted on the

Not a big difference but a difference:

Winnipeg, Manitoba
March 6, 2008

RCMP Release March 6, 2008 that is a site hooked right into the RCMP Manitoba site, as revealable by Netcraft toolbar.

The mysteinbach RCMP press release:

4 Arrested in "Project DVD"
Winnipeg, Manitoba
March 6, 2008

Sgt. Karpish said there was no need for a change to their press release in the Eye Weekly story quote above: the one on has now added information supplemental information now (see below), and has a slightly different title that the release the RCMP posts itself. Overall to them, this might not be a big deal offset by the service to the community the posting site does, perhaps for a commercial purpose and therefore with the permission of the RCMP.

I note the RCMP does have a TOS that *I* had to consider, to post above, the mysteinbach digital version when I did: it looked like a RCMP publication because if you read the RCMP terms of use, well you would think that if you don't alter the message, it would be ok assuming no commercial purpose. The Government of Canada also has a TOS with respect to its Word Mark, that one would assume the RCMP would have the right to use.

I am however offended by this new "phishy" addition to the "RCMP Press Release."

Why "phishy"? 1) the CRIA original press release is no longer available online it refers to, 2) the addendum like nature seems to refer to the RCMP release above it as part of a news story itself, and 3) by doing this, it destroys the authentic look they originally had created on their site, for such materials, now and in the future. These are the same tells of a "phishing" attempt.


P2P Net a Canadian outlet for news, is continuing their coverage and found someone had hijacked the website so the people typing in the "" URL, are going instead to the story posted there. The people impacted and their views as a result of this are adding some very interesting comments.

Meanwhile, the server at is no longer taking too long to respond.

For the moment, takes you straight to the p2pnet story on the debacle.

Stay tuned.

Jon Newton - p2pnet

No sightings yet of any "Shania Twain, Lionel Richie, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige and Nelly Furtado" recordings bootlegged or their fan's grief.

These are the artists given in the original CRIA release, you can see here. And elsewhere.

And since now the spiders are almost finished crawling, this story pops up on the Winnipeg CTV news site with a very good comment (1) so far:

RCMP bust CD, DVD pirating group

Updated: Fri Mar. 07 2008 11:24:12

And the Internet demographics of the site at least in the United States?


Features current and archived dancehall/reggae music in RealAudio format. Updated often with new audio clips, pictures, and links. [Description from dmoz]

This site reaches approximately 6,435 U.S. monthly uniques. The site is popular among a younger, African American audience.The typical visitor frequents and visits Black People Meet.

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