Last year, law firms in the U.S. tried to stop movie piracy by forcing people to pay thousands of dollars ‘or else.’ Apparently the U.S. isn’t a large enough pool of people to intimidate, so now they’re coming to Canada.
After targeting tens of thousands of U.S. Internet users alleged to have downloaded and shared the Oscar-winning movie The Hurt Locker, the movie’s makers have expanded their settlement business into new territory. Three Canadian ISPs have now been ordered by a court to hand over the personal details of their subscribers to Voltage Pictures.
"What makes this a particularly noteworthy case is it’s the first big peer-to-peer copyright litigation in Canada in a number of years," said Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa who holds a Canada Research Chair in internet and e-commerce law.
Geist said under existing Canadian copyright law, defendants could be liable for up to $20,000 in damages.
Bell, Cogeco and Vidéotron received a federal court order Aug. 29, signed by Judge Michel Shore, ordering them to provide the names and addresses of accused customers within two weeks. The customers in question are linked to internet addresses called IP addresses that are alleged to have been used to illegally copy and distribute the movie using peer-to-peer file-sharing applications.