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The Courts Canada Piracy

Canadian Court Tries to Dampen Copyright Trolls In P2P Lawsuits 60

Posted by timothy
from the good-model-for-us-courts dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Canadian federal court has released its much-anticipated decision in Voltage Pictures v. Does, a case involving demands that TekSavvy, a leading independent ISP, disclose the identities of roughly 2,000 subscribers alleged to have downloaded movies without authorization. Michael Geist notes that the court was sensitive to the copyright troll concern, noting that 'given the issues in play the answers require a delicate balancing of privacy rights versus the rights of copyright holders. This is especially so in the context of modern day technology and users of the Internet.' In order to strike the balance, the court required full court approval of the content of any demand letters and bold warnings that no court had found a recipient liable for any damages."
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Canadian Court Tries to Dampen Copyright Trolls In P2P Lawsuits

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  • Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 21, 2014 @09:50PM (#46308461)
    A court with a shred of common sense regarding patent/copyright law...
  • Erm, what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Notabadguy (961343) on Friday February 21, 2014 @09:58PM (#46308519)

    Could someone translate that crappy summary into English for me?

  • by dakohli (1442929) on Saturday February 22, 2014 @10:00AM (#46310603)

    Well stated, from Voltage's point of view

    But of course, behaving like a "good-faith plaintiff" does not fit in with the revenue model. The whole original plan was to try and scare people into settling without going into a courtroom. Because, as soon as you get in the courtroom, there are Judges and sometimes Juries who you can never completely control. Costs also increase. So, you pick a test case you think you can win, prosecute the shit out of that one, even though you know you'll never get any real money, the judgement is the prise. Keep it really high, so that when you get your next batch of infringers you can threaten them with complete destruction. That way, more people will be inclined to settle without you every having to go back in the Courtroom again.

    Of course, the Canadian rules have broken this model. Now, they have to pay for the list of names. They will have to pay to bring someone in to actually sue to make the point, and determine how the Canadian Courts are actually going to award damages. With a max infringement level of $5000, this is going to be close. Even if they are awarded some court costs, there will be few big payoff days. I suspect they are hoping that one of the secret treaties (TPP maybe) will force the Canadians to change the rules and come back to a more US style of play, and actions like this will be more placeholders to "prove" that litigation like this is truly important.

  • by davecb (6526) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Saturday February 22, 2014 @11:15AM (#46310889) Homepage Journal

    I depend critically on copyright to protect my book income, and am a good-faith plaintiff (via my publisher), but we do not have a credible reason to go after people who download individual copies. In fact, we make copies of "Using Samba (O'Reilly) available with every copy of the samba program.

    The people I worry about are professional crooks, who print pallet-loads of the book and sell them cheap. Ditto unauthorized translators, because I don't get royalties for massive quantities of books. Historically, publishers like mine have been able to use the courts in their traditional form and file individual suits to stop unauthorized printings.

    To get value from grandma (assuming she's a sysadmin grandma) we make the book available on-line, as part of a subscription service. This allows us to benefit from her just wanting to refer to it for a few days, or wanting to print out the section from Chapter 3 on setting up XP. She knows she can find it in the samba download, but it's easier to spend a few dollars and save the time. Just like it's worth the price of a professionally-printed book that she can make notes in, put yelow stickes on and read in the bathtub.

    Class actions are a relatively new development, and were originally permitted so as to allow large numbers of individual plaintiffs to band together to sue a single malefactor. Allowing a single plaintiff to sue very large numbers of possible malefactors is unusual. The courts are suspicious of it, and wonder if it is legitimate to sue more than one grandma for $8,000, or even $100, for a blue-ray that costs $8.00 Canadian on Amazon (down from $20.99)

    The balance between an honest plaintiff and one engaging in "speculative invoicing" is the subject of learned debate amoung the legal profession in Canada: for a non-learned discussion, see http://www.slaw.ca/2013/01/16/... [www.slaw.ca] I had the honour of editing this GTALUG submission to the larger debate.

    So, to answer your question, I'm not comfortable asking Grandma for any money after the fact. I want her to go to Amazon, pay $8.00 up front and stream a legitimate copy of the movie. If I find a publisher making it available for $2.00 who isn't paying me royalties, I'll sue them.

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