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Hurt Locker Lawsuits May Reach Canadians, Too 159

First time accepted submitter so.dan writes "Canadian copyright guru Michael Geist reports that the 'File sharing lawsuits involving the movie the Hurt Locker [that] have been big news in the United States for months... are coming to Canada as the Federal Court of Canada has paved the way for the identification of subscribers at Bell Canada, Cogeco, and Videotron who are alleged to have copied the movie.' This is the first I've ever heard of MAFIAA lawsuits beginning to succeed in Canada. The move seems to target larger ISPs. Are subscribers of smaller ISPs — who must lease their lines from the larger ones such as Bell — relatively protected from such invasions of privacy due to some sort of technical difficulty in determining the names of subscribers? (Please excuse my technical ignorance)."
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Hurt Locker Lawsuits May Reach Canadians, Too

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  • by static416 ( 1002522 ) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @07:14PM (#37364716)

    There was a previous case involving BMG that was stopped because CIPPIC intervened and showed that you can't plausibly identify an individual based on an IP address, and that there were huge privacy violations involved in just handing over subscriber information. http://excesscopyright.blogspot.com/2011/09/hurt-locker-lawsuits-about-to-detonate.html [blogspot.com] We have a Privacy Act here in Canada that is supposed to prevent these sorts of things.

    In this case the Voltage (movie production company) moved so fast that there was no chance for anyone to intervene, and the ISPs didn't put up any kind of fight, so the court process was mostly a formality. On top of that, Bell, Cogeco, and Videotron provided all the subscriber info within two weeks of the ruling.

    Two weeks is a very short time. With the same situation in the US, I think Comcast and Time Warner said that it would take them months and months to find all the information.

    My guess is that Voltage approached Bell, Cogeco, and Videotron much earlier and made sure they would not be putting up a fight. And possibly even got them to start collecting the information early. By making sure it moved quickly they minimized the chances that CIPPIC could get involved and block it as they did before. This is why they didn't include other ISPs, they wanted to make sure the ISPs they were dealing with were just going to just go along with it, and smaller providers like Teksavvy would have very likely stood up for their customers and drawn CIPPIC into the battle with them.

    Now that they have all the information they need, I'm sure that individual suits will start. But the situation in Canada is a little different than the US, and the suits may not work as well. Here we have something of a precedent showing that this information should not have been provided in the first place. Furthermore, if the defendant is able to win, Voltage will be forced to pay the defendants legal fees so it's not quite the same extortion racket it is in the US.

  • Re:What's the point? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phantomcircuit ( 938963 ) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @07:22PM (#37364744) Homepage

    You made a bad movie. Stop involving the lawyers and blaming everybody else.

    They actually made an excellent movie.

    However it was not available for purchase for 99% of the people who wanted to watch it, so people pirated it.

    Shocking right?

  • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @07:50PM (#37364868)

    I really don't understand why ISP's aren't fighting this. Once p2p traffic goes down, they lose a lot of the high-paying customers, and the investments for the infrastructure will be harder to recover.

    They don't want those customers. They want the people paying $200/month for HDTV and their video on demand (where they charge $5/movie, not that silly unlimited business from netflix) service.

  • Popularity Contest? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mevets ( 322601 ) on Saturday September 10, 2011 @09:02PM (#37365186)

    Boxoffice mojo claims it was the #116 in popularity in 2009. Going by popularity, it got its ass kicked by "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The squekquel" ( no I didn't make that up ); and nudged by a few million dollars by "Astro Boy".

    I haven't seen any of them; but I think I might go with the experts on this one.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright