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The Courts Canada Piracy

Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay 98

An anonymous reader writes "In the aftermath of the Canadian file sharing decision involving Voltage Pictures that includes an order to disclose thousands of subscriber names, the big question is what comes next. Michael Geist examines the law and economics behind file sharing litigation in Canada and concludes that copyright trolling doesn't pay as the economics of suing thousands of Canadians for downloading a movie for personal purposes is likely to lead to hundreds of thousands in losses for rights holders."
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Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @12:47PM (#46324189)

    Sure you do. And when those damages amount to $20, and your legal costs amount to a few thousand, it's just not profitable as a business model, which is what it is used as in the states.

  • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:54PM (#46324917) Homepage

    Not only that, but suing for $20 isn't going to be a threat to someone. Saying "if you don't settle with us for $3,000 and signing a one-sided statement saying you are a dirty, stinking pirate then we'll sue you for $10,000,000" is a threat that would be unsettling for most people. In the case of the former, you could fight it and the music companies would need to pay for thousands of lawsuits. In the case of the latter, people get scared (rightfully so since fighting a multi-million dollar lawsuit is scary business) and wind up settling. This means that the music industry doesn't need to pay massive legal fees and can make an example out of anyone foolish enough to take them on.

    If personal copyright infringement (as opposed to pressing and selling DVDs) was limited to some reasonable multiple of the actual market cost of the item, copyright law could be used as intended (to fight said DVD press operations) and not to bankrupt home users based solely on an IP address in a list.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @01:56PM (#46324941)

    That's the whole point ... damages are negligible. They shouldn't be able to sue for thousands because you skipped paying them 25 cents in royalties. The law in Canada is based on fairness (doesn't always work out that way, but it's based on that).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 24, 2014 @02:53PM (#46325681)

    Canada just changed the law. There is a massive distinction between copyright infringement for commercial and non-commercial purposes. In Canada, the penalties are still massive if you're profiting off of someone's copyright.

    Copyright infringement for non-commercial purposes have a low fixed cap.

    Mind you, you would have known this if you actually followed the updating of the Canadian copyright law.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson