Copyright Lawsuits Come to Canada

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Copyright Lawsuits Come to Canada

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Voltage Pictures, the company that threatened to sue "tens of thousands" of people in the U.S. who illegally downloaded The Hurt Locker, has brought its act to Canada.

Here in Canada, it's kind of a national hobby to point out all the ways in which we're different (better) than our pals to the south. But it looks like we may soon have to scratch one of them - the absence of ultra-punitive copyright infringement litigation - off the list.

Ontario-based ISP TekSavvy recently informed its customers that Voltage Pictures LLC has requested information regarding possible copyright infringement claims against them. An action filed last week revealed that Voltage had hired forensic investigation firm Canipre Inc. to "investigate whether Voltage's cinematographic works were being copied and distributed in Canada over peer to peer networks using the BitTorrent Protocol," and obviously the investigation found that those works were being shared. Now Voltage is demanding customer information related to approximately 2000 IP addresses that were discovered to be sharing nine Voltage films between September 1 and October 31.

TekSavvy, to its credit, has refused to hand over the information without a court order, but a court order could be coming shortly, as Voltage is headed to a Toronto court on December 17 to get one. Assuming it's granted, Voltage will begin its legal action in earnest, as part of which it seeks statutory damages or actual damages to be proven at trial, plus all profits earned by the illegal firesharing, damages for "conversion, unlawful interference with economic relations and unjust enrichment," special damages and, on top of all that, "aggravated, exemplary and punitive damages in the amount of $10,000." That's per defendant, by the way.

Maclean's blogger Jesse Brown noted that in a 2011 interview on the question of updated copyright laws in Canada, Heritage Minister James Moore dismissed concerns about U.S.-style copyright lawsuits coming to Canada. "I don't agree... It's not an industry's business to go out there and sue their customers," he said at the time. "The days of Metallica going after filesharing sites are over ten years old. There's a new mentality."

Or perhaps there isn't.

Sources: TekSavvy, Maclean's, TorrentFreak

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You know, I think all copyright lawyers should be rounded up and dumped into a volcano, and while were at it we should dump Voltage Pictures in there with 'em.

I have no problem with these copyright apologists, as long as they honestly admit that they are just enforcing an arbitarily strict and outdated policy of granting monopolies to publishers because it benefits them, instead of dressing it up as some noble activity as "fighting against theft", or protecting intellectual "property".

This plan is likely to flop for Voltage. They are asking for ten grand for a movie that was not even that good, (From what i know). How much is the movie like 20 bucks? 10,000 $ for a twenty buck movie, its almost as if they are crying out they are greedy.

Also I don't think the government or the jurry want to sit through this kind of crap anyways. The goverment may block their request just form the absurdity of it all.

Could we come to see the establishment of a new business model made up of one part selling your product, and one part looking for people to sue?

Khanht Cope:
Could we come to see the establishment of a new business model made up of one part selling your product, and one part looking for people to sue?

You mean a step up from copyright trolling? I'd be okay with that.

You know, they are probably only suing people because their movies suck and can't make any money even without piracy, I have not seen figures but that's what I fantasize. Anyway, I've never even seen their movies so.

Let's say this works and a judge grants them access to the info, what kind of precedent would that cause?

I imagine a great rumbling from around the world as the world's vast quantity of copyright lawyers descend on Canada.

I'd bet Quebec would be fine though.

What movie was The Hurt Locker, again? I vaguely remember the name, but can't remember what the movie was about.

I'm with Teksavvy so I'm stressing about this (even though I haven't downloaded any of Voltage's movies illegally). Maybe I'll sue them for the mental anguish this is causing me.

Another week another copyright lawsuit.

canadamus_prime:
You know, I think all copyright lawyers should be rounded up and dumped into a volcano, and while were at it we should dump Voltage Pictures in there with 'em.

No, no, thats not how you execute copyright lawyers. Volcanoes are for rabid fanboys.

You round them up and lock them in a industrial scale refrigerator set at -5C and leave one knife between them.

And make sure they have a steady supply of water.

Really? $10,000 dollar PER COPY of the movie? Does it contain the secret to immortality? When they go after the head distributor and claim massive monies there, that almost makes sense. But each person who torrents it is responsible for $10,000 worth of losses? Somehow I find that doubtful. All told that means the company believes they have lost $20,000,000 to piracy in the Great White North alone.

Next headline "Farcical court case gets thrown out so hard that Voltage starts orbiting Earth".

I mean honestly, want to make a point? Fine. Want to be ridiculed? Do exactly what you're doing.

Oh wow... Hopefully they won't bring this bull[REDACTED] to australia... It is ABSOLUTE [REDACTED] BULL[REDACTED] that they claim it causes $10k losses per $20 movie!

"it seeks statutory damages or actual damages to be proven at trial, plus all profits earned by the illegal firesharing, damages for "conversion, unlawful interference with economic relations and unjust enrichment," special damages and, on top of all that, "aggravated, exemplary and punitive damages in the amount of $10,000." Wait... "special damages" and "aggrivated, exemplar and punative damages"... Did one of their employees commit suicide for every pirated copy downloaded or something?

This is not making an example. This is simply being a greedy [REDACTED]tard who wants to own all the money in the world

hum
speaking as a canadian this could set precedents here and should be watched closeley.
also speaking as a canadian I think im going to download the hurt locker right now out of spite

Funny how the first place I saw this was on the CBC during that show with that twit Kevin O'Leary. That guy ticks me off, he always comes off as a greedy arrogant know it all. "Tekk Savvy should tell their customers to not download movies illegally", fucking brilliant he is.

I have a feeling this wont fly. It would break privacy laws and seriously hurt Tekk savvys business. Would you want to continue your service with a company that so easily folds to big companies and gives away customer info? Not me.

Jodan:
hum
speaking as a canadian this could set precedents here and should be watched closeley.
also speaking as a canadian I think im going to download the hurt locker right now out of spite

I would edit out that end part before a mod sees it...

OT: While this doesn't affect me, it's still a pretty ridiculous overreaction. The Hurt Locker only made about 50 million dollars. 10000 per 2000 people is 20 million right there. They have incredibly infalted projections for how this movie is going to do I think...

We just can't get any of the GOOD stuff from The US can we... no American Style Netflix, no Amazon Music, no Pandora Radio... just anti-consumer copyright lawsuits...

gigastar:
Another week another copyright lawsuit.

canadamus_prime:
You know, I think all copyright lawyers should be rounded up and dumped into a volcano, and while were at it we should dump Voltage Pictures in there with 'em.

No, no, thats not how you execute copyright lawyers. Volcanoes are for rabid fanboys.

You round them up and lock them in a industrial scale refrigerator set at -5C and leave one knife between them.

And make sure they have a steady supply of water.

Oh sorry, my mistake. ...wait what good would that do? Layers don't freeze.

Timedraven 117:
This plan is likely to flop for Voltage. They are asking for ten grand for a movie that was not even that good, (From what i know). How much is the movie like 20 bucks? 10,000 $ for a twenty buck movie, its almost as if they are crying out they are greedy.

Also I don't think the government or the jurry want to sit through this kind of crap anyways. The goverment may block their request just form the absurdity of it all.

Falterfire:
Really? $10,000 dollar PER COPY of the movie? Does it contain the secret to immortality? When they go after the head distributor and claim massive monies there, that almost makes sense. But each person who torrents it is responsible for $10,000 worth of losses? Somehow I find that doubtful. All told that means the company believes they have lost $20,000,000 to piracy in the Great White North alone.

um both of you are a little off the mark. that $10,000 is only for the Punitive damages, and when it comes to copyright law that is still a little low, so it is $10,000/defendent + everything else, and the cost to purchase new will be thrown on top as well (actual damages), and then usually the words statutory damages carry a tune of a few thousand on there own. so actually I would expect it to be more like 20-30 thousand per downloaded item, and a lot more (sometimes to the tune of X10) if they can be found to have distributed it as well (so if they were pure leeches they will actually be charged for less.

Here's a suggestion: companies are free to file lawsuits against private citizens for copyright violation (specifically for home use or dissemination as opposed to outright selling), but if those companies lose they must pay the legal fees for the defendants as well as an equal fine to a special anti-trust commission in that country tasked with breaking up monopolies on intellectual properties not created by anyone who ever worked for said company.

I expect that would clear up all this post-Metallica nonsense in about a week.

Timedraven 117:
They are asking for ten grand for a movie that was not even that good, (From what i know).

The movie was quite good (Its on Netflix if you want to watch it, assuming you're a subscriber). It won the following Oscars, as well as 92 other awards, and nominated for another 165:


    Best Picture
    Best Director
    Best Original Screenplay
    Best Editing
    Best Sound Mixing
    Best Sound Editing

But be warned, there is one scene that involves a child that is quite disturbing.

I do find it funny that this article is almost a year late, since in August 29, 2011, Federal Court ordered Bell, Cogeco and Videotron to release customer information about people suspected of downloading the movie and were given 2 weeks to comply, and as far as I know, nothing has come of it.

For once, I'm actually glad I'm a Shaw customer...

during this whole year the piracy fighters were roaring. and now awe start seeing them loose courts too. the time of torrents are coming to an end, just like emule and dc++ ended. soon a new protocol will spring and get popular and we will forget all about torrent.

The way I see things is that Canadians have always been pretty ignorant when it comes to a lot of things, especially those ways they claim to be "better" than the US. I think it was pretty obvious we'd be seeing this happen due to all the Canadians running around talking about how they could pretty much pirate any copyrighted work they wanted without repercussions, and stuff about how their goverment was simply effectively paying a fee on it's terms for what it felt it was worth for it's people to do this. Obviously this wasn't going to fly, though the politicians are now in a position where they have to stand behind their claims that there wasn't going to be copyright enforcement of this sort and the goverment could choose simply not to have it, while at the same time enforcing copyrights.

What changed? Well there are two big things.


1.: The lesser one, and what will PO Canadians more than anything else is simply that Canada wasn't seen as being a big enough deal for a while, thus there was no real desire to put REAL pressure on Canada. That's changed, and when you get down to it Canada is pretty small potatoes and now that corperate interestes backed by the USA are starting to see Canada as more of a problem, it really can't deal with it, and is going to have to change as we're seeing in this case.

2.: While it's been a bit quieter for the moment, some of you might have noticed a lot of rumbling about patent and copyright violations by the eastern world where they simply refuse to acknowlege the laws of other nations to protect their own ideas, leading to knock offs, and robber economies pretty much decimating the global economy and contributing heavily to the recession in the first world, as to preverse peace nations like the USA had been borrowing money from the same people stealing from/knocking off their products to pay their bills.

Simply put the western world has been too divided to really take a serious case about this, despite everyone involved having their own interests. A lot of the stuff directed at China has quieted down for the moment, and you've seen a lot more attention being paid through the western world, with the situation we're seeing now in Canada just being the latest and greatest case, standing out because as the article itself points out, this is pretty much exactly the kind of thing that Canada tried to ensure wasn't going to be an issue. Your largely seeing the western world starting to close ranks (or force them closed when the need arises) and get it's house in order to more efficiently fight this issue. It's hard to really take a stand against nations like China, when they can point a finger at how a nation like Canada that is closely allied with those making the complaints (like the US and various first world European countries) publically violates all the same laws China is being hated on for. You can't really say it's effectiely okay for Canada to do fundementally the same thing your working on forcing China and other robber economies to stop doing.

While not popular with the left wing, I think even the leadership of very leftist first world nations have been taking notice of the same things I've been talking about for years. China's huge military build up with little in the way of social improvement (still operating the sweatshops and knockoff factories). The general attitude that more money going into China would lead to a higher standard of living, closing the sweatshops, and forcing more parity due to more worker demands as they money came rolling in has proven false. China still steals everything, knocks it off, and then takes the money and puts it into their military. When China has just rolled out it's first aircraft carrier, paid for with it's robber economy, people tend to take notice, and it becomes increasingly hard to defend their practices for humanitarian principles.

I think the attempt to force robber economies down non-violently and make a stand this way will ultimatly fail, due to it being too late, that's what the big players building up their military was all about (ie it will take a war to stop them from bleeding the rest of the world). It's still going to be attempted though, and towards that end a united front is being created.

Not to mention that Canada itself has a decent number of patents and copyrights at risk here as well. Canada has to some extent wanted to play the game of QQing about their losses to robber economies, while wanting to pretty much ignore the claims by other first world nations. In the long term I think there is some realization slipping in that lawsuits over pirated media and patent violations and such might be annoying, but are a lesser evil than what nations like China have been up to, and the revenue they have been losing to those sources as opposed to what has been being saved by refusing to acknowlege the rights of IP holders.

A lot of people, especially Canadians, will probably jump all over this, but that's the basic trend. No matter how the current case ends I think Canada is going to eventually yield to pressure, especially seeing as it's own best interests are served that way in the long term.

Other players other than the US behind this if you've paid attention, include France and Germany. China has basically stolen trillions of dollars from them (along with the US) in drugs alone. Pfizers while international with complexes in the US is largely a French company, and Germany is the parent nation behind Merck. Viagra alone has been a huge deal because of Asian knockoffs using the stolen/duplicated formula being released internationally. When it comes to drug companies in paticular it's a huge deal because of the massive investment of resources in experimenting and rendering this stuff safe, with tighter and tighter standards, someone who hasn't had to spend billions making and testing the stuff just taking the finished formula and knocking it off is a paticular problem for example. Those thefts not only cost the companies money but also nations that lose the trade and tax revenues, and of course that money goes into things like say... China buying Aircraft Carriers. Extend that into everything from electronic devices, to intellectual properties (like we're talking about here), and you can see why the first world countries that create this kind of stuff have been getting upset, and gradually beginning to realize that if we're going to have any chance at all we're going to have to get off each other's cases, and that involves gradually pressuring countries like Canada into line.

That's how it seems to be going, give it a few years, and even if you spent a lot of time argueing and "debunking" what I'm saying here in my mind, and you'll see I was absolutly right, not that I expect it to amount to a hill of beans honestly, too little too late.

its more of a case of making an example out of the people than anything else. everyone knows its illegal, yet these people choose to knowlingly take their chances with downloading.

As for people saying its rediculous to fine them $10,000 for a $20 film. thats exactly the point. they would rather risk a $10,000 fine rather than buying it for $20 or renting it online for 1/3rd of that.

Did a little digging on Canadian copyright law to see if Voltage has a hope. Answer? Nope. http://www.balancedcopyright.gc.ca/eic/site/crp-prda.nsf/eng/h_rp01153.html#amend

For those who don't want to wade through the bill, if you want to bring a lawsuit against folks for ripping off your movie/song/porn/etc., you're welcome, but you're limited to damages of $100 to $5000 for all infringements that took place prior to the lawsuit being filed. If someone is dumb enough to rip you off after the lawsuit hits the streets, the amount rises to $500 to $20,000.

Did Voltage already file a lawsuit? Yep, and they gave up on March 28th without giving a reason. This might've had to do with the fact that their last U.S. lawsuit went down in flames because they couldn't actually name their defendants. http://torrentfreak.com/hurt-locker-bittorrent-lawsuit-dies-but-not-without-controversy-111222/

So sorry, Voltage, but you're going to have to either lower your expectations or pack up your circus and go home.

canadamus_prime:

gigastar:
Another week another copyright lawsuit.

canadamus_prime:
You know, I think all copyright lawyers should be rounded up and dumped into a volcano, and while were at it we should dump Voltage Pictures in there with 'em.

No, no, thats not how you execute copyright lawyers. Volcanoes are for rabid fanboys.

You round them up and lock them in a industrial scale refrigerator set at -5C and leave one knife between them.

And make sure they have a steady supply of water.

Oh sorry, my mistake. ...wait what good would that do? Lawyers don't freeze.

Heh. That's the point. You put cameras in the fridge and then you have a brand new reality show for cable.

Wow, look who's late to the party. This probably won't end will for someone...

Wouldn't giving the browsing information of thousands of users to Voltage be a massive breach of privacy? And wouldn't the ISPs then be legally liable for said massive privacy breach?

Wait, I'm in Canada and I recently heard from some Canadians that they put an upper limit of 5,000 on piracy. As in, you can't be sued for more than 5,000 for downloading media content.
This should prove to be interesting.

RedDeadFred:

Jodan:
hum
speaking as a canadian this could set precedents here and should be watched closeley.
also speaking as a canadian I think im going to download the hurt locker right now out of spite

I would edit out that end part before a mod sees it...

OT: While this doesn't affect me, it's still a pretty ridiculous overreaction. The Hurt Locker only made about 50 million dollars. 10000 per 2000 people is 20 million right there. They have incredibly infalted projections for how this movie is going to do I think...

im walking a fine line with that comment yes, but i never acctually expressed that i was going to pirate it(sinister carful wording). I acctually have no intention of seeing this movie again or even supporting the production house. for even if i did add myself to the number of people pirating Voltage Pictures movies, i would be adding to the awareness of their works and in turn, i beleive would be indirectly supporting them.

Gee, how about they just sell us downloads of the un-DRMed video file for $2 or $3? Oh, right. They flat out refuse. Instead you have to install malware/spyware and log onto their BS sites to view your overpriced "digital product".

Overpriced. Poor service. Worse product. And they wonder why so many turn to piracy? Maybe Anonymous should dig up the names, addresses and phone numbers of the people behind these lawsuits and post THAT in the torrents. Not the lawyers, they are just tools for a task. This goes higher into the industry, the guys paying those lawyers.

Jodan:

RedDeadFred:

Jodan:
hum
speaking as a canadian this could set precedents here and should be watched closeley.
also speaking as a canadian I think im going to download the hurt locker right now out of spite

I would edit out that end part before a mod sees it...

OT: While this doesn't affect me, it's still a pretty ridiculous overreaction. The Hurt Locker only made about 50 million dollars. 10000 per 2000 people is 20 million right there. They have incredibly infalted projections for how this movie is going to do I think...

im walking a fine line with that comment yes, but i never acctually expressed that i was going to pirate it(sinister carful wording). I acctually have no intention of seeing this movie again or even supporting the production house. for even if i did add myself to the number of people pirating Voltage Pictures movies, i would be adding to the awareness of their works and in turn, i beleive would be indirectly supporting them.

Haha fair enough I guess. I completely agree with you by the way. Downloading something is raising awareness of that product and may actually help it.

Living Contradiction:
Did Voltage already file a lawsuit? Yep, and they gave up on March 28th without giving a reason. This might've had to do with the fact that their last U.S. lawsuit went down in flames because they couldn't actually name their defendants. http://torrentfreak.com/hurt-locker-bittorrent-lawsuit-dies-but-not-without-controversy-111222/

I had thought that they could have at least tried to identify the downloaders by their IP, but I guess that's beyond them? They're still (much like the rest of Hollywood) far, far behind the times when it comes to understanding piracy. I agree with all your points.

CAPTCHA: do you shop at Canadian Tire? Yes, I do.

XMark:
Wouldn't giving the browsing information of thousands of users to Voltage be a massive breach of privacy? And wouldn't the ISPs then be legally liable for said massive privacy breach?

That's why the ISP requested a court order for the release of the information.

Also they were not asking about browsing information. They already knew the IP addresses of the people distributing the video and asked the ISP to tell them the real identities of people who used those IP addresses.

Copyright laws: because fuck making new content when that stuff you made 10 years ago still makes money

Ledan:
Wait, I'm in Canada and I recently heard from some Canadians that they put an upper limit of 5,000 on piracy. As in, you can't be sued for more than 5,000 for downloading media content.
This should prove to be interesting.

This so much, case gets disposed on this alone

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