Canadian Appeals Court Upholds ISPs' Right To Protect Names

from the still-not-enough-evidence dept

Unbowed by a lower court decision preventing them from getting ISPs to turn over the names of file sharers, the Canadian recording industry nonetheless appealed the decision despite their lack of evidence against those individuals. Now, as Michael Geist reports, the country’s federal appeals court has upheld that earlier decision, noting that the amount of evidence presented by the plaintiffs does not outweigh privacy concerns. For example, IP addresses are inadequate because they can be outdated and inaccurate. However, the court did conclude that a “bona fide” standard is sufficient for disclosure (a three-level test outlined in legal precedent), as opposed to the higher “prima facie” standard used by the trial judge. Geist predicts this will trigger a flood of lawsuits by the recording industry, though they still might not acknowledge or respect the privacy concerns the Canadian courts (and public) have expressed. Meanwhile, the appeals court steered clear of questions surrounding copyright infringement, leaving courts in future (and likely inevitable) cases to decide how that issue is determined.

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