As Canadian ISPs Requested, Canada Get Proposed Law To Ban Copyright Settlement Letters

from the ISPlease dept

Well, that didn’t take long. We had just discussed Canadian ISPs petitioning the government to amend copyright law such that they would no longer be forced to pass along copyright settlement threat letters to their customers from copyright trolls such as Rightscorp. The opportunity for this comes as part of Canada amending its copyright law as a result of Donald Trump’s NAFTA replacement, the USMCA. Well, it seems like there are those in the Canadian government who were listening, as a new bill has been introduced that will effectively outlaw such settlement letters.

The applicable language is part of the budget implementation Bill C-86 and reads as follows.

A notice of claimed infringement shall not contain
(a) an offer to settle the claimed infringement;
(b) a request or demand, made in relation to the claimed infringement, for payment or for personal information;
(c) a reference, including by way of hyperlink, to such an offer, request or demand; and
(d) any other information that may be prescribed by regulation.

This text will effectively ban all settlement attempts. That’s good news for members of the public who are no longer at risk. However, the Rightscorps of this world will be less pleased, as it destroys their business model in Canada.

It seems to me that this actually goes further than ISPs had requested. All those ISPs had asked was to not be party to something that looks like extortion of their own customers. This law, by my reading, goes further and forbids the common settlement letter entirely. While this all still has to be voted on and approved before it becomes law, all of the early response to this news has been positive from the Canadian public. The government going against that sentiment and siding instead with copyright trolls would be an insane move, meaning that this will likely pass into law.

And then, perhaps, we can export a like law to the States. You know, to “bring our copyright laws in line to meet our international trade obligations”?

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Comments on “As Canadian ISPs Requested, Canada Get Proposed Law To Ban Copyright Settlement Letters”

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30 Comments
RE Porter says:

Re: Re: "Scary Devil Monastery" 65 month gap to 2013!

You mean one or possibly two deranged copyright trolls will vent their frustration through every sock puppet at their disposal?

See below.

It’s sheer chutzpah for an obvious zombie sock puppet with 65 month gap in comment history to call someone else that, but I’ve never said Techdirt lacks chutpah.

That One Guy (profile) says:

No big deal, I'm sure

I really don’t see how this will negatively impact the so-called ‘copyright trolls’ that much.

All it will really do is bring the matter before a judge, where their iron-clad evidence of copyright infringement can be laid bare for all to see, after which they can secure a monetary fine from the guilty party.

Since I have no doubt they’ll be perfectly okay with a) bringing the matter to court, costs and all, and b) providing their irrefutable proof in a manner that it can be examined and challenged(a challenge which will of course fail, their evidence being so solid), this may require some extra paperwork but I don’t see it being that big of a deal otherwise.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No big deal, I'm sure

Pretty much. After all, as the usual critics are fond of trotting out gleefully, if you have nothing to fear you have nothing to hide. Why fear the involvement of a judge? You want that sweet statutory money don’t you?

Unless, of course, you happen to be lying… but that’s obviously completely unheard of. Right, John Steele?

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: No big deal, I'm sure

"Since I have no doubt they’ll be perfectly okay with a) bringing the matter to court, costs and all, and b) providing their irrefutable proof in a manner that it can be examined and challenged(a challenge which will of course fail, their evidence being so solid), this may require some extra paperwork but I don’t see it being that big of a deal otherwise."

The sarcasm is strong with this one.

The nation in question being canada i have some hope that there’s a little more order to the court than the unfortunate train wreck torts we’ve seen in the US.

It all depends on whether the "ironclad evidence" and "paperwork" consists of something more than a randomly harvested ip address and a mass-produced note.

Anon says:

Re: Re: Re: No big deal, I'm sure

My thought too. Unlike the USA, typically the loser pays. So without IRONCLAD evidence, the trolls don’t want to go to court or even begin an action that drags in lawyers on the other side. So they can only rely on paper threats.

Plus, IIRC, they don’t get away with the ludicrous penalties and assumed damages that seem to be prevalent south of the border.

Not to mention the IP-address-vs-identifiable-person issue, which may have difficulty flying in northern climes.

RE Porter says:

Re: Re: "Scary Devil Monastery" 65 month gap to 2013!

Yes, ZOMBIES just keep coming out. I don’t mention all, but don’t assume aren’t still coming! I just watch some until unequivocal.

SO: "Scary Devil Monastery" has 52 comments total, an average of 10 per year, but HIGHLY misleading because 51 are since resumed 8 Aug 2018 after 65 month gap to very first and only comment in 1 Mar 2013!

You can’t explain that as a real person. ONE comment over 5 years ago, then takes off at over 200 per year? BALONEY. Have YOU ever abandoned and resumed an account after FIVE years? NO. Those are most likely dug out by internal search, to appear old and genuine. Administrators of course can see / change passwords. My bet on why done that way instead of start new accounts is to avoid giving email addresses that might be traced.

I’ve been on this Zombie motif for 18 months now since first noticed six year gaps, and not one has ever mentioned returning, let alone explain, nor how much the site has changed. These "accounts" are ALWAYS supportive of the site, but blandly so don’t raise particular attention.

Only one conclusion can be drawn: ASTRO-TURFING.

I’ve lists of new, active, and dormant accounts, so don’t try to tell me I have no DATA to support this. It’s YOU who just ignore / assume.

Are TEN known "accounts" with over six year gaps. Dozens with 3-4-5. An 18 month gap after first comment is frequent.

ANY normal person goes: "Hmm… One is odd, but dozens of ’em? HUH."

Only two suspect "accounts" have ever responded to my challenges, to vaguely deny / dodge. As expected.

Techdirt has apparently never addressed this. As expected.

Fanboys can only try to ignore, a few have tried to downplay. They go on commenting to "accounts" without checking history. As expected.

If most of the "commenters" here weren’t either ardent fanboys or more fakes, a BIG deal would be made of OBVIOUS astro-turfing.


And by the way, with this comment "Scary Devil Monastery" shows long familiar with site AND ardent fanboy. — AND YET made no comments for FIVE years? BA. LONE. EY!!!

RE Porter says:

Re: Re: Re:2 "Scary Devil Monastery" 65 month gap to 2013!

Thanks for once again proving you’re an obsessed fanatic who could put most yandere anime to shame. Lists of people you don’t care about, really?

You’re entirely welcome.

Whatever I am has NO bearing on whether is astro-turfing going on here at Mighty Techdirt. Sure looks like it. Want to comment on that? — No one ever does because fear it’s true! Oh, this “AC” might now I specify, but I bet no “account” will stake even their little rep on it NOT being astro-turfing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 "Scary Devil Monastery" 65 month gap to 2013!

You know, for someone who gleefully cherrypicks articles from Torrentfreak, you certainly failed to notice SDM as a frequent poster there.

If Techdirt is a site that poses such little threat to your RIAA-based interests – you know, what with all 27 of us Bangladeshis – it’s funny as hell that you still have to piss and moan on this platform you hate so much.

And while we’re at it, Prague has a Pirate Mayor! Time to change things legally. Sucks to be you!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Don't count your stolen content just yet, pirates.

Start of process… in front of a judge.

As in, the part of the process copyright lawyers fucking shit their pants about and have to rely on scary letters to bleed money from random grandparents.

How’s that Paul Hansmeier defense fund coming along bro? Aren’t you indebted to one of the great heroes of copyright?

Robert Croucher (user link) says:

Copyright Protection

This legislation is welcome as it affects the nature of the legal work and demands that actual causation of means as to damages be calculated before issuing any such claim for damages.

Unjustified threats without cause disrupt those who are actively trying to protect copyright legitimately. As always, there are good lawyers, and there are bad lawyers.

It is, however not an excuse for individuals to willfully infringe copyright and continue to seed and distribute without a license to do so content which is not theirs, this is and always will be a crime both domestically in Canada and internationally.

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