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TekSavvy Gets CIPPIC Help in Battle Against Copyright Troll
CIPPIC Given Intervenor Status in Battle Against Voltage
by Karl Bode 12:19PM Thursday Feb 14 2013 Tipped by fatness See Profile
As we recently noted, Voltage Pictures is trying to get TekSavvy to hand over the identities of thousands of BitTorrent users in order to send them "copyright-violation-o-matic" letters scaring those users into settling for copyright infringement. These mass-lawsuit efforts have stood on legally unsound ground here in the States, relying on often unreliable IP address evidence.

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Voltage likely targeted TekSavvy in the hopes the smaller carrier would be an easy mark for its shakedown attempts. That has turned out to not be the case.

After getting several extensions from the courts, a ruling today granted Canada's CIPPIC (think the Canadian equivalent EFF) the right to join the legal dispute. The court's decision acknowledged CIPPIC was in a good position "to assist the Court in understanding the deficiencies that may exist in the Plaintiff's evidence and fill any gaps in that evidence that may be necessary for the Court to determine the issues before it."

It's very good news for fans of sanity and those who dislike bullies, given it makes things a whole lot more expensive and difficult for Voltage, who now has to battle an organization willing and able to put up a real court fight. That could result in Voltage backtracking if their copyright extortion path gets too pricey or untenable.

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resa1983
Premium
join:2008-03-10
North York, ON
kudos:10

Distributel

Also note that NGN (Recoil)'s lawsuit is on hold since Distributel's volley against NGN filed on the 8th.

NGN asked for a continuance, and is now waiting to find out what's going on with the Teksavvy case before continuing their case.

Both copytrolls used Canipre, and Barry Logan to gather 'evidence', and with the Voltage case going to an evidence hearing next, NGN is waiting to find out which way the wind blows on their evidence.
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hm

@videotron.ca

Pricey? Hmm...

Karl wrote
quote:
That could result in Voltage backtracking if their copyright extortion path gets too pricey
It should be noted that unlike the US where statutory damages are in the hundreds of millions, Canada put a cap of $5,000 (non-commercial caps on statutory damages).

Today we have just learned that the American copyright troll lobby group (IIPA) is attacking Canada for these damages being too low.

HEH

Copyright Lobby Groups Want Canada Back on Piracy Watch List
»www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6784/125/

The copyright trolls don't like the $5,000 cap if they have to spend $300,000$ to get an IP.
NOVA_UAV_Guy
Premium
join:2012-12-14
Purcellville, VA
Reviews:
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2 recommendations

If the US could only...

If we could only have the courts this kind of common sense and place similar restraints on those who would file lawsuits for file sharing in the states...

Now, I'm not saying this because I support piracy. Those who engage in piracy need to decide for themselves whether or not those activities are compatible with their set of ethics and morals, and act accordingly.

I'm saying this because I believe that the courts and the law are twisted and skewed in favor of the large movie studios and record labels (the copyright owners in this case). These organizations (while legitimate owners of material who are entitled to fair compensation) use their wealth, power, and influence to perform coercive actions which are tantamount to extortion against normal, average citizens. Aside from the movie/music/software (i.e. intellectual property oriented) industries, no other industry in this country has the power to inflict such unreasonably high penalties against citizens for reasonably minor infractions.

Think about this:
- If someone steals a pack of gum from a grocery store and is caught, the store owner isn't likely to call the police and force an arrest. And the store owner certainly doesn't insist that the thief pay the store a sum of money amounting to hundreds of times the value of the pack of gum.
- If someone sneaks into a movie theater and gets caught, the theater owner is unlikely to insist that the person buy 100 movie tickets as penance for the crime.
- If someone comes into a movie theater and starts filming a movie while there, the owner is likely to only ask the person to leave. No financial penalty would be assessed.

While the above aren't necessarily perfect analogies to downloading and/or sharing a song, I think that most are capable of getting my point. Organizations like the RIAA and MPAA don't believe in basic concepts of justice like "let the punishment fit the crime" and "innocent until proven (or judged) guilty". They would rather extract their pound of flesh for minor transgressions and then worry about whether or not it was obtained from the right person later on (or never). Such behavior is worthy of penalization in and of itself; it's just too bad that so many in our government have been rewarded to continue to look the other way.
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resa1983
Premium
join:2008-03-10
North York, ON
kudos:10

Re: If the US could only...

I'd check »fightcopyrighttrolls.com/ and check the latest orders from Judges, as well as »dietrolldie.com/2013/02/13/why-c···of-fear/

They don't advocate piracy, they advocate against copyright trolls going after innocent people, ignoring evidence showing a person is innocent, and still sending them settlement letters.

All from the US, and the Judges are cluing into this, and are tossing cases now.
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cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
Not meaning to nit pick, but a few corrections:

said by NOVA_UAV_Guy:

I'm saying this because I believe that the courts and the law are twisted and skewed in favor of the large movie studios and record labels (the copyright owners in this case).

No, the laws are twisted and skewed in favor of the copyright holders. In these cases, they just happened to be movie studios and record labels. But the same laws are applicable to a self published novelist for instance.

These organizations (while legitimate owners of material who are entitled to fair compensation) use their wealth, power, and influence to perform coercive actions which are tantamount to extortion against normal, average citizens.

Again, they are using the same thing that's available to "normal, average citizens". It doesn't excuse the practice, but you make it sound like it's only something the studios and labels can do.

Aside from the movie/music/software (i.e. intellectual property oriented) industries, no other industry in this country has the power to inflict such unreasonably high penalties against citizens for reasonably minor infractions.

Look up Monsanto and what it has done with farmers who have used their patented seed without licensing it. While it's an IP matter, Monsanto isn't in the industries you pointed out. Same thing with Apple/Android/Samsung/et al fiascoes.

Think about this:
- If someone steals a pack of gum from a grocery store and is caught, the store owner isn't likely to call the police and force an arrest. And the store owner certainly doesn't insist that the thief pay the store a sum of money amounting to hundreds of times the value of the pack of gum.
- If someone sneaks into a movie theater and gets caught, the theater owner is unlikely to insist that the person buy 100 movie tickets as penance for the crime.

In both of these cases, the "cost" of the crime is easily computed as the price of the pack of gum or the cost of admission. With IP-related cases, the actual damages are impossible to compute so statutory damages are asked for.

- If someone comes into a movie theater and starts filming a movie while there, the owner is likely to only ask the person to leave. No financial penalty would be assessed.

And you would be wrong. First result I found on google was Regal Cinemas going after a college student who recorded 20 seconds of Transformers for her kid brother.

While the above aren't necessarily perfect analogies to downloading and/or sharing a song, I think that most are capable of getting my point. Organizations like the RIAA and MPAA don't believe in basic concepts of justice like "let the punishment fit the crime" and "innocent until proven (or judged) guilty".

There is no innocent until proven guilty in civil law. It's preponderance of the evidence in most cases. It's also not up to the studios to award the amount. They ask for the most permitted by statute. I think in most cases the company is going to ask for the most they are permitted to receive.

They would rather extract their pound of flesh for minor transgressions and then worry about whether or not it was obtained from the right person later on (or never).

That would be what the trial is for. The two biggest cases that have actually gone to trial and reached a verdict are Sony BMG Music Entertainment et al. v. Tenenbaum and Capital v. Thomas. In the former, Tenenbaum admitted to sharing, and the latter, it was proven that Thomas was. Both of those cases have resulted in significant judgements against the individuals although neither has has exhausted all the appeals avenues regarding the final judgement amount.

I can't recall any significant case that was found against an individual where the evidence consisted solely of an IP address.

Such behavior is worthy of penalization in and of itself; it's just too bad that so many in our government have been rewarded to continue to look the other way.

The courts have no problem with the companies asking individuals to settle to avoid a lawsuit. However their problem is that the companies/law firms are using the power of the courts as the muscle when the companies have no intentions nor capabilities to file the actual lawsuits. If they were to file suit against actual individuals, and went through with actual cases, the courts (and my guess ISPs) probably wouldn't have a problem with individual requests. But individual requests aren't worth the studios times as there is a strong likelihood that they would net nothing from the case even if they are victorious.
DabberDan

join:2004-11-15
Canada

I've always wondered...

Do they take into account if a full copy has been sent to a specific peer in these cases? Would that make a difference if parts or the entire film has been exchanged between peers?
resa1983
Premium
join:2008-03-10
North York, ON
kudos:10

Re: I've always wondered...

They do not.

They only do snapshots.. A Judge in California is threatening sanctions and jail time over this now.
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MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
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Re: I've always wondered...

None the less, in some ways it would be better if this whole matter actually went to trial - vs. the plaintiff simply withdrawing - and was decided in defendant's favour. It sets case law which can be cited in any future troll battles.
resa1983
Premium
join:2008-03-10
North York, ON
kudos:10

Re: I've always wondered...

It would be great.

However I doubt Canipre would let it go to trial, as they know the 'evidence' is faulty.
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AkFubar
Admittedly, A Teksavvy Fan

join:2005-02-28
Toronto CAN.
Reviews:
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.

As with most of these cases it is less about copyright and more about making an easy buck. It so happens that in this case it blew up in their faces here in Canada and one would fully expect the trolls will now retreat back to the cesspool they came from.
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Snowy
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A universal truth...

Whether it be assigned to Canada, US, India or anywhere else, guilt by IP is not science, it's science fiction.
For those who say a lessee of an IP should be held accountable for anything attributed to an IP, they are not qualified to make that statement.
Anyone qualified would have an understanding of current technologies insecurity which would make the absurdity of the statement clear.

Edit for context: Of course this is relative to the current discussion.
familypizza

join:2013-01-07

Re: A universal truth...

I wish this could be voted to the first post... I completely agree.

There is a reason why police actually have to investigate child pornography... and online threats. You can't just get an IP address... link it to the name on the account... then charge that person.
MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

Re: A universal truth...

said by familypizza:

I wish this could be voted to the first post... I completely agree.

There is a reason why police actually have to investigate child pornography... and online threats. You can't just get an IP address... link it to the name on the account... then charge that person.

Sure...why not....you own a small 50 person business and the internet bill is in your name. Cops get your name because you pay the bill and the DA prosecutes you because of that. Your life as you know it is ruined, your wife & kids leave you, the business folds, and you go to jail. Sounds about right to me - whether you downloaded the kiddie porn or not.

What do you think now?
Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
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Constitution needs special treatment by government.

Since the government is crapping all over the Constitution the government should have the Constitution printed on toilet paper and placed in the Senate and Congressional restrooms so that they can actually wipe their ass with it like they are doing by allowing special interests to wipe their asses with citizens rights.

We now have laws that allow the person that own property or uses services to be held accountable rather than the person actually engaging in wrongdoing. Here in Central Florida the owners of vehicles running red lights that are photographed by Traffic Signal Cameras receive citations without identifying the driver. There have been several cases documented where the police us the IP address to identify someone they wish to accuse of engaging in some prohibited activity, break into their home, ruff them up and confiscate their computers only to find out they identified the wrong person or someone had hijacked their Wi-Fi broadband connection.

jap
Premium
join:2003-08-10
038xx

Re: Constitution needs special treatment by government.

said by Mr Matt:

There have been several cases documented where the police us the IP address to identify someone they wish to accuse of engaging in some prohibited activity, break into their home, ruff them up and confiscate their computers only to find out they identified the wrong person or someone had hijacked their Wi-Fi broadband connection.

An excellent advert for why not to live in Florida.