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TekSavvy Gets More Time to Battle Copyright Troll
As Judge Appears Ready to Listen to Concerns
by Karl Bode 02:24PM Tuesday Jan 15 2013 Tipped by Bell_Abused See Profile
Copyright troll Voltage Picture's attempt to extort money out of Canadian Teksavvy customers will have to wait a little longer. 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 of Voltage films. These mass-lawsuit efforts have stood on legally unsound ground here in the States, relying on often unreliable IP address evidence.

As Techdirt notes (also see this Financial Post report), a Canadian Judge yesterday gave Teksavvy more time, granting another adjournment. More importantly perhaps, the Judge involved in the case has shown that they're not of the knee-jerk variety, acknowledging the case needs time for nuanced, multi-sided discussion:
quote:
It also looks like the judge understands the complexity, and the gravity, of the situation. Apparently the judge has been asking questions about the specifics of what an IP address represents, the impact of Canada's new copyright legislation, and the overall implications of the case. The judge also suggested that this will not be resolved in a single day. This case still has a long way to go, but it looks like we may be headed towards a full-scale test case for copyright trolling practices in Canada, with a judge who seeks a clear understanding of the issues at play. That, for now, is a good place to be.
Teksavvy has taken some heat for not contesting the actual motion for discovery themselves, though the delay will allow Canadian groups like CIPPIC time to come in and do the heavy lifting in the case. You can find a lot more discussion on this in our TekSavvy forums, and user Bell_Abused See Profile directs our attention to this blog post that offers some excellent background on the case.

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cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Think of the children er I mean jobs

Someone needs to tell the judge of the billions of dollars of economic impact and thousands of jobs that will be eliminated if lawsuit-o-matic cases aren't rubber stamp approved and (gasp!) intelligently looked at. These cases need fast tracked immediately.

Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23

Re: Think of the children er I mean jobs

Voltage is a foreign company (they're American), so even if there WERE billions of dollars of economic impact and thousands of lost jobs, that could arguably be considered a net positive for the Canadian entertainment industry :P

It's important to remember that this is a US company arguing before a Canadian court, so those sorts of arguments aren't going to be as persuasive.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org

TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Calgary, AB
kudos:3

Re: Think of the children er I mean jobs

Not really you can bet your ass the US company's were telling the government you pass this new copyright bill or we'll stop making movies in Canada. So not passing copyright laws would have an effect on cdns jobs and money.
jimboe

join:2000-08-14
New York

Re: Think of the children er I mean jobs

If US co's did try to hold that over the CAN gov'ts head, I'd bet the US co's would blink 1st.

It's common knowledge US outfits go to CAN to film due to significantly lower costs- I doubt they'd follow through on that threat since it would cost them real money, and not the ficticious losses from file trading.

I hope they make such a threat- it would prove their "losses" are really bogus.
MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

Re: Think of the children er I mean jobs

said by jimboe:

If US co's did try to hold that over the CAN gov'ts head, I'd bet the US co's would blink 1st.

It's common knowledge US outfits go to CAN to film due to significantly lower costs- I doubt they'd follow through on that threat since it would cost them real money, and not the ficticious losses from file trading.

I hope they make such a threat- it would prove their "losses" are really bogus.

Actually, with the Canadian dollar being generally worth more than the US dollar these days, not as much 'Hollywood' & US network production is taking pace in Canada as before. eg. X-Files was almost exclusively produced in Canada, but the economics of that are long past.
EdmundGerber

join:2010-01-04
kudos:1
said by TOPDAWG:

Not really you can bet your ass the US company's were telling the government you pass this new copyright bill or we'll stop making movies in Canada. So not passing copyright laws would have an effect on cdns jobs and money.

They've already taken their ball, and gone home, due to our outstanding dollar.

They have no stick to pound us with. What - they will stop making awful movies?

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
said by Guspaz:

It's important to remember that this is a US company arguing before a Canadian court, so those sorts of arguments aren't going to be as persuasive.

Those arguments are always complete BS no matter WHAT Court they are argued in.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

OhPlease

@beanfield.net
Piracy leading to job loss / sale loss is a myth.
It has been disproved many times, in many countries around the world.

TOPDAWG
Premium
join:2005-04-27
Calgary, AB
kudos:3

Re: Think of the children er I mean jobs

and the fact old hollywood had a record breaking year. It's not about the money they're making to them it's about what they think they could make that makes them hate piracy so much. Thanks to me downloading movies I buy more then I used too.
Rastan

join:2007-04-25
Canada
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·voip.ms
I think someone should design a T-Shirt that says, "The Pirates tek yer jerbs".

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=768h3Tz4Qik

AkFubar
Admittedly, A Teksavvy Fan

join:2005-02-28
Toronto CAN.
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
ROFL.... Job losses?? Voltage movies are pap. I'd be surprised if they employ a half dozen employees based on the revenue coming in from the garbage films they produce.
--
If my online experience is enhanced, why are my speeds throttled?? BHell... A Public Futility.

ChuckcZar

@teksavvy.com

Bell's last mile has put Teksavvy in a precarious position

The CRTC has put Teksavvy in a precarious position by approving absurd fees by Bell and Rogers, well especially Bell. This has resulted in Teksavvy having no resource funds for lawsuits thanks to the CRTC. I feel very sorry for Canadians not having the Prime Minister step in and do something on the behalf of all Canadians.
MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

Re: Bell's last mile has put Teksavvy in a precarious position

said by ChuckcZar :

I feel very sorry for Canadians not having the Prime Minister step in and do something on the behalf of all Canadians.

This Prime Minister???
LOL, sounds of hands slapping knees,.
You made a joke, right?

Oh_No
Trogglus normalus

join:2011-05-21
Chicago, IL

Logs

This is why ISPs should not keep logs that connect IP addresses to names to ensure they cant be hassled by groups like this.
Keeping logs of an IP address to a user just creates liability for the ISP.

JasonOD

@comcast.net

Re: Logs

said by Oh_No:

This is why ISPs should not keep logs that connect IP addresses to names...

Anybody who tries it would have their 'safe harbor' protection yanked, plus it guarantees no one will want to peer with or touch their traffic ever again.

Isn't it against Federal law now anyway?
Jack17

join:2008-08-25
Sherbrooke, QC

keeping log...

Keeping log is the law 3 months to 2 years...depend where you live...

OhPlease

@beanfield.net

Re: keeping log...

It is not.
Show me a link to this law, or an article about it.

hm

@videotron.ca

Re: keeping log...

said by OhPlease :

It is not.
Show me a link to this law, or an article about it.

You are right. It isn't a law. But this should wake people up to ask their ISP's, hosting provider, and who ever else about retention periods.

So far we have seen Start Communications lower their retention from 1 year to 3 months. They recognized there is a potential for abuse by vultures (like Voltage, as an example), or other reason to tighten their retention policy for the better.

In an update to the "blog post" that Karl links to up above, The person who runs pogowasright.org nails it again here:

Judge grants new adjournment in TekSavvy illegal downloading case
»www.pogowasright.org/?p=32685
quote:
This case should also make all Canadian ISPs take a longer, harder look at their data retention. Law enforcement and companies like Voltage want long retention periods, but why should ISPs retain data for long periods if such retention is not necessary for processing of the subscriber’s bills or account and only increases the risk that data may be hacked or used for other purposes against the subscriber?
Start Communications did just this. Other ISP's choose to ignore it. However, PIPEDA (your privacy laws) do outline a general criteria which half (if not most) of these smaller ISP's are not following.

Bigger issue here than meets the eye if one were to get the ball rolling with PrivCom and the CRTC.

And finaly from the same link, »www.pogowasright.org/?p=32685:

quote:
Supporting the right of subscribers to privacy protection from frivolous or erroneous lawsuits does not equate with condoning piracy. It merely recognizes that before ISPs turn over subscribers’ details, there should be solid evidence supporting allegations of copyright infringement by the subscriber.
One need not toss away their "safe harbour" for this, as stated. A case in point would be when bOINGbOING.net's Canadian hosting provider got a cease and desist for copyrighted material being hosted and an order to "take down". The provider took the time to look it over and said it had no merit so chose to ignore it. Nothing came of it, except everyone mocking the copyright holder.

Mind you in this case, with someone running to get a court order, it is a bit different. But like the bOINGbOING.net's Canadian hosting provider, ISP's can look at the over-all merit of the request and oppose it w/o any recourse. "Safe Harbour", in Canada, doesn't mean you have to toss up your hands and not oppose it, as TSI chose to do.

But I guess they must have reasons for doing this that we are all not aware of.
Rastan

join:2007-04-25
Canada
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·voip.ms

Re: keeping log...

Apparently, the reason why Teksavvy chose not to oppose Voltage Pictures is because they think the new copyright laws prevent them from doing this. I don't understand how Teksavvy's legal team could misinterpret the new law this badly but this is the reason Marc gave.

I wonder if Voltage Picture's legal team was able to intimidate Teksavvy's legal team into not opposing them.

hm

@videotron.ca

Re: keeping log...

said by Rastan:

Apparently, the reason why Teksavvy chose not to oppose Voltage Pictures is because they think the new copyright laws prevent them from doing this. I don't understand how Teksavvy's legal team could misinterpret the new law this badly but this is the reason Marc gave.

I wonder if Voltage Picture's legal team was able to intimidate Teksavvy's legal team into not opposing them.

Yeah I saw that. But does that even make any sense at all? Their lawyers would have to be pretty damn bad (lack of a better word) if that was the paid legal advice given to them.

I think there is more to it than that. Has to be a scapegoat reply he gave to get people off his back. Even Copyright expert Howard Knopf called them out on this.

See this topic/post for the best reason going so far:
»Re: Voltage Versus Teksavvy, Round 2 Continued

It's only a guess. But a damn good one.
resa1983
Premium
join:2008-03-10
North York, ON
kudos:10

1 edit
The only time you need to keep logs is if someone starts a copyright suit.

quote:
The ISP or search engine would be required to store the subscriber’s IP information for six months, or a year if a court action stems from the infringement. Failure to maintain such information could make the ISP liable to statutory damages ranging from $5,000 to $10,000.
»www.parl.gc.ca/About/Parliament/···nguage=E

So, based on this, they need to hold the info for 6 months, as no actual action has started.
--
Battle.net Tech Support MVP

fatness
subtle
Premium,ex-mod 01-13
join:2000-11-17
fishing
kudos:14

play by play of the hearing

Right here: »Proud of TSI for it's actions in Jan 14th hearing

Highlights:

quote:
Teksavvy has incited significant costs. 190k.
---
Teksavvy wants costs paid before handing over info. Foreign company who could disappear with info
quote:
Voltage alludes 190k #teksavvy claims so far seems very high since some trials would not run that.
quote:
Teksavvy argues BMG law: if disclosure order is granted, specific directions must be given, privacy concerns must be met #voltage #teksavvy (SVILaw)
---
TSI seems to suggest again that they were only able to correlate 50% of IPs provided
quote:
Thirdly, Judge wants to court to be informed by what is an "IP" number #voltage #teksavvy (SVILaw)
---
Judge: What is the connection between IP number and parties. Not automatically apparent what that is. #voltage (PAnderson)
quote:
Judge: procedural question of how to handle potential for 1000 defendants in front of this court
Rastan

join:2007-04-25
Canada

Re: play by play of the hearing

[blockquote]
Teksavvy wants costs paid before handing over info
[/blockquote]

Can they do this? If so, can they also demand this amount if Voltage Pictures chooses not to pursue these account holders?

BonezX
Basement Dweller
Premium
join:2004-04-13
Canada
kudos:1

Re: play by play of the hearing

said by Rastan:

[blockquote]
Teksavvy wants costs paid before handing over info
[/blockquote]

Can they do this? If so, can they also demand this amount if Voltage Pictures chooses not to pursue these account holders?

then Voltage pictures would have pulled off the most amazing data-grab in history, and turn around and sell it to a 3rd party advertising company for some serious $$ on the side.

Anon234

@teksavvy.com
If I read correctly, Voltage could add that cost to their claim against the defendant.i.e, you would pay a portion of the 190k if Voltage sues you and wins.

hm

@videotron.ca
said by Rastan:

quote:
Teksavvy wants costs paid before handing over info

Can they do this? If so, can they also demand this amount if Voltage Pictures chooses not to pursue these account holders?

yes they can. There is a mechanism for this when a company is not in Canada and retrieving the money would be next to impossible. Thus the reason why if you look through the tweets you will see the reference to how Voltage is a foreign company and thus falls under the rules to pay up-front.

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
said by fatness:

quote:
Judge: procedural question of how to handle potential for 1000 defendants in front of this court

This is one of the things that's hung up recent lawsuit-o-matic cases in the US. Plantiffs would love to have one case that covers all the infringement of a movie. However each act of infringement is a distinct act and not in conjunction with the other. A trial with all of them would be a logistical nightmare as each defendant is entitled to their own defense counsel. Plus, a combined trail would be extremely prejudicial for someone who was innocent to be included with those who were not with nothing in common between the cases aside from the name of a movie.