file sharing

File Sharing Lawsuits In Canada ?

British Columbia based NGN Prima Production will soon be sending notices to individual Canadians who have illegally downloaded a film entitled “Recoil“.

This company has successfully sued to gain access to the identifiable information behind 50 IP addresses, that it suspected were involved in the illegal distribution of this Steve Austin action film.

Four internet providers (3 Web, Access Communications Co-Operative, ACN, and Distributel Communications) have been ordered by the Federal Court in Montreal to hand over information in regards to those 50 IP addresses to NGN Prima Production, by the beginning of December.

The maximum penalty for non-commercial infringement is $5000 now that Bill C-11 has come into force. But many experts suspect that it may be significantly reduced by the courts in some cases.

“We Will Entertain Amendments”

In response to concerns about privacy and judicial oversight, the Conservative government has stated that they would be open to amendments to Bill C-30 in committee.

Cited as the Investigating and Preventing Criminal Electronic Communications Act, this bill enables the RCMP, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Commissioner of Competition and police services through-out Canada access to subscriber information without warrants whilst investigating offenses under their mandate.

On March 9th, 2011, a joint statement by the federal and provincial privacy commissioners of Canada was issued in response to the previous proposed legislation. And the concerns listed in that statement and in the October 26th, 2011 statement issued by the Office of The Privacy Commissioner of Canada remain with Bill C-30.

Unfortunately there is also some concern in regards to the interpretation of evidence and preconceptions related to certain activities, like the use of peer to peer services or file services like Megaupload.

Yes, peer to peer programs are being used for illegal activities, as did Megaupload. But does it mean that all activity on these services are suspicious, requiring the collection of information from the users of these services ?

Section 16, subsection (2)(b) may also enable foreign police services to access this information, which could then be subject to their local laws and their inherent weaknesses.

Groups like Anonymous have been able to hack into many of the aforementioned police services so how secure will the information be ? And what’s to stop criminals from abusing section 17, which compels internet and cell phone providers to give private information to any police officer upon receipt of an oral request ?

Hopefully these issues will be addressed with much more than the false dichotomy Canadians have been subjected to lately.

Reprieve For Legit Megaupload Users

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Carpethia may help some legitimate Megaupload users to get their non-infringing files from Megaupload. But the offer appears to be limited to American users for now, according to Megaretrieval.

I will update this entry if this situation changes.

RIAA Issues Statement About Megaupload

The Recording Industry Association of America issued a statement about Megaupload yesterday on their blog.

According to this statement, they believe that this raid will result in more traffic towards the legal services :

“According to the NPD Group, Limewire users left by the millions in the months after the shutdown… Digital music sales that had been flagging jumped in the month immediately after the Limewire shutdown, and have remained stronger ever since… When Billboard looked at the data after the Limewire shutdown it said “The spike in sales was immediate, noticeable and lasting.”

Unfortunately this raid has resulted in concerns about legitimate services being removed from the net because of the actions of the service’s users according to Threatpost.com security blogger Dennis Fisher.

Megaupload Gone

Megaupload, the Hong Kong based file sharing service, has had their Ashburn, Virginia servers shut down by Federal authorities in the United States. And four employees of this company have been arrested in New Zealand.

An indictment filed Thursday accuses the company of having cost copyright holders $500 Million in lost revenue for having facilitated the illegal distribution of music, film and other copyrighted content. But the company claimed these allegations were “grotesquely overblown” prior to the shut down, according to USA Today.

Unfortunately Megaupload also had legitimate users, whose files are inaccessible now. The site had 150 million registered users and had 50 million hits per day.

I had used the service years back to send my own videos to fellow Youtubers, which was more convenient than sending it by email. I have since found other services but it’s still a shame to loose such a resource.

Bell To End Throttling In March

Bell Canada has sent a letter to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission stating they will end their Internet Traffic Management Practices (ITMP) on March 1st, 2012.

In this letter the company claims P2P traffic has been diminishing in comparison to other traffic, some of which was misclassified as P2P traffic according to The Canadian Gamers Organization.