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Judgment released in Voltage Pictures File-Sharing Lawsuit

Posted by Matt on February 24, 2014         Tagged with: tech, internet, copyright

I've posted before about the Voltage Pictures file sharing lawsuit. In a nutshell, Voltage is trying to sue some Canadians for sharing their movies using the BitTorrent protocol. But they ran into a hurdle: they don't know who any of these people are. They have some evidence that a lot of them were using TekSavvy as an ISP, but TekSavvy has a responsibility to protect their subscribers' privacy and wouldn't give up their identities. CIPPIC was granted intervenor status in the case, arguing that the privacy interests of the subscribers must be respected and that if the bar for requiring TekSavvy to turn over their subscriber information was set too low, it would lead to the kind of distasteful copyright trolling that we've seen in the US.

There was a hearing on all of this back in June 2013, and since then I've been waiting anxiously to find out how the Court would balance the privacy interests of TekSavvy's customers with Voltage's interest in protecting their copyrights. And last week, on February 20, 2014, the Federal Court released their judgment and gave me my answer. There's no point to me repeating what Michael Geist has already said, so I'll just point you to his coverage (post #1, post #2) and leave you to it. The gist of it is that the court will monitor how Voltage conducts the litigation very closely, and both the court and CIPPIC will have an opportunity to review the letters that Voltage's attorneys send to Teksavvy subscribers. CIPPIC also has a very short blog post up.

During my law school days I interned at CIPPIC and I'm proud to see the work they continue to do.

Update: The Financial Post has an article with some quotes from CIPPIC director David Fewer that provides a little more insight on how CIPPIC feels about this judgment.