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Canada Creates Cap On Liability For File Sharing Lawsuits 208

An anonymous reader writes "Over the past couple of days, there have been reports about the return of file sharing lawsuits to Canada, with fears that thousands of Canadians could be targeted. While it is possible that many will receive demand letters, Michael Geist has posted a detailed primer on liability in Canada that notes that recent changes to Canadian copyright law limit liability in non-commercial cases to a maximum of $5,000 for all infringement claims. In fact, it is likely that a court would award far less — perhaps as little as $100 — if the case went to court as even the government's FAQ on the recent copyright reform bill provided assurances that Canadians 'will not face disproportionate penalties for minor infringements of copyright by distinguishing between commercial and non-commercial infringement.'"
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Canada Creates Cap On Liability For File Sharing Lawsuits

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  • by w_dragon ( 1802458 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:11PM (#42117863)
    You might want to read what you linked to - the levy doesn't exist on DVDs since it only covers audio. Download music in Canada, without making it available yourself (so no bittorrent), and you should be good. Download a movie and you can still be sued.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:21PM (#42118007) Homepage

    * provide legal protection for businesses that choose to use technological protection measures or "digital locks" to protect their work as part of their business models; and,
    * give consumers the ability to, among other things, record their favourite TV shows for later viewing, transfer music from a CD to a digital device, and create a mash-up to post via social media.

    In other words, stronger protections for (1) to take away (2). They explcitly repeat it under the consumer benefits as "if they are doing so for their private use and have not broken a digital lock." and under concerns of creators as "Consumers will not be able to break a digital lock to exercise these exceptions.". They're also going to hit on all sorts of "enablers" of copyright infringement, but don't worry because they say "Search engines and ISPs will be unaffected by this provision, to the extent that they act as true intermediaries." My guess is that there's no true Scotsman. But sure they capped the non-commercial infringement to $5k instead of $20k now. By the way, did anyone check if they use the US definition of "commercial" where if it has a large enough sticker value they count it as commercial anyway even if you make no money on it?

  • Re:$5000 dollars? (Score:5, Informative)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:24PM (#42118029) Homepage
    $5000 currently [] equates to $5,036.67. That's right. As of right now when I'm writing this post, the Canadian dollar is actually worth more than the American Dollar. Hard to beleve considering only 10 years ago, the Canadian dollar was only worth 65 cents US.
  • by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Wednesday November 28, 2012 @12:50PM (#42118423)

    What I do is set my upload to 0. I know, I'm a dick for not seeding, but there's not much I can do.

    In terms of being sued, it's simply not worth the company's time to sue an individual now. They're limited to actual damages (which require a receipt), court costs (we have a loser-pay system here) and punitive damages (which are reasonable here). The total liability is now up to $5000 and there is no guarantee that you would see that. In terms of digital lockbreaking tools, the tools themselves are not illegal to own, and any damages for personal use are strictly limited to what they can prove. (i.e. they have a receipt; e.g. Beardo ripped Movie instead of buying a digital copy, we're out $9.99.)

    For claims less than $25k, they would be forced to go to small-claims court, which would also prevent a label from using their Uber-Lawyer team. You'd have to have the actual person who is being damaged go to court.

    Further, the ISPs here require a warrant to disclose information. They will not share IP and personal info in a civil case because they could get sued by our Privacy Commissioner. That office has some teeth; they're the guys who forced FB to change some of their regulations.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson