#CyberFLASH: Canadian ISP ordered to supply names of movie pirates

Close up of wooden gavel at the computer keyboard

While this week’s Federal Court decision could make Internet Service Providers release names and addresses of subscribers suspected of illegal downloading, it also protects Canadians against ‘copyright trolls,’ who make money by scaring people into paying damages far beyond what a Canadian court might impose.

That’s the view of David Fewer, director of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, which intervened in a case between Voltage Pictures and ISP TekSavvy in which Voltage sought the identity of subscribers suspected of illegally downloading its movies.

Fewer said said Federal Court was “trying to walk a tightrope,” allowing copyright holders the ability to use the court to protect their copyright while at the same time not letting it to be used as a tool by copyright trolls.

Copyright trolls is a term used to describe copyright holders who make money either through threats of litigation or lawsuits and send demand letters seeking damages far beyond the actual damage they have suffered through copyright infringement.

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