#CyberFLASH: ISPs must pass along copyright notices in New Year

1297454168430_ORIGINALCanadians who download content may receive more warning notices if they are suspected of downloading copyright infringing content in the New Year.

As of January 1, 2015, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be legally required to pass along notices of any allegations of copyright infringement from copyright holders.

Previously, ISPs had the choice of whether or not to notify customers if they were suspected of copyright infringement.

“The change is just a codification of the Notice and Notice regime, that had already been put in place by Canadian ISPs, and the content industry had pretty much acquiesced too,” explains David Fewer, director, Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic. “The Notice and Notice system in Canada is kind of similar to the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown system in the United States, but the major difference is that we don’t have a takedown system in Canada. You provide a notice and the ISPs’ obligation isn’t to take it down, it’s instead to past the notice on, and as long as the ISP does pass that notice along, then their can be no question of liability under the copyright act, it’s kind of a safe harbour.”

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