You may have heard that the Government of Canada enacted a new regulation for Internet Service Providers at the beginning of the year called “Notice-and-Notice.” Directly targeted at those who download copyrighted content illegally using Bittorrent and other technologies, an ISP will receive a “notice” from a rights holder that they’ve detected an illegal download of their property by one of that ISP’s customers.
In turn, that ISP is then directed to send a “notice” to their customer, and include the original “notice” as well, thus the odd “Notice-and-Notice” construction. We receive a number of these every day, and now, as per the regulation, we are now sending customers, who have been named by the rights holders, emails.
Here’s a sample of what they look like:
From: On Behalf Of Fibernetics
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2015 9:53 AM
To: Xxxxxx Xxxxxxxxx
Subject: Copyright Infringement Notice
Worldline has received what the Copyright Act calls a “Notice of Claimed Infringement”. It listed an IP address and a time. Our systems indicate that the IP address listed in the notice was likely assigned to your account at the specified time. We are therefore legally required to forward the notice to you.
There are some things you should know:
(a) We have not told the sender who you are. Your privacy is important to us. We do not track, or know what you do. What we do know is the IP address that we assigned to you within the last 30 days. But we don’t provide personal information to anyone unless a court orders us to. The notice was simply received by us, and we have forwarded it electronically on to you.
(b) We are an intermediary that is required to forward this notice to you. We do not, and cannot, verify its contents or its sender. However, a private party’s notice does not mean there has been any legal ruling. Only a court can do that.
(c) It is good practice to make sure you secure your account. Your wireless router should be password-protected; and those who have the password should maintain good virus protection.
(d) We retain IP address information for 30 days. If your modem has not been powered off during that period, then we may have IP address information going back to the last time you did. In addition to requiring us to forward this notice, the Copyright Act also requires us to retain the records matching the IP address and time to your account for six months. If the people who sent the notice apply to a court, they can require us to hold it for longer.
We have included some reference links about copyright law in Canada, including our legal obligations:
Then below this we reproduce the original notice, unaltered.
Please note, the original notice is from a 3rd party, not from us. We’re just passing it along. The customers account information is not shared in any way, shape or form. Also, it’s very important to know that this is not a legal ruling. The copyright holder is not a court of law. That said, those who do download illegally should govern themselves accordingly.
Interestingly enough this new regulation is a form of closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. Dr. Michael Geist, a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law, noted recently that:
In recent years, the use of BitTorrent and similar technologies to engage in unauthorized copying has not disappeared, but network usage indicates its importance is rapidly diminishing. Waterloo-based Sandvine recently reported the BitTorrent now comprises only five per cent of Internet traffic during peak periods in North America (file sharing as a whole takes up seven per cent). That represents a massive decline since 2008, when file sharing constituted nearly one-third of all peak period network traffic.
The decline largely reflects a shift toward streaming video, which is now the dominant use of network traffic. Netflix alone comprises almost 35 per cent of download network traffic in North America during peak periods with the other top sources of online streaming video – YouTube, Facebook, Amazon Prime, and Hulu – pushing the total to nearly 60 per cent.
Also of note, video streaming services like Netflix, Shomi, CraveTV and YouTube are not subject to this new regulation as they have obtained permission to make the content available or make it easy for rights holders to remove it.
We hope this explains “Notice-and-Notice” for you. The bottom line is, if you’re not doing anything illegal, never mind. But if you are, prepare to get notified.