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Canadian ISP Fights Back Against Copyright Trolls

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the you-and-what-army dept.

Canada 66

An anonymous reader writes "Distributel, an independent Canadian ISP, has fought back in a file sharing lawsuit by opposing a motion to disclose the names of subscribers alleged to have engaged in file sharing. The company did not oppose a similar request in November 2012, but says in court documents filed on Friday that several factors led to a change in position after it received another request for more names. Those concerns include evidence of copyright trolling, privacy issues, and weak evidence of actual infringement by its subscribers. The decision to fight back points to mounting ISP frustration in Canada with file sharing lawsuits that come after the Canadian government sent clear signals that such actions were unwelcome."

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meow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42846399)

Meow

Trolls... (-1, Troll)

AmazingRuss (555076) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846449)

...don't you mean people trying to defend their IP?

Re:Trolls... (4, Informative)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846467)

Yes, they are trolls.

Re:Trolls... (1)

Myopic (18616) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846487)

Nope.

Re:Trolls... (5, Insightful)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846489)

Suing people is big business. It costs more to defend yoruself then to settle and porn companies in particular delight in threatening people with public lawsuits to scare them into settling regardless of evidence.

Re:Trolls... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42846539)

They could care less about the amount of the settlement. They're trying to make an example so others will stop ripping them off.

Re:Trolls... (2)

Stormthirst (66538) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846695)

More likely they don't care about the amount of the settlement. What they want is to be able to skip the entire legal process and charge people just on their whim. It's so expensive to go through the courts and more often than not they don't get the results they want - ie the amount of money is so high they have absolutely no hope of ever getting that money

Re:Trolls... (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42848297)

That's the reason a certain corporation published stories online, then "assigned" the right to "protect" that IP to another company. Then they sued anyone who used even a sentence from the articles as reference. Because they didn't care about settlements, right?

Maybe you're not keeping up with current events?

Re:Trolls... (4, Insightful)

starfishsystems (834319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846977)

Um, this is Canada, remember?

Our laws, and to some extent our legal and political philosophies, are distinct from other countries, in particular the United States where (so I hear) suing people is a profitable source of business. In Canada it doesn't work that way. The courts tend to drag their feet at the best of times, but especially when they detect a profit motive. It's a bit strange, moral agency arising from ineffectiveness, but there it is.

Re:Trolls... (5, Interesting)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year and a half ago | (#42847095)

The US court system is full of feet dragging as well. The profit is made by threatening to sue in order to get a settlement. They won't make money in court, but they can scare would-be defendants into settling for a few grand each in order to not be named as a defendent and to not bear the costs of a court case.

Re:Trolls... (5, Informative)

starfishsystems (834319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42847297)

I understand the principle. And I gather that it's effective in the US. Doesn't mean the rest of the world functions in the same way.

I can tell you from having lived and worked in several countries and in several languages that the American mindset is not to be found outside the US. In the same way as most developed nations take universal health care as a given, so there's a general assumption that society's institutions exist to serve society's ends. They don't particularly operate in the service of free enterprise, and most people would be astonished if you were to suggest that they should. That, it seems, is a particularly American position. I'm not judging it as good or bad - it's brought about good outcomes as well as bad ones - and of course I'm not saying that every American takes this position, but it is certainly particular to the US.

Re:Trolls... (4, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42848307)

"And I gather that it's effective in the US. Doesn't mean the rest of the world functions in the same way."

It seems to me that your statements are the underlying premise of TFA. Someone is attempting to manipulate your legal system in a manner similar to what the US tolerates - and the ISP is fighting back!

Two thumbs up!

Re:Trolls... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42847729)

Perhaps in the US it is big business. In Canada, the maximum fine (and settlement) is $5000 *total* for any and all works pirated up to the point of punishment, so long as the defendant is an individual and not a corporation. The government has recommended the minimum fine of $100 be used in all but the most egregious repeat cases.

Voltage has already found the cost of acquiring the information on each IP address outstrips the likely amount they will recoup. They're pissed about that already.

Re:Trolls... (0)

GrahamJ (241784) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846601)

No. See TFA.

Re:Trolls... (2)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846793)

...don't you mean people trying to defend their IP?

One man's "defense" is another man's extortion....

Re:Trolls... (2)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846947)

Considering that they lie about the actual damages, and lie about the potential damages, and use questionable 'evidence' to hit people up for the cash, yes they are trolls. Asking for a hair less than it would cost an innocent defendant to go to court is a sure sign as well.

Re:Trolls... (4, Interesting)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#42848279)

People defending their IP become trolls when they start with the millions upon millions of John Doe warrants.

To put things in perspective, when a burglar steals my precious (to me) thingamabob, it doesn't give me the right to perform an armed door-to-door search of my neighborhood, and my hometown. Nor does it give me the right to expand that search to neighboring towns, if I don't discover my thingamabob in my own hometown.

Further, the court cases make many of those "defenders" into trolls. In perspective, my precious thingamabob is only precious to me. Market value of my thingamabob is only ten bucks. You can get one at Wally's World of Whacky Weird Shit brand new for fifteen, and my used thingamabob is depreciated. The ONLY thing that makes it precious is, that it is MINE. So, if/when I discover the thief, comparable behaviour to these "defenders" would be to ask the judge to imprison the thief for life plus sixty years, to be served consecutively.

Jim Baen, of Baen books put things in perspective, when he said that "pirates" are comparable to children stealing penny candy. You don't gun down a child for stealing a piece of bubble gum! At most, you talk to the kid's mommy, and let her know how her little precious behaves when she is not watching.

Defending IP? No, not at all. If I had knowledge that I needed to defend, I'd lock it up, in my head, so that no one could take it from me.

The business model is broken, and a lot of very intelligent people have already made that observation. The people defending the business model are those who lack both intelligence and imagination.

Re:Trolls... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42848565)

You don't gun down children for stealing 'penny candy', but if there was an epidemic of millions upon millions of cases of children doing it every day it would be absurd to say the candy maker should ignore it, pretending the children have done nothing wrong; especially when their parents are ignorant of how the candy store works or simply don't care that their darling children are ungrateful, entitled little shits.

Or even more absurd to blame the candy maker's business model, like maybe they should only sell Thousand Dollar Candy, making individual cases more worthwhile at the cost of regular people not being able to afford their product.
Or hey, maybe we could come up with some stupid excuses, like children who steal candy tell their friends how good the candy is so more kids buy it. Or throw in some meaningless statistics, such as children who steal candy spend more on candy on average than children who don't, so that makes stealing it ok.
Then we could make a confectionary news website called CandyDot, where some of the members think candy sits in the store too long before being given away as past its best before date, while the others think candy should ALWAYS be given away, because Candy Wants To Be Free. And god forbid anyone posts news about Cadbury's chocolate, because they're the devil and everything they do is evil because of that one time 30 years ago they had the audacity to bundle their chocolate bars with the vending machines they leased out.

Or a better idea, maybe we could artificially increase the damages awarded for such candy-theft cases, so normal law-abiding people could still afford candy, while still making it worthwhile to punish the bad children for stealing it.

Re:Trolls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42857319)

As usual you (a general you, referring to the kind of people making arguments along the line of yours) base your reasoning on one or more flawed arguments and then expand it way past the litmus test of ridiculousness.

Your first error was to latch onto the word "stealing". It went downhill from there, I'm afraid.

Re:Trolls... (1)

Gravitron 5000 (1621683) | about a year and a half ago | (#42858167)

The business model is broken, and a lot of very intelligent people have already made that observation. The people defending the business model are those who lack both intelligence and imagination.

Or have a vested interest in perpetuating and expanding the business model as it now stands.

Re:Trolls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42848469)

You know that in at least one of these Canadian cases the "people" trying to defend their IP didn't even ask the ISP to have their customers cease and desist sharing their intellectual property? The ISP offered to do so over a month ago. To date the troll has not acted on that offer. I wonder what a judge would think of that?

To get around the $5000 damage limit they are attmpting to sue for commercial infringement. Why? Likely because the threatening letter to the defendant is a lot scarier. No honor or bona fide attempt to protect anything going on here.

Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (5, Interesting)

eksith (2776419) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846459)

From part 11 of the "Statement of faccts" in that motion :

An IP address does not identify a specific individual or even a specific computer. As such, it is not analogous to a driver's license, a Social Insurance Number, or a fingerprint. On the contrary, an IP address can be used as a shared component to access the internet for multiple users. For example, it may be used to create a wireless network shared by multiple persons in a household, or in an office local area network, or an Internet coffee shop.

Now I've seen many of the summaries for a lot of these motions (not one against them 'till now, since most ISPs offer resistance with a wimper) and not once have I seen an ISP actually explain what an IP is with layman-friendly clarity and how fickle a method of identifying a user it is. If this is how everyone treats IP addresses, there really wouldn't be any standing for disclosure of personally identifying information on any user unless law enforcement is already conducting surveillance on that IP.

But that's not what happened here.

They (copyright/troll folks) basically used a piece of software that flagged (apparently) content matching some signature of theirs to a bunch of addresses with no corroborating evidence like which P2P network was being used, if that, pseudonyms (although, I was under the impression most networks don't require them now), protocols or anything remotely grounding their assertion that their copyright was violated.

This is basically a fishing exepedition and this time, the ISP called on it. I don't know what they're normally like or if they offered resistance like this in the past. TFA says they didn't fight a notice back in November 2012. But these guys asking for subscriber info has no standing at all. Kudos to them for standing up to this!

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (1)

eksith (2776419) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846463)

Oops, "facts". That spelling issue again.

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846821)

Oops, "facts". That spelling issue again.

It's okay, the copyright troll referenced in this article seems to lack an understanding of them as well.

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (1)

CheshireDragon (1183095) | about a year and a half ago | (#42847129)

Oops, "facts". That spelling issue again.

It's okay, the copyright troll referenced in this article seems to lack an understanding of them as well.

ZING!!

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42846735)

Oh, they all know it. I think what you meant to say is that this ISP actually gives a shit.

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (2)

Malvineous (1459757) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846873)

not once have I seen an ISP actually explain what an IP is with layman-friendly clarity and how fickle a method of identifying a user it is

I agree - we often hear what it isn't, but never what it is. How about this? An IP address is like a street name. Just because someone on Main Street has done something suspicious, it doesn't mean everyone on Main Street is to blame.

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (3, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846913)

Closer would be that an IP is like a street address. However many (most?) of them point to apartment buildings. Even if you prove that somebody in that building broke the law that doesn't mean that the building's owner is responsible.

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42848591)

A closer analogy would be a car registration number. If an infringement has occurred using a car with that registration then the owner is responsible unfil they can prove someone else was driving it at the time.

Sadly this requires something that no one seems to have these days: responsibility.

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42848625)

Ok. So someone on Main Street has comitted a murder on Main Street. There are 20 people on Main Street. We need to interview each of them to gather more evidence on which specific resident it was. But the local council won't let us visit the homes or the crime scene. Apparently, going to court to force the council to let us gather evidence would displease Slashdot, and god forbid we should upset pro-murder nerds. What now?

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (1)

Malvineous (1459757) | about a year and a half ago | (#42852253)

I don't think anyone could argue that much if they did go to court and searched all the residents/users of the IP. The complaints stem from the fact that they assume the owner of the IP is to blame. Like just jailing everyone on Main Street instead of bothering with that investigation.

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (1)

Elbereth (58257) | about a year and a half ago | (#42848135)

But Slashdot bans people based on IP address. Does that mean that Slashdot itself is ignorant?

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (2)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about a year and a half ago | (#42848395)

Yes. The solution would be much better addressed by a micro-payment for new accounts rendered in computational protein folding.

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849721)

But Slashdot bans people based on IP address.

They do? You sure wouldn't know it by seeing all the spammers clogging the journal system.

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | about a year and a half ago | (#42848381)

Moreover, bit rot caused by heat and intergalactic cosmic radiation have been shown to mis-route internet communication. Domain names are slightly more resistant to this effect which can only be mitigated by world-wide adoption of ECC RAM, since affected they appear to be misspelled. However when am IP addresses is affected there is no outward tell.

You can reliably say that the force of the inherit cosmos ensures plausible deniability in the digital age, and that by extension anonymity is a force of nature.

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42848609)

If "the magical space radiation altered the destination of each of the millions of packets containg the pirated movie, misrouting them to my computer which so happened to be listening for packets" is plausable to you, perhaps you shouldn't represent yourself in court.

Re:Here's an ISP that seems to know what an IP is (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849937)

The true culprit is the person who put the movie on the torrent site in the first place, not the thousands who have downloaded it after the fact.

extortion? (4, Interesting)

zentigger (203922) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846509)

FTFA:
a notice claiming that subscribers could face up to $20,000 in damages

Considering the law now features a cap of $5,000 for non-commercial statutory damages would this not count as extortion?

Re:extortion? (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846667)

It's a $20,000 ceiling for commercial infringement and $5,000 for personal. Does this mean that the entertainment industry is going to claim all infringement in Canada is commercial?

Here's my tip folks. If you get a letter that claims you could be on the hook for up to $20k, retain a lawyer. Might cost you a few hundred bucks, but with these companies now prepared to jump to commercial claims, I imagine they'll be prepared to walk away from any defendant who retains a lawyer.

Perhaps interested Canadians should band together to create a legal fund to fight such civil suits.

Re:extortion? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42846857)

It's a $20,000 ceiling for commercial infringement and $5,000 for personal. Does this mean that the entertainment industry is going to claim all infringement in Canada is commercial?

Here's my tip folks. If you get a letter that claims you could be on the hook for up to $20k, retain a lawyer. Might cost you a few hundred bucks, but with these companies now prepared to jump to commercial claims, I imagine they'll be prepared to walk away from any defendant who retains a lawyer.

Perhaps interested Canadians should band together to create a legal fund to fight such civil suits.

Or maybe they'll be prepared to show up at your mother or sister's house with a baseball bat and a grin.

Re:extortion? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42847183)

It's a $20,000 ceiling for commercial infringement and $5,000 for personal. Does this mean that the entertainment industry is going to claim all infringement in Canada is commercial?

It means that until they've conclusively decided it's not commercial - which they won't until they're at trial looking at what they can actually prove so they're technically not lying - they're going to say up to $20k because it's a much bigger, scarier number. Besides, it could theoretically limit their options later and lawyers never give an inch without good reason. Just like in the US they sue for $150k/work, not because they'll actually get that but because that's the upper statutory limit.

Re:extortion? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42848757)

Except that in Canadian cases the judges get pissed when lawyers level a blanket accusation of commercial infringement across the board at a collection of IP addresses. The judges are likely to decide that motions for your side should be denied where possible because you are obviously seeking profit through extortion, something they don't see as a proper use of the court system.

Judges in Canada are not elected, as well as being well paid government employees who are intentionally held seperate from the political branch of government. Pissing off the collective of judges with a policy of misusing the courts will land companies and associations in signifigant troubles up here.

Re:extortion? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42847467)

No, don't feed the lawyers, I am one, but you do not need a law licence to reply "Go piss up a rope, I will defend and take costs in cause"

MFG, omv

Re:extortion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42848597)

... all infringement in Canada is commercial ...

That's what happens in the USA. That $150,000 damages mandated by law applies to infringement by a commercial entity.

Re:extortion? (1)

epp_b (944299) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846863)

Extortion, harassment, intimidation, racketeering, predatory litigation ... take your pick. I'm sure they're are several more I've forgotten.

For once, I underestimated these sleazeballs (2)

LrdDimwit (1133419) | about a year and a half ago | (#42848603)

It's even more sleazy and disreputable than that (which is one of the reasons this troll is likely to lose). The letter said "Law A allows up to $20K in damages" and then a little while on, it said "In addition, Law B allows up to $5K in damages". The clear implication is the recipient could be on the hook for twenty-five grand.

The bit they forgot to mention? Law B was actually a modification to law A, reducing the maximum damage award from $20K to $5K. The motion calls this "a clear misrepresentation of the law" - in other words, a lie.

I also like the bit where the ISP says "we cross-referenced their GeoIP info with our records, and we found almost every single one was wrong". Then the ISP says well, they've provided zero information about how they do their investigation, they haven't proved it's accurate. So all we really have to attest to how accurate it is, is all the proof of their ineptitude.

Re:extortion? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850093)

I would imagine it would be up to the prosecution to prove that the defendant was a commercial concern. Most defendants could bring a preponderance of evidence that they are not (no commercial tax ID registered in their name, residential internet connection, etc).

Buy some drones, and BOFH's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42846525)

ping the IP, re-verse dns, and send the drone.

Else, in TOS/AUP, put down, "we will defend our network with machine guns"

Umm... (2)

BlueStrat (756137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42846687)

The decision to fight back points to mounting ISP frustration in Canada with file sharing lawsuits that come after the Canadian government sent clear signals that such actions were unwelcome."

Umm...*whose* actions, exactly? The ISPs? The lawsuit-bringers? The file-sharers? All of the above?

I'm not usually one to harp on poorly-written submissions, but this confuses a major component of the story, at least for those unfamiliar with the current details of domestic Canadian politics.

I don't blame the submitter, however.

I blame Canada! :-P

Strat

Re:Umm... (3, Informative)

green1 (322787) | about a year and a half ago | (#42847001)

I found the summary easy enough to understand, though that's perhaps due to my knowledge of the current stare of copyright in Canada.
Basically when the last copyright bill was shovelled through parliament the government promised that it wouldn't lead to individuals being charged for private infringement. To try to guarantee that they put in place a cap of a maximum of $5,000 for ALL past infringements combined making the act of sending a lawyer after someone potentially more expensive then you could possibly recoup in court. (Also note that is a maximum, and the minimum is substantially less. The court is unlikely to award everyone the maximum penalty as that wouldn't differentiate between someone copying a few movies, and copying every movie ever made)

Re:Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42848771)

I found the summary easy enough to understand, though that's perhaps due to my knowledge of the current state of copyright in Canada.

And, perhaps, of the English language.

Screw them! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42846707)

I will NEVER purchase another computer that does not allow me to disable "Secure Boot" by default! That may limit my options, but none of these bozos will get another penny of my $$!

Why only target the small ISPs (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42847011)

It's odd, but they only seem to be targeting the small ISPs. First Teksavvy, and now Distributel. It's odd that they aren't going after Bell or Rogers. Either they figure the little guys won't have the money to hire lawyers to fight (Teksavvy didn't) or there's something more nefarious going on. My theory is that they are in kahootz with the big ISPs who paid them off to either keep quiet, or payed them off to go after the little guys to scare people away from using smaller ISPs.

Re:Why only target the small ISPs (3, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year and a half ago | (#42847031)

It's odd that they aren't going after Bell or Rogers.

Rogers and Bell are "content producers."

Re:Why only target the small ISPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42848879)

.. which only strengthens their motive to be on the side of the "IP" trolls. A reason why everyone should give pure ISPs their business wherever possible and complain about the ever-consolidating trends here in Canada. We know how it ends from watching the U.S.

Re:Why only target the small ISPs (3, Interesting)

ruir (2709173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42847317)

Nah, they are building an war chest, and create critical mass volume and precedents on law to go after some bigger fish. However, they dont want to mess with people with vast resources, that have more to gain taking them to court then settling.

Re:Why only target the small ISPs (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | about a year and a half ago | (#42847975)

Roger's has officially rolled over and plays ball with the troll's. They have a system where they will automatically forward a legal letter or something.

Re:Why only target the small ISPs (1)

Rudisaurus (675580) | about a year and a half ago | (#42848793)

Roger's has officially rolled over and plays ball with the troll's. They have a system where they will automatically forward a legal letter or something.

Scurrilous behaviour, and I'd be changing ISPs if I were a Rogers customer and had confirmation of this. Not that I infringe; I just think it's no part of an ISPs business to actively aid and abet in the extortion of its own customers. Of course, Rogers has never sided with its own customers.

Re:Why only target the small ISPs (1)

rikkards (98006) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850203)

No they send you an email and that's it. I have received three and am still with them. It's literally the minimum any company can do to ensure that they don't get wrapped in to this.

Rogers and Bell have not played ball with any of these situations. Them as well as Videotron were asked to provide names with the whole Hurt Locker fiasco and only Videotron obliged. Rogers and Bell told them to get a warrant otherwise go and take a hike. Hell I downloaded Hurt Locker to see what all the hoopla was. Didn't get anything from that. Of course at that point the Oscars were over. May do that with O Dark Thirty as well.

Re:Why only target the small ISPs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42848567)

Canadian law is based on precedent. Maybe the idea is to find weaker targets who will go to court, but will not be able to afford a proper defence in order to get an overall precedent and influence the laws of the land.

Re:Why only target the small ISPs (1)

TENTH SHOW JAM (599239) | about a year and a half ago | (#42853369)

No. In Australia, they tried suing a big ISP (Third Largest) that has an antipiracy policy (If you report piracy to us, we will hand the information on to the police) and found themselves in the highest court in the land being told that to get the information they were demanding, it would cost them $200 per user. Also, that this information must be sought in a timely manner or they would have to pony up for the ISP to cache the logs and traffic streams.

ISP smiled sweetly with it's hand out and racketeers grumbled and slank away.

No surprise that they are now trying smaller targets, that won't be able to resource a protracted fight.

 

Haha... Canadaland... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42848325)

Like they'll actually be able to accomplish anything. I mean, fuck, they can't even win at the sport they created.

Re:Haha... Canadaland... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42922331)

Fuck you, douchebag.

Use technical means (1)

overmoderated (2703703) | about a year and a half ago | (#42849149)

File sharing should occur over a secure connection, such as SSH. End of story.

Re:Use technical means (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42849567)

It doesn't help. Identification of BitTorrent users is achieved by participating in swarm downloading the file. The data collection system connects to a potential file sharer's IP address and requests a piece. If that piece is delivered successfully, the IP is recorded as a BitTorrent file sharer and added to the list of IP's in lawsuits like this. This is probably the most ethical way of collecting the info and ensuring that the end system is actually sharing and not simply a honey trap or spoofed IP in the swarm.

There are a variety of best practices for the companies that do this data collection - for example they don't upload (or shouldn't.) There are at least two good research papers available that describe the process well (Google Search : Unbearable lightness of monitoring.)

In the end, all they have is an IP address; this is of questionable value for a bunch of reasons.

AC

Canadian legal landscape; Distributel case (4, Interesting)

Svet Ivanov (2837497) | about a year and a half ago | (#42850041)

Some things to consider in Canada:

First, in general, the losing party pays legal costs of the successful party. The amount is usually from 50% to 60% of what the successful party should have paid its lawyers.

Second, foreing plaintiffs may be required to post “security for costs” before they proceed with an action. This is to protect the costs of a successful defendant.

Third, courts are ill-equipped to deal with multiple defendants, especially if there is a likelihood that they may be self-represented. It is diifuclt to see how a court would allow a lawsuit against hundreds of unrelated defendants identified only by IP addresses obtained by a third party (an ISP).

With the new changes in the copyright law, it only takes one case of non-commerical infringement to set damages at $100 for the whole “trolling” enterprise to be a questionable proposition. On the other hand, if the target defendant collecting on judgments in Canada is usually difficult and expensive unless the debtor has real estate. So all that makes the Canadian legal landscape somewhat inhospitable for US-style litigation.

In Distributel's case, it looks like this is the second motion they were served with. They did not oppose the first one and it looks like as a result of the first disclosure, only threatening demand letters were sent. There were no actions before the courts.

Following this case and the Voltage vs. Does case (involving the ISP Teksavvy), reminds me of the UK case of the ACS Law firm (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ACS:Law) where the lawyers set up loval shell corporations to own the rights (to avoid security for costs likely) and then send around 40,000 misleading letters to customers identified by IP addresses from ISPs not opposing motions for disclosure. The firm collected about a million pounds in several years. The lawyer behind it was eventually suspended because of the misleading demand letters and it seems his case killed any future litigation in the immidiate future. It remans to be seen whether this will play out in Canada.
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