Back on January 1, a new regulation went into effect that requires ISPs to take note of accounts suspected of unauthorized downloading of copyrighted material. It’s now the law that they send notices to people they think might be stealing stuff. It used to be a voluntary practice, but now it’s the law.
However, there’s a giant loophole that is already being exploited. In fact, you may have already received an email from an American company called Rightscorp. These notices twist Canadian law, saying that the recipient is now subject to US damages laws. Oh, and there’s something in there about terminating your Internet service. The idea is to intimidate you into settling for cash.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Do NOT fall for this.
The inclusion of a settlement fee demand within Rightscorp’s notices is the consequence of a loophole in the law, which arose due to Industry Minister James Moore‘s desire to implement the system without accompanying regulations. On Friday, Peggy Nash, an opposition member of parliament, called on the government to close the loophole, noting “the Conservatives have a duty to protect the public against companies that try to intimidate Canadians by sending them false legal information. They need to close the loopholes now.”
Jake Enright, Moore’s spokesperson, responded by stating that “these notices are misleading and companies cannot use them to demand money from Canadians,” as Rightscorp was doing. Enright indicated that the government would be contacting Internet providers and rights holders to end the practice.
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