Judge adjourns case copyright trolling case until January.

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Judge adjourns case copyright trolling case until January.

An attempt by U.S.-based Voltage pictures to force ISP Teksavvy to hand over thousands of its customers' names has been adjourned until next month.

This is a very interesting story, not only because it seems like a case of a copyright troll trying to thwart the spirit of Bill C-11 (which intended for ISPs to pass on warnings) but because of the obvious privacy issues.

A canadian consulting firm, Canipre, has been collecting data on downloaders for the past six months, and claims to have files on "a million" Canadian ISP addresses. They got a judgment in mid-november against three ISPs, securing an order for them to hand over 50 subscribers' personal information.

A number of those whose addresses were identified in this latest suit claim they have been falsely targetted, and the accuracy of the software Canipre used has come into question.

In this latest case, Voltage pictures is claiming $10,000 damages for "commercial infringement". The statutory cap for personal use is $5,000. Voltage was also the producer behind the attempted lawsuit over "The Hurt Locker", which they dropped last spring.

The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, an organization concerned with the privacy aspects of this issue, has applied for intervenor status when the case is back in court in January.

Michael Geist's blog is a good place to start for those interested in this issue:



Issues Pages: 

From yesterday's court hearing, it seems CIPPIC may been given enough time to get intervenor status after all:




Ottawa now needs to find ways to ensure that its copyright legislation will not reduce competition and consumer options. The last thing this country needs is a copyright regime under which our independent ISPs have yet another barrier to keep them from developing a solid business and the opportunity to offer a service distinctly different from what the incumbents provide.


Canipre has admitted (in a puff piece, and probably inadvertantly) that they are in fact copyright trolling - that is, planning to threaten people with lawsuits in the hopes that they will pay up. This may have an effect on the cases which have already been launched.