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Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the loony-for-loonies dept.

The Courts 98

An anonymous reader writes "In the aftermath of the Canadian file sharing decision involving Voltage Pictures that includes an order to disclose thousands of subscriber names, the big question is what comes next. Michael Geist examines the law and economics behind file sharing litigation in Canada and concludes that copyright trolling doesn't pay as the economics of suing thousands of Canadians for downloading a movie for personal purposes is likely to lead to hundreds of thousands in losses for rights holders."

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Sounds like a problem (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324157)

Maybe they should change the law. When someone infringes on your rights, shouldn't you have recourse to sue them for damages?

Re:Sounds like a problem (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324189)

Sure you do. And when those damages amount to $20, and your legal costs amount to a few thousand, it's just not profitable as a business model, which is what it is used as in the states.

Re:Sounds like a problem (2)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 9 months ago | (#46324417)

Sure you do. And when those damages amount to $20, and your legal costs amount to a few thousand, it's just not profitable as a business model, which is what it is used as in the states.

Someone did a study a while back and found that the amount of money the RIAA/MPAA has spent on legal costs far exceeds the amount of money they have received in settlements. Something that everyone (excecpt the RIAA/MPAA Mafia) already knew.

Re:Sounds like a problem (3, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | about 9 months ago | (#46324727)

Someone did a study a while back and found that the amount of money the RIAA/MPAA has spent on legal costs far exceeds the amount of money they have received in settlements. Something that everyone (excecpt the RIAA/MPAA Mafia) already knew.

Then someone didn't look at the right numbers, because those are the wrong ones to think about.

The RIAA is not its members. Its members publish music. The RIAA is an industry association which they contract to represent them and fight for them. The RIAA is, in some ways, little more than a merger of a law firm and a PAC. They do not sell music... they sell the idea that their services are good for the industry and their members.

I garauntee you that somewhere in the occasional statements that the RIAA makes to its members about how effective it is, they quote the total damages awarded to them as evidence of their effectiveness. High damage totals mean more to them then whether or not the settlement pays out in the end.

Those settlements are not what keeps the RIAA going, they don't have to be profitable any more than a department store's "loss prevention" (security) department needs to be profitable. All they really need to do, is convince their members that they are worth keeping around.

So it doesn't really need to be cost effective so much as more cost effective than an individual label doing all their own investigation and lawsuits.

Re:Sounds like a problem (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324931)

They probably know. It's not about money (they've been getting record profits), it's about control.

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about 9 months ago | (#46325059)

They probably know. It's not about money (they've been getting record profits), it's about control.

...pun intended?

Re:Sounds like a problem (2)

sconeu (64226) | about 9 months ago | (#46325177)

Someone did a study a while back and found that the amount of money the RIAA/MPAA has spent on legal costs far exceeds the amount of money they have received in settlements.

Well, that's certainly business as usual for the members of the MPAA. After all, no Hollywood movie has EVER turned a profit.

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 9 months ago | (#46325289)

Someone did a study a while back and found that the amount of money the RIAA/MPAA has spent on legal costs far exceeds the amount of money they have received in settlements.

Well, that's certainly business as usual for the members of the MPAA. After all, no Hollywood movie has EVER turned a profit.

I always wondered how they showed this in their SEC filings. If movies aren't making a profit, how do they account this to their shareholders? Merchandizing based on the movie? Wouldn't that be derivative profits?

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#46326319)

It's just fine for them. Their wholly owned subsidiaries make a godawful fortune producing the movie.

Re:Sounds like a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46326443)

Not all corporations are publically traded.

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

miroku000 (2791465) | about 9 months ago | (#46325361)

But, they may believe that the publicity behind having a bunch of people pay large fines may deter other people from infringing on their copyright. They are probably right about that. I know several people who don't download movies/songs because they fear being sued for it.

Re:Sounds like a problem (5, Insightful)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about 9 months ago | (#46324461)

It's also important to recognize that it's only profitable in the US because here, copyright laws haven't been updated to account for widespread personal copyright infringement. They were written with the intent of shutting down direct piracy for profit: copying a movie to thousands of tapes and reselling them for profit. That's why the penalty is so severe. Since the law doesn't qualify piracy, however, everything qualifies for this penalty. That's why jumping on a torrent for a movie can get you a fine for $250,000 and five years in prison, but walking out of Target with half a dozen games, CDs, or movies only gets you (in my state) up to a $500 fine and 3 months in jail.

The punishment here so grossly exceeds the severity of the crime, it's actually laughable.

Re:Sounds like a problem (4, Informative)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 9 months ago | (#46324917)

Not only that, but suing for $20 isn't going to be a threat to someone. Saying "if you don't settle with us for $3,000 and signing a one-sided statement saying you are a dirty, stinking pirate then we'll sue you for $10,000,000" is a threat that would be unsettling for most people. In the case of the former, you could fight it and the music companies would need to pay for thousands of lawsuits. In the case of the latter, people get scared (rightfully so since fighting a multi-million dollar lawsuit is scary business) and wind up settling. This means that the music industry doesn't need to pay massive legal fees and can make an example out of anyone foolish enough to take them on.

If personal copyright infringement (as opposed to pressing and selling DVDs) was limited to some reasonable multiple of the actual market cost of the item, copyright law could be used as intended (to fight said DVD press operations) and not to bankrupt home users based solely on an IP address in a list.

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 9 months ago | (#46325049)

But even so, I am not so sure.
There is a huge huge difference between using someone else's idea to get rich, and a kid singing happy birthday or drawing a picture of spider-man or simply looking at something that is copyrighted without paying the rights holders. And that does not change when it is a kid sharing a VHS with a friend or a ripped DVD with 100.

Re: Sounds like a problem (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324353)

Isn't it the person who shared the data who broke the law rather than the person who downloaded it? The downloader is only implicated because they were 'sharing' it on the torrent whilst they were downloading. If the downloaded used http rather than a torrent they haven't broken a law. Is that correct?

Re: Sounds like a problem (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 9 months ago | (#46325945)

Isn't it the person who shared the data who broke the law rather than the person who downloaded it? The downloader is only implicated because they were 'sharing' it on the torrent whilst they were downloading. If the downloaded used http rather than a torrent they haven't broken a law. Is that correct?

It used to be; copyright law has changed a bit in the past 15 years though. Now you can actually face some penalties in some places solely for receiving information that you could be reasonably aware wasn't coming through authorized channels (note, this isn't for downloading, but for knowingly receiving *information* known to be ilegally made available). This is up to the court, however, I don't think there's a solid set of case law one way or the other on the books.

Re:Sounds like a problem (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46324355)

The law doesn't prevent that. It caps the potential damages. The whole point was to avoid the situation as it has evolved in the US.

The real solution here is for rights holders to get off their fucking asses and start giving consumers what they want.

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46325467)

The real solution here is for rights holders to get off their fucking asses and start giving consumers what they want.

Everything for free?

Re:Sounds like a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46325603)

I won't even respond to your obvious flamebait, beyond calling it obvious flamebait.

Educate yourself on what the customers actually want.

Re:Sounds like a problem (2)

brit74 (831798) | about 9 months ago | (#46325709)

You have to admit that he's got a point: some pirates are pirates because pirating is cheaper than paying. I don't see why that fact is "off limits" in the discussion.

Re:Sounds like a problem (3, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 9 months ago | (#46326005)

I think most people pirate because its easier to click a torrent and down comes the movie, and 10 minutes later you're watching it.

why else is Netflix so popular?

Of course there's always someone who does it because its free, and many more who say they'd pay a small amount but wouldn't when push comes to shove. But the majority would pay a reasonable amount to download, especially if there was cheaper options for, say, older movies so the latest blockbuster could subsidize them.

Re:Sounds like a problem (2)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 9 months ago | (#46326153)

I pay for cable, but pirate pretty much everything I watch, because it's actually easier than using the DVR, and I can watch without commercials... I also happen to pay to go to the movies at *least* once a month.. this past month, I've seen the Lego Movie, RoboCop, Wolves of Wallstreet and Monuments Men. I like the media and am willing to pay for it.

I've also bought a number of DVDs over the years. I actually favor DVD, because of the less or more easily bypassed restrictions compared to bluray, and my HTPC now runs Ubuntu/XBMC, and I don't like switching to the dedicated BR player much. When I download something, it's generally something I feel I am already paying for (Cable subscription, amazon prime, netflix, etc), or honestly am unsure if I'll actually like, or I'm just being cheap.

All of that said, I pay roughly $200 a month or more on the media I enjoy... IMHO that's enough.I really hope that piracy, and the likes of Netflix get the media companies more in line with what their customers actually desire... Convenience, availability, and reasonable pricing.

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#46326647)

That does point out an odd corner in the law. I can legally record a movie that comes on cable. I can edit that digital recording to remove the commercials.

If something screws up the recording so I download a torrent of the same movie while it is still legitimately playing on my TV, suddenly I'm public enemy number one?!?

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

Phrogman (80473) | about 9 months ago | (#46326757)

Yes you are. Sure makes sense in that light doesn't it? :P

Rights holders won't have to worry about the effects of piracy when they offer a means of consuming media that is as userfriendly as torrenting that media is, or better. The technology exists, all they need to do is sell it to us at a reasonable rate.

Netflix is the wave of the future. Cable TV and all the other rental services that want to sell me media for consumption at 10x the rate of Netflix are doomed to failure, unless they can jury rig the laws to close Netflix down.

Re:Sounds like a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46327799)

Wolves of Wall Street? Is that an Asylum ripoff? =P

Re:Sounds like a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46329013)

No, that's Werewolf of Wall Street.

Re: Sounds like a problem (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 9 months ago | (#46331797)

Sorry Wolf of Wall Street.

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#46326591)

And some people are willing to pay $100,000 for a can of artist poop. Evidence suggests both to be outliers.

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

Arker (91948) | about 9 months ago | (#46327925)

"You have to admit that he's got a point: some pirates are pirates because pirating is cheaper than paying. I don't see why that fact is "off limits" in the discussion."

It shouldnt be, but we should also keep in mind that there are different categories of costs involved other than cash payments.

For instance, new games. Now fortunately they tend to suck and I dont want to play them too badly, but pretty much any mainstream title is going to come with the cost of installing spyware/drm crap as a mandatory part of the package. That is a cost far in excess of the actual cash you pay for the game, and THAT drives a significant amount of game piracy.

The classic reaction is to buy the game, put the box on the shelf unopened, and download a pirated copy with the junk removed. I have known so many avid gamers to do this that I would venture to call it common.

In that case the company is still getting their money, but the thing is, it's very easy for someone that has already accepted the fact that the pirate copy is superior to lose his job or get hit with unexpected bills or whatnot and just quit buying them at all, which should be their real concern here. Ultimately, it's a problem they create themselves, by foisting an intentionally defective product on their customers, and if they cannot figure that out and stop it, they really do not deserve to remain profitable.

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | about 9 months ago | (#46325787)

The real solution here is for rights holders to get off their fucking asses and start giving consumers what they want.

Everything for free?

DRM free, certainly.

Y'know, like mp3's, which are still pirated but are at least available for purchase, unlike any DRM-free video that I am aware of...give true customers access without all the PITA usage restrictions, and the true fans will buy it simply to support the media they love. Yes, there will always be freeloaders, but those are the same people who would bum the DVD's from their friends instead of buying it anyways. At least you'd have the freeloaders telling their friends (who may be more flush with cash) about this hot new show they should watch...if the show's worth talking about, that is.

Re:Sounds like a problem (3, Insightful)

carbonUnit42 (1698328) | about 9 months ago | (#46326425)

Available for purchase is one of the reasons I used to use software like Limewire, or, in actuality, not available in my country. Living in Canada, iTunes US and iTunes Canada had different collections of music available for purchase. I could find a song on iTunes US, but not available on iTunes Canada, and because I do live in Canada, I could not easily order it off of iTunes US. If the right's holder decides to maintain the rights to a song, and not allow me to purchase it legally in my own country, then why should you be allowed to sue for copyright infringement, considering you're not making it available for me to purchase legally? I would like to see copyright reform in the sense of by maintaining the copyright in say, a country like Canada, but you're not willing to release the copyrighted material for whatever reason, then say, after a period of 5 years, you must sell or give up the copyright. It never made much sense to me for a rights holder to not allow a consumer to legitimately purchase a song, and then bitch and complain when the frustrated consumer finds other means to acquire the same song that you refused to make available for purchase.

Re:Sounds like a problem (2)

CCarrot (1562079) | about 9 months ago | (#46326767)

I could find a song on iTunes US, but not available on iTunes Canada, and because I do live in Canada, I could not easily order it off of iTunes US. If the right's holder decides to maintain the rights to a song, and not allow me to purchase it legally in my own country, then why should you be allowed to sue for copyright infringement, considering you're not making it available for me to purchase legally?

Interesting thought.

I wonder how exactly they would assess 'damages' if the material in question was never available for purchase in the first place?

By using the same foolish model they use now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46328085)

The media groups are currently using an incorrect thought that one download equals one sale lost. This is incorrect logic as most of the people who download the media in question would never have purchased it to begin with and only downloaded it because they could without paying an enormous ransom. The fact that it cost the people who make the media nothing should also be taken into account. Pirating media is not like physical theft. In physical theft there is an item and the money invested in it that is being removed from the possession of the victim, but piracy is creating a copy of the product and not paying the owner of the original product for having done so. It would be like scanning a statue with a 3d scanner and making a 3d print of it. The owner of the statue still owns his statue and has lost nothing physical.

So using their incorrect model they will assess damages as if you had stolen from them each of the items that you digitally copied even though they still possess the original and you'd never have bought the media so their business has not been impacted by you.

I'm not familiar with Canadian Law but it sounds like that would mean as much as a couple dollars a song or thirty dollars a movie. In the USA they would be awarded a sum in excess of 10K per song and 30K per movie, and heaven help you if they can hang the "distrubution" frame around your neck. You will effectively become their indentured servant for life as they will then be awarded an ammount based on completely fictitious numbers that have nothing to do with how many people actually downloaded from your system. You might as well write them a blank check.

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 9 months ago | (#46330623)

" It never made much sense to me for a rights holder to not allow a consumer to legitimately purchase a song, and then bitch and complain when the frustrated consumer finds other means to acquire the same song that you refused to make available for purchase."

Same goes for free stuff too. Wanted to watch some episodes of Trophy Wife and The Goldbergs on ctv.ca (like I can do for free on src.ca and tout.tv owned by Radio-Canada), and *surprise,surprise*. I have to enter my Bell TV account in order to do so. WTF? I get the channel for fscking free with my antenna, but missed the first episodes and wanted to watch them, and have to pay? (or use BellTV and pay an unhealthy amount each month).

I now know about a couple more streaming sites (mostly illegal but there).

Re:Sounds like a problem (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324941)

That's the whole point ... damages are negligible. They shouldn't be able to sue for thousands because you skipped paying them 25 cents in royalties. The law in Canada is based on fairness (doesn't always work out that way, but it's based on that).

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 9 months ago | (#46326011)

It's was in the US too, until Hollywood bought Congress and the DOJ.

Re:Sounds like a problem (3, Funny)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 9 months ago | (#46330753)

Don't worry, Harper is working hard to fix that

Re:Sounds like a problem (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46325681)

Canada just changed the law. There is a massive distinction between copyright infringement for commercial and non-commercial purposes. In Canada, the penalties are still massive if you're profiting off of someone's copyright.

Copyright infringement for non-commercial purposes have a low fixed cap.

Mind you, you would have known this if you actually followed the updating of the Canadian copyright law.

Re:Sounds like a problem (1)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 9 months ago | (#46326633)

When someone infringes on your rights

Unjust privileges, more like it.

shouldn't you have recourse to sue them for damages?

You do, but you can't forgo the justice system to do it.

Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (3, Interesting)

GigsVT (208848) | about 9 months ago | (#46324183)

A studio enforcing their copyright against personal-use downloads might be a somewhat crappy and ill-advised practice, but it's not "trolling". To me if you were going to call something "copyright trolling" it would be more like using copyright letters to silence people, aka SLAPP, not using copyright the way it was intended, to prevent people other than the owner from making copies of the entire media as a substitute to buying it from the media holder.

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324283)

Actually, copyright trolling is a process more akin to the original meaning of trolling (ie: like they do in fishing, rather than the modern "internet" meaning of "being an asshole"), where they send out several thousand letters to people demanding that they pay a settlement for downloading copyrighted materials, usually at a cost drastically inflated over the actual "damages" incurred, and threaten much more expensive legal action should the recipient fail to pay up in a timely manner.

The problem is, many of these letters are sent to people who haven't actually violated that copyright, and to further muddy the waters, in Canada, all writable media (tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc...) has a levy added to it because the government assumes the only reason you'd ever buy a burnable CD/DVD is to pirate music, so you've already paid for it, and the money has already been sent off to the Canadian version of the RIAA. Hell, I've paid for it, and not even downloaded the music I technically "bought" alongside the stack of burnable DVDs I needed for backups at work.

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (1)

DanTheStone (1212500) | about 9 months ago | (#46325465)

You're thinking of trawling. The modern trolling is the actual trolling, unless you're talking about the Three Billy Goats Gruff (collecting undeserved tolls).

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 9 months ago | (#46325599)

Trolling, trolling, trolling [wikipedia.org] , keep them C&D's rolling....

We don't install trolling motors [wikipedia.org] on our bass boats because we get lulz at the expense of the fishies, you know.

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 9 months ago | (#46325703)

Also, not trawling. [grammarist.com]

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (1)

dryeo (100693) | about 9 months ago | (#46326091)

No levy on DVD's, only for audio. To quote wiki. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/ind... [wikipedia.org]

Canada's current private copying levies are as follows: $0.24 per unit for Audio Cassette tape (40min or longer), and $0.29 per unit for CD-R, CD-RW, CD-R Audio, CD-RW Audio and MiniDisc

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324305)

The "Trolling" part comes from demanding VAST sums of money as "damages" rather than the actual value.

The people they nail aren't the counterfeiters running racks of DVD burners in some small factory somewhere, these are stupid people who download Game of Thrones because it's not on NETFLIX and get slammed for more money then they'd be able to scrape together in a decade.

It's all about making copyright violation seem dangerous and costly NOT about getting money owed

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#46324561)

TFA mentions that the maximum liability is $5000, and that the actual damages will probably be closer to $100.

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 9 months ago | (#46324327)

I think the trolling comes into play when a copyright holder seeds his own or has someone seed their works in order to collect IP addresses which they then attempt to sue but settle out of court. This seems to be common practice with the **AAs in the US at one point in time.

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324331)

The article wasn't calling this case trolling but suggesting that sending letters and not suing might get any future action labelled "copyright trolling".

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (1)

sinij (911942) | about 9 months ago | (#46324339)

The key difference is motive - it is trolling because Voltage's profit is not deterrence, not recovering damages from potential loss of a sale, but judicial extortion for profit.

Consider following - you are 100% innocent person that got "mistakenly" targeted by these lawsuits. It will cost you considerable sum to simply defend yourself, if Voltage prices settlement offer just under that amount then rational decision is to always settle.

Again, copyright trolls are called so because they only care to get a list of people they can legally extort under threat of litigation costs. Just look at their identification methods - IP address! Could there be any less reliable way to identify someone? This demonstrate that they don't really care WHO, they just want A RANDOM LIST OF PEOPLE to extort!

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324467)

I'm Rick James Bitch. Jokes aside, copyright was not meant to extort people out of thousands for a twenty dollar product. In case you've forgotten I'll say it PRENDA!! PRENDA!! PRENDA!! PRENDA!! PREEETEEENNNNDA!! Legit claims are alright, denying people fucking due process and making it more costly to fight rather than pay up is extremely fucked up.

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324495)

>A studio enforcing their copyright

That would not necessarily be trolling. Unfortunately, that's not the case here:

http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/6805/125/

What's actually happening here is we have a group suing that isn't voltage (canipre), but rather a for profit company that makes money by suing others. That's trolling, or at least it's profiteering.

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (1)

Zalbik (308903) | about 9 months ago | (#46324589)

To me if you were going to call something "copyright trolling" it would be more like using copyright letters to silence people, aka SLAPP

And that is exactly what is happening here. See here [michaelgeist.ca] for more details.

Specifically, they are using a scheme called "speculative invoicing", described as:
"sending hundreds or thousands of demand letters alleging copyright infringement and seeking thousands of dollars in compensation. Those cases rarely - if ever - go to court as the intent is simply to scare enough people into settling in order to generate a profit."

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 9 months ago | (#46326213)

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki... [wikipedia.org]

1. (v) a method of fishing where one or more fishing lines, baited with lures or bait fish, are drawn through the water.

2. (v) a method of profiteering where one or more letters, baited with intimidating threats and a lure of protection, are drawn through a pool of internet users

Re:Copyright C+Ds aren't "trolling" (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#46326973)

Due to their generally shoddy evidence, the way even the 'settlement' vastly exceeds any reasonable damages, and their suits en masse, it rises to the level of trolling.

Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324223)

Umm, that would be because Canadien dollars are only worth like 90 cents.

Re:Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 9 months ago | (#46324381)

Nope, a Canadian dollar is worth 100 Canadian cents. Or 100 maple leaves. Or 20 beavers. Or 10 Bluenose. Or 4 caribou. Or 2 Canadian coat of arms. Or one loon. Or half a polar bear.

Re:Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 9 months ago | (#46324471)

...if we're getting technical we retired the maple leaves a couple of years ago. Of course, I still have a jar of them... maybe I can secretly pawn them off on hapless Americans the next time I travel south of the border.

Re:Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46326373)

Sure, we still take 'em down here. You realize that there's more than a penny's worth of copper in a penny, right?

Re:Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 9 months ago | (#46326801)

Well, it's mostly zinc and other things. But yes, that's why we stopped making them!

Re:Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 9 months ago | (#46325079)

Nope, a Canadian dollar is worth 100 Canadian cents. Or 100 maple leaves. Or 20 beavers. Or 10 Bluenose. Or 4 caribou. Or 2 Canadian coat of arms. Or one loon. Or half a polar bear.

Or between 1/5th and 1/50th of a Maple Leaf [wikipedia.org] , if you go by the face value.

Re:Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324703)

Well, the lawsuits were not around back in 2001 when CAD hit a peak of 1CAD = 1.06USD so i dont think its an FX rate thing.

Having a "favorable" FX rate with your largest trading partner has advantages, namely attractive exports and expensive imports which helps grow the internal market.

Ask your good friend the Chinese with their pegged currency now trading in a narrow band to a "basket" of currencies, or the feds with their Quantitative Easing attempt to drive the value of the dollar down.

Re:Why Copyright Trolling In Canada Doesn't Pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46325181)

My bad, 2011 not 2001..

spiritual vortex trolling for truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324317)

ruled a suicide of sorts http://lgbts.yale.edu/people/samuel-see

don't canadians pay 'blank media tax' ? (4, Interesting)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 9 months ago | (#46324375)

wasn't this to compensate media companies for data copying?

why pay a blank media tax and also restrict what they do online, re: copying?

look, if you start out assuming I'm guilty and force a penalty fee on me, I see no reason to not make the best of it and copy as much as I can, just to make USE of the money you forced out of me.

canada: you used to be cool. what happened?

Re:don't canadians pay 'blank media tax' ? (2)

RobinH (124750) | about 9 months ago | (#46324469)

The media surcharge/tarriff/whatever was only applicable to music, not movies/videos.

Re:don't canadians pay 'blank media tax' ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46327263)

Really? And how exactly do they reimburse me the tax on a DVD if I use it for something other than music?

While the tax was initially set up due to pressure (i.e. payoffs to politicians) from the music industry, it is a blanket tax.

Copyright levy = downloading ok. Torrent requires (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46324513)

The way the law works is the copyright levy covers you for downloading, not "distributing". You can't download via torrent without also distributing.

Re:don't canadians pay 'blank media tax' ? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 9 months ago | (#46325035)

Technically, the US has a blank media tax too, but it is very weak:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P... [wikipedia.org]

This only applies to CDs which are labeled and sold for music use;

Only once have I ever seen CDs labeled in this way.

Re:don't canadians pay 'blank media tax' ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46325797)

Canada was never cool, wake up.

Re:don't canadians pay 'blank media tax' ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46326925)

Two words

Stephen Harper

Re:don't canadians pay 'blank media tax' ? (2)

CCarrot (1562079) | about 9 months ago | (#46327011)

canada: you used to be cool. what happened?

Have you been up here lately??

-47 Celsius with the wind chill this morning...and we're getting damn tired of it already!

Re:don't canadians pay 'blank media tax' ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46329957)

canada: you used to be cool. what happened?

Stephen Harper happened.

Not all media (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46336259)

We pay the tax on cassettes and CDs, and likely to other media at the time (mini discs maybe?). But the tax ends before DVDs, resulting in confused expressions when price comparing similar stacks of blank DVDs and CDs at the store.

Better encourage rather than confront (1)

symes (835608) | about 9 months ago | (#46324559)

Why don't they just give them all an introductory offer on Netflix or similar? Build some good will and encourage them away from downloading for free.

Re:Better encourage rather than confront (3, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 months ago | (#46324759)

Personally I find I don't have much of need to pirate content now that I have Netflix. Sure there's some movies that aren't available, but I'm not the kind of person that just "has to" watch a specific movie. If a movie isn't available for agreeable terms, then I just simply won't watch it. If there's a movie that I really want to see and it isn't avaialble on Netflix, I can go to the theatre, rent it from iTunes/Play/Cable Company/etc, or even buy the DVD.

Re:Better encourage rather than confront (5, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 9 months ago | (#46325077)

And yet the content companies act as though Netflix is Public Enemy #2 (right after pirates). They seem to think that putting their content on Netflix will kill their ability to make tons of money off of the content by selling it to customers multiple times. This might be true to an extent, but the more content they make available via Netflix (and other, similar services), the less incentive people have to pirate. Yes, there will always be people who pirate. You could offer movies in a DRM-Free format for $1 each and some people would insist on pirating it instead. My advice to the content companies would be to forget about those people. They aren't potential customers. However, the guy who wants to watch Game of Thrones online [theoatmeal.com] , is willing to pay money for it, but finds that piracy is the easier (or only) option is a potential customer that you lose by not making your content readily available.

Re:Better encourage rather than confront (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46326343)

If the content companies felt that way they wouldn't deal with Netflix.

Massive logic fail on your part.

Re:Better encourage rather than confront (1)

jonwil (467024) | about 9 months ago | (#46327471)

The #1 cause of the industries woes right now is that the industry as a whole is unwilling to give up the "TV" model of linear channels in favor of a model where people can watch what they want when they want and don't have to pay big dollars for content they dont want just to get the content they do.

They are fighting tooth and nail to hold onto a dying distribution method when they should be embracing the internet and finding ways to sell their content to as many people as possible.

I bet a big chunk of people who pirate only pirate because there is no legal way to obtain the content they want to watch at the time they want to watch it.

Re:Better encourage rather than confront (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 9 months ago | (#46331077)

Exactly. They are looking at their business as "The TV Model" and think anyone that disrupts this is The Enemy. Thinking like this, it is perfectly reasonable to see Netflix as The Enemy. Of course, the content industry once saw VHS tapes as The Enemy. Once they accepted them, they made a ton of money off VHS tape rentals and sales. If the content industry were to accept the Internet in the same way, they would make tons of money, customers would get the content they want, and everyone would win. Piracy might even drop as more content is made available. At some point in the future, the content industry will be resisting yet another technological advancement and people will remember how they opposed making their content available on the Internet.

Re:Better encourage rather than confront (1)

Zalbik (308903) | about 9 months ago | (#46327919)

Personally I find I don't have much of need to pirate content now that I have Netflix

Really? I've tried both canadian and american netflix, and I find the quality / quantity of movies available to be pretty crappy. Other than a few TV series, it seems to be pretty much the same as cable: "500 channels and nothing on".

That being said, at $7 a month, it's definitely worth it for the 2-4 hours of entertainment I get per week. I just wish the rest of the content producers would realize that there are virtually truckloads of money to be made by providing content on demand with a subscription service.

Has the TV/movie producers learned nothing from Apple and the music industry? Change is coming....either they can lead or they can become outdated.

Re:Better encourage rather than confront (2)

dryeo (100693) | about 9 months ago | (#46326145)

Canadian Netflix is pretty crappy compared to the American version and we don't have much else. It's not like the content companies want to sell their products here, at least in an easy to purchase downloadable format

Re:Better encourage rather than confront (1)

Yaztromo (655250) | about 9 months ago | (#46327497)

Canadian Netflix is pretty crappy compared to the American version and we don't have much else. It's not like the content companies want to sell their products here, at least in an easy to purchase downloadable format

Pro tip:

Netflix is fully IPv6 enabled, which is actually great news for Canadian Netflix users. Just setup an IPv6 tunnel to the nearest Hurricane Electric [he.net] tunnel server farm (if you have a router that supports this, you can enable IPv6 invisibly for your entire home quickly and easily. Apple's routers all support this out of the box, for example), and presto -- you'll have US Netflix.

Note that this only works on IPv6-enabled devices, of course, so your set-top box or smart TV may not benefit. And you have to ensure the browser you're using properly supports Happy Eyeballs [wikipedia.org] so as to ensure it will prefer IPv6 over IPv4 (Safari on Mac OS X since Lion uses an algorithm to prefer whichever connection is fastest in responding, which can cause it to initially load Netflix via IPv6, showing all the US content you can't otherwise see in Canada, only to be blocked when you actually try to view it if OS X switches down to IPv4 for optimization purposes).

As I have IPv6 tunnelling enabled right at the router, there is no software to be installed or anything that needs to be configured anywhere once this is setup, unlike VPN/proxy solutions. It's also fast -- even though the IPv6 is tunnelled, I can't perceive any speed issues when watching content this way.

Enjoy!

Yaz

Re:Better encourage rather than confront (1)

Zalbik (308903) | about 9 months ago | (#46327979)

unlike VPN/proxy solutions. It's also fast -- even though the IPv6 is tunnelled, I can't perceive any speed issues when watching content this way.

Most of the VPN/proxy solutions for Netflix are also pretty fast (e.g. unblock-us.com). The trick is they only need to proxy during the initial authentication. Once that is done, data is streamed directly to your PC. That's why most of the services only work with a (large) subset of streaming sites....they have to be setup on the proxy providers site to handle the redirection during the authentication process.

I was using unblock-us for a while, and it worked flawlessly. I only stopped as there wasn't enough additional content on US netflix for me to justify paying for it.

Re:Better encourage rather than confront (1)

Yaztromo (655250) | about 9 months ago | (#46329057)

I was using unblock-us for a while, and it worked flawlessly. I only stopped as there wasn't enough additional content on US netflix for me to justify paying for it.

IPv6 tunnels are fortunately free. And as I mentioned, if you have router support for it, then every Mac, PC, and Linux box in your house will automatically be provisioned for end-to-end IPv6 access to Netflix (and anything else IPv6 accessible on the Internet), along with any set-top boxes which may use IPv6 (Apple TV apparently does, but I don't own one to be able to confirm this).

Yaz

Lawyers Win (1)

number17 (952777) | about 9 months ago | (#46324763)

Lawyers will be the only ones making the money in this case. The settlement will be less than what it will cost for a day in court as the damages are capped.

As someone directly involved... (4, Insightful)

Kris Warkentin (15136) | about 9 months ago | (#46325165)

Apparently I'm actually one of the IP addresses named in the original suit. Funny thing is, I don't know, nor have I downloaded any of Voltage's list of crappy films. They actually have 'The Hurt Locker' (which I haven't seen) in their list but the rest are pretty much B movies. What's even more funny is that the time during which I was alleged to have downloaded some of their stuff was the same time I was in Europe on a two week vacation. There were people looking in on our house and we also have neighbors and such who use our wifi so certainly others might have downloaded movies but not me.

A fun fact about Canadian jurisprudence is that typically the loser pays court costs so if they DO try to take me to court, I think I might exhaust ever single possible legal argument, drag the whole thing out as long as I can before dropping that bombshell. I'm pretty sure that being on the other side of the Atlantic in the middle of the Adriatic on a cruise ship with no internet access proves that I didn't download anything... If I can cost Voltage a fortune in legal fees then it will be a good day.

Re:As someone directly involved... (1)

Kris Warkentin (15136) | about 9 months ago | (#46325211)

Just looked closer...apparently Hurt Locker isn't in the list. I thought it was based on the original letter I got.

Re:As someone directly involved... (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 9 months ago | (#46326069)

I usually just tell the MPAA I have a cousin who works at Monsanto. Considering they show up at farmers' houses with guns to talk about how it would be in your ... ahem ... best interest to grow their new line of soy, it's best to stay away.

that is funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46328955)

If Voltage sends you a letter, the best thing to do would be to wipe your arse with it and put it in a ziplock and mail it right back to them. That's what I would do personally. Or I would mail them a parcel with one of my dogs "presents" neatly placed in a muffin paper. Let them litigate that.

Re:As someone directly involved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46330063)

"The neighbor did it." That should work.

If it was me, my defense would be along the lines of "Hurt Locker isn't even that good, why would I waste bandwidth on a mediocre movie that's already on cable anyway? Also why is it that best picture winners are never even great movies? Now fuck off and die of ass cancer you greedy criminal extortionist troll, but pay my legal bills first bitch."

Bad math in the linked article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46325509)

Geist errs in saying that the costs to obtain IP addresses from the ISP were estimated at $200,000. The actual figure was $20,000. For two thousand odd IP addresses, $10/per makes sense, $100/per clearly doesn't.

Even worse, his estimate of law firm costs compounds the error:
"assume a matching $200,000."

So the two biggest cited costs- totaling $400K or $200 per IP address- appear off by a factor of 10. I think this means that more analysis might be needed to conclude that rights holders would lose 'hundreds of thousands'.

Re:Bad math in the linked article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46328723)

no it was $100 per ip address. read the court docs.

"Rights Holders" (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 9 months ago | (#46325987)

Some people seem to forget that every member of the public is "rights holder" as well, and that our collective rights are more important than those of a corporation (especially one seeking to enforce an obsolete business model at the expense of everyone else).

I'm glad Canada's judiciary knows this.

They don't have to sue them all (1)

mysidia (191772) | about 9 months ago | (#46329797)

economics of suing thousands of Canadians for downloading a movie for personal purposes is likely to lead to hundreds of thousands in losses for rights holders."

They just have to sue the one or two that doesn't pay the expensive settlement demand, in order to make examples out of them.

welfare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46329931)

and when they find out everyone they are suing is on welfare that the law states can only take 25$ in anyone month

it will mean they can wait a fookin long time to get 100$ back

haha and the best part you can only get 25$ ONCE per month in other words should that person get caught again and again the max is only 25$

yup get welfare and disability people to download it all and we can all just donate 200$ to them ( allowed ot make 200$ a month YET law still states you can only take 49 off them )

sound like a deal yet?

Stick it to the man i say

Downloading vs Uploading (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46330037)

And as usual, the pro piracy shills try to frame the issue as "downloading ", rather than the obviously more harmful "distributing".

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