Home > C11, Canada, Copyright, Digital Policy, Economics, P2P, Politics, Teksavvy, Voltage > 2013 Copyright Predictions Don’t Look Good for Teksavvy Customers

2013 Copyright Predictions Don’t Look Good for Teksavvy Customers

A couple of very well known copyright bloggers have released their 2013 copyright predictions, and most noticeably Teksavvy Vs. Voltage and copyright trolling seems to be on the horizon.

First Copyright lawyer and expert Howard Knopf is still (and rightful so in my view) questioning Teksavvy’s decision not to stand up for it’s customers privacy.  Knonf stated in his predictions:

The year will no doubt kick off with the Voltage Pictures “mass litigation” campaign. It might be noted that a similar effort by Voltage involving Quebec based ISPs that did not oppose the motion to disclose their clients’ identities fizzled last year for unknown reasons – and with no individuals actually being sued. This time around, some seem to think that Voltage is more determined. Will feisty, progressive Teksavvy, the ISP that has built its reputation on being customer-friendly, actually stand up and fight for its customers’ “privacy” without taking sides on “piracy”? That’s what Shaw and Telus did vigorously and successfully in 2004, with Bell and Rogers onside if not quite as actively. What should/will Teksavvy do if it turns out to be relatively easy for it to challenge the adequacy of Voltage’s material for the motion that seeks disclosure of the names and addresses of potentially thousands of Teksavvy’s customers? The law on this, including the evidentiary concerns that could arise, was clearly laid out in the BMG case by the Federal Court of Appeal in 2005 and the background is all there on CIPPIC’s website. If Voltage’s widely circulated current material is indeed inadequate (upon which I make no comment) and an ISP as savvy as Teksavvy doesn’t challenge its adequacy at the outset, what signal will this send to future potential mass litigators and copyright “trolls”? And to Canadian ISP customers generally and Teksavvy’s customers in particular? What could CIPPIC do if it is permitted to intervene? Is this something that CIPPIC will have to do on a regular basis? What will happen if the names and addresses are eventually provided to Voltage? Will there actually be lawsuits, or will there simply be high pressure settlement demands en masse? To be continued on January 14, 2013 in the Federal Court.

On the other hand Michael Geist another one of Canada’s top copyright experts (and the founding father of the CIPPIC) is going as far to predict in March:

Thousands of Canadians begin receiving letters alleging copyright infringement from file sharing activities with demands to settle the claims for $1,500.  Rights holders do not sue those that refuse to settle, however, effectively acknowledging that a court would be unlikely to award much more than the $100 minimum now found in the Copyright Act.

Question remains on how consumers and the Canadian Government will react to the privacy implications, and mass misuse of copyright laws?

My own 2013 copyright prediction is that many other countries in 2013 will most likely look to reform their policies to ensure consumers aren’t getting penalized for minor copyright infringement.  I think this reform will start with the EU, rather than the US.

I hope in 2013 you’ll see a major shift towards EU members closely looking at the economics of copyright (due to current economic problems the EU faces right now) and how to reform it to make it better for innovation to grow rather than Hollywood demands. It maybe the EU that comes out on top with digital policy in the near future with the US and Canada now following in it’s footsteps because of failed copyright ideology that the market has to be protected from the consumer. This could leave Canada in digital black water, and behind in global competitiveness within the digital economy.

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