Home > C11, Copyright, Digital Policy, Economics > Current Copyright Legislation Allows For Copyright Trolling

Current Copyright Legislation Allows For Copyright Trolling

Yesterday I put up a very provocative and politically incorrect post.  The goal of that was to get some discussions going with the experts with respect to the law, and also to try to bring to light some concerns I had within law and economics to the table, and maybe bring those arguments to Teksavvy for a possible legal defense.  It was also highly policy orientated to the normal reader. And I did come across as being politically incorrect to try and make a point, that we need to be talking about how right is it to have a law in place, when no harm has been actually been created or can be proven as a result of a P2P download.

As a result, to some it may have looked I was attacking Jean-Francois Mezei.  That wasn’t the goal, I was bouncing off of his points he made, to make mine.  He’s absolutely correct in everything he’s been saying, and comments he’s been making are extremely fascinating. Bouncing is pretty common in the blogosphere. I’m pretty sure Mezei understood what I was doing, and if not I apologize.

Now I’m not a lawyer, but had to bounce the post off of some lawyers to fully understand myself what’s actually taking place.  A very informative legal discussion by a TSI subscriber (Eriv V and no way affiliated with the case but he is a lawyer) and me on DSLreports came up with some very useful information as a result of yesterdays politically incorrect post.

There is economic evidence right now that strongly suggests there is no economic harm to a P2P download. My thinking was that because of this, that would be enough to stop Voltage in it’s tracks.  Turns out the law has other plans. Basically even if there is no economic harm, you are still liable under the new copyright act.  I misinterpreted Geist’s views with respect to the $100 claim of infringement thinking it was related to an economic argument that was put to bed a long time ago and it wasn’t.  I apologize to Geist on that.  Essentially, if the economics can be brought to the table (which I still believe it can) in a case going forward and it can be proven there’s no economic harm, the judge will probably still hand you out a $100 ticket.

Now for the point in all of this.  Essentially what’s happening in our new copyright laws regarding non-commercial infringement, is that it’s legal and it’s not.  Basically the Government has made it extremely hard to sue people for downloading off of P2P, and at the same time put in a notice to notice approach, which is basically trolling.  So, if you get caught downloading, all that realistically will happen when all is said and done is you’ll get an e-mail from your ISP telling you to stop or else. Or else what?  Nothing.

This pretty much has been the position we’ve been in Canada since P2P first started. While technically it’s not legal, the reality is different. Essentially what the Government wants to do is scare people, but not sue them.  Basically what Voltage is trying to do right now, but in a different way. So when we look at calling out war on copyright trolls, just remember that currently our laws are set up to allow this to continue going forward.  Something I very strongly disagree with in light of economic evidence.

Over the next few days, I will be doing up an easy to read post on the economic evidence I would like to bring to the table.

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