Home > Commentary, Copryight, Teksavvy, Voltage > Teksavvy vs Voltage and Keeping Perspective

Teksavvy vs Voltage and Keeping Perspective

I haven’t been posting very much over the past few weeks.  I apologize to my readers.  As a father with a son with autism, I’ve been busy on advocating for my family’s support needs, rather than focused on consumer advocacy lately.  Its going to be busy here for the next few months until those supports are in place.  Some of my future responses may be delayed as a result, but I will comment when I can fit in the time.

I am keeping a close eye on what’s going on with the soap opera surrounding the Teksavvy vs Voltage case.  Howard Knopf has an excellent and recent post regarding this on going saga with Voltage’s attempt to bring copyright trolling into Canada, and how in recent months the US court system has been coming out in force disbarring legal representatives for misconduct.

One other thing that we need to keep in perspective is the way the Teksavvy is handling the PR on this.  According to Knopf, and I’ve seen this in some media reports as well, that the company has admitted it has spent close to $190,000 so far on legal fees.  To the average person that seems quite a bit of money for a small ISP right?  Well again according to Knopf the company has been estimated to bring in between $5 – $10 million a month.  From living in Ontario I know that Teksavvy’s coverage area includes most of Southern Ontario, and has for years been doing business in almost every major city in the province. They are not small by any standards.  I used to work for a small ISP back in the 90’s.  We had 3 employees, which included only one technical support rep.

An interesting exert from Knopf’s post points to the CIPPIC being champions of this whole situation if in deed the CIPPIC can stop copyright trolling in it’s tracks.  Knopf stated:

CIPPIC, with its limited resources, is to be commended for stepping up to the plate here where Teksavvy would not. This is really an unfair burden for CIPPIC to have to carry. Canadian public policy regarding copyright and internet matters should not fall to be defended only by an overworked and taxpayer subsidized law school clinic, however capable it may be. But it now falls to CIPPIC and possibly other ISPs, such as Distributel in another pending case, to do what Shaw and Telus did in earlier days, which is to pay heed to PIPEDA and to stand up for their customers’’ privacy rights. Arguably, this wouldn’t only be the right thing to do but is the required thing to do, since we also have a law in the form of PIPEDA that arguably requires such a defence in instances such this appears to be.

So if the CIPPIC wins, no doubt that the Teksavvy PR machine will be identified very clearly. They will try and make the company look like saviors for consumer rights, and rub it in the face of pundits and commentators who disagree, when in fact the only thing they have done is protect their own behind, and have done nothing for their client base.  I’ve always objected to the CIPPIC being involved in this case for that reason.  The CIPPIC should not be used in this way, nor should taxpayers subsidize and pay for a law clinic to essentially taking over private industries responsibilities  under law when that private company is payed generously by consumers already to do just that.  The fact that a private company is using tax payers dollars to essentially get away with breaking the law is disgusting, and self absorbed,  if by the end that turns out to be the case.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a long hot summer.

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