The decision to send a Montreal man to prison for pirating movies has set a dangerous precedent that could threaten privacy rights, say civil rights advocates in Vancouver.
On Tuesday, Gérémi Adam, 27, became the first Canadian jailed for breaking cinematic copyright, when he was sentenced to 2½ months after pleading guilty to two counts of distributing high-quality pirated copies of Hollywood films.
Brand is concerned the enforcement of those piracy laws could violate Canada’s privacy laws, because in order to monitor illegal uploads and downloads online, authorities would have to monitor a person’s entire internet connection, he claims.
“Any prohibition on downloading works — that has a huge impact on the sort of privacy side of things. In order to know that I’m not downloading any works illegally, you have to monitor my internet connection. That’s not the kind of society that I want to live in,” Brand said.
B.C. Civil Liberties Association board member Richard Rosenberg also said Adam’s prison sentence sets a new precedent for Canadian copyright enforcement.
“This is a new direction for Canada, which is surprising to me,” he said.
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