Canadian privacy lawyer David T. S. Fraser of McInnesCooper tweeted a sample of lawsuits some Canadians are receiving. You may have already received one — or maybe you will receive one soon, so take note:
A #torrent of lawsuits are descending on Canadians accused of online file sharing. If you get one of these, it can’t be ignored. You’re actually being sued for #copyright infringement. More info here: https://t.co/RmqKvAA0cV
(Previous tweet had a broken link) pic.twitter.com/Zy5v1MhGlO
— David T.S. Fraser (@privacylawyer) April 15, 2019
A #torrent of lawsuits are descending on Canadians accused of online file sharing. If you get one of these, it can’t be ignored. You’re actually being sued for #copyright infringement.
You can find more info from David here.
I can see why people might ignore the lawsuits, in part, because they say “John Doe.” But even though YOU know who you are, the plaintiffs and their lawyers can sue you — and are suing you — as “John Doe” until your real identity is proved in court.
I spoke with David about this latest rash of lawsuits (we saw this same type of thing in the U.S. years ago, and I even got one after my darling son downloaded a movie from a torrent site).
The key message you need to understand is that if you get one of these — even if they don’t look as official as you think they should look — you need to get legal advice, and for those in Canada, your provincial legal aid agency is not the right place to call for help, as your province won’t represent you in a civil suit against you. David informs me that he will be reaching out to legal aid societies in Canada to give them a heads up so they can gear up to hopefully help people who contact them, but doing nothing is really not a great option for anyone being sued. So my best advice to you is that if you don’t know what to do, call David. And no, these cases will not make him or his firm fabulously wealthy. He’s just truly one of the privacy good guys in this world.
Update: David T. S. Fraser informs me that the full statement of claim — with the IP addresses redacted — can be found here.