Christine Dobby reports:
A judge granted another adjournment Monday in Voltage Pictures LLC’s motion to compel TekSavvy Solutions Inc. to hand over the names of hundreds of customers one of the most significant copyright infringement cases Canada has ever seen.
Federal Court judge Leonard Mandamin made the order to allow enough time for a public interest group to have its own motion to intervene in the case to be heard before proceeding with the motion for disclosure on its merits.
Read more on Financial Post.
While it sounds like the judge is being appropriately thoughtful and cautious, Teksavvy customers and indeed, all Canadians, should be concerned about Teksavvy’s position that their only obligation to users is to notify them in a timely fashion so that they can arrange for their own legal defense. This is time for a discussion about the rate of false positives in using IP addresses to identify infringers, and the costs to innocent individuals who may have to defend against a false claim or find themselves with a default judgement against them. Supporting the right of subscribers to privacy protection from frivolous or erroneous lawsuits does not equate with condoning piracy. It merely recognizes that before ISPs turn over subscribers’ details, there should be solid evidence supporting allegations of copyright infringement by the subscriber.
This case should also make all Canadian ISPs take a longer, harder look at their data retention. Law enforcement and companies like Voltage want long retention periods, but why should ISPs retain data for long periods if such retention is not necessary for processing of the subscriber’s bills or account and only increases the risk that data may be hacked or used for other purposes against the subscriber?