Big Media is Spreading Lies About Potential Penalties for Downloaders Get The Low Down Here

Posted by Meghan Sali on Thursday, January 8, 2015 – 12:29

“Copyrighted performance” by Wendy Seltzer (CC BY 2.0)

"Copyrighted performance"

It didn’t take long for Big Media conglomerates toseize the first opportunity to extort Canadians under the new notice-and-notice provisions.

In a blog posted by Michael Geist this morning, he revealed that both RightsCorp, an American “copyright monetization” organization (read: copyright troll), and BMG, an international Big Media company, have been sending misleading and threatening notices through ISPs to Canadians.

One such notice – which Geist has posted in full on his blog – claims that “you could be liable for up to $150,000 per infringement in civil penalties.”

This is patently untrue.

As we highlighted in yesterday’s blog on the copyright changes, Canadian law puts a cap of $5000 for a single instance of non-commercial infringement.

Additionally, the notice claims that “your ISP service could be suspended if this matter is not resolved.” In other words, they want Canadians to think they can be kicked off the Internet for downloading the wrong file.

This is also untrue.

There is no provision in Canadian law for suspending Internet access for alleged copyright infringement. It would also be a violation of your human rights.

As Geist succinctly puts it:

“In a nutshell, Rightscorp and BMG are using the notice-and-notice system to require ISPs to send threats and misstatements of Canadian law in an effort to extract payments based on unproven infringement allegations.”

These threats are additionally misleading, as they intend to lead Canadians who receive the notices to believe that the rights-holders already have their personal information and could pursue a case against them, which is not the case.  Because of the way in which our notice-and-notice system is designed, these organizations would have to seek a court order to first get the private information attached to the IP address where the alleged infringement occurred.

As we noted yesterday, Canada’s copyright laws were designed to warn and educate Canadians, not allow them to be threatened by outrageous allegations.

Canadians will not be bullied by Big Media.  Share this image with your friends and family to get the word out.