Canada’s Supreme Court Offers Hope to Falsely Accused File-Sharers
Art Law

Canada’s Supreme Court Offers Hope to Falsely Accused File-Sharers

In recent years hundreds of thousands of IP-addresses have been implicated in piracy lawsuits. But does that mean that the account holder is always liable? According to a recent comment by Canada’s Supreme Court, merely being associated with a ‘pirating’ IP address "is not conclusive of guilt." Last week the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that ISPs are entitled to compensation for looking up the details of alleged copyright infringers. This verdict, a result of a dispute between Rogers and movie company Voltage Pictures, can have far-reaching consequences as it makes so-called “copyright trolling” more expensive. However, there is another nugget in the Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion that may be helpful to people who are wrongfully accused. In his comments, Justice Russell Brown notes that the owner of an IP-address isn’t automatically guilty. “It must be borne in mind that being associated with an IP address that is the subject of a notice under s. 41.26(1)(a) is not conclusive of guilt,” he writes. While this comment doesn’t change the outcome of this case, it certainly carries some weight. And Justice Brown is even more specific, explaining why the person connected to the IP-address isn’t automatically guilty. “As I have explained, […]

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