Piracy Notices Sent to Canadians Can No Longer Demand Settlement Fees

Canada’s Copyright Act has just been amended by the federal government to clarify that piracy notices sent to Canadians can no longer ask for personal information or a payment including a settlement fee, CBC News is reporting.

Canada’s piracy-notice system, which was implemented nearly four years ago and allows copyright holders to send warning emails to people suspected of illegally downloading content such as movies or music, has been receiving criticism ever since.

Piracy canada

Some people have even received notices that crossed a line by threatening legal action if the recipient didn’t pay hundreds of dollars in settlement fee.

One of the recipients of such notices is an 89-year-old grandmother Christine McMillan in Toronto, who received a notice demanding money for something she says she never did. “I was really angry,” she said. “This is a scam that’s being perpetrated by the government.”

“Our amendments to the regime will protect consumers,” Hans Parmar, spokesperson for Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, said in an email.

In a recent submission to the government’s standing committee on industry, science and technology, a group involving six major ISPs including Bell, Rogers, and Telus, asked for additional amendments to toughen up the government’s rules.

The group, which calls itself Business Coalition for Balanced Copyright (BCBC), said internet providers now must weed out settlement fee notices — an imperfect plan considering they deal with “millions of notices per month.”

The federal government will now explore the concerns raised by ISPs in an ongoing review of the Copyright Act.

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