McTeague has been outspoken throughout the Bill C-32 committee hearings about the need to compensate creators – even engaging in a heated discussion with education groups who accused him of cherry picking facts about fair dealing – yet his posting of full text articles may well result in lost advertising revenue for Canadian media organizations.
This raises at least two issues that McTeague has focused on during the C-32 hearings. First, the issue of “repeat infringers” and the claim that policies with a graduated response are needed. This is often a euphemism for three-strikes and you’re out policies that would result in Internet users being cut off by their ISPs. If these are in fact repeat infringements, this would appear to be a classic case where such a policy might apply.
Second, if the postings are infringing, the statutory damages liability could amount to $20,000 per infringement or over $500,000 for all the articles posted. Ironically, McTeague has been the most outspoken critic of a proposed change in Bill C-32 that would establish a $5,000 cap on non-commercial infringement, repeatedly expressing concerns about the impact of the proposed change. One wonders whether he feels that the prospect of his own infringing activity is more deserving of hundreds of thousands in liability.