Several months later, sources advise that the demand letters to alleged file sharers have been sent. Assuming the content of the letters mirrors that found in the U.S. (which it likely does), the subscribers face demands to pay $2900 to settle the case, which increases to $3900 if the target does not accept the offer within three weeks. A copy of a recent U.S. letter can be found here. The system is so automated that there is a website devoted to the settlements with “all major credit cards accepted.”
Ted East: We’re not interested in sweeping up the John Does. We’re looking for legislation that basically stops online piracy and illegal file sharing, which requires changes to the bill that exists. Whatever laws we have here are going to be different from those in the United States. As Patrick referred to earlier, we need massive education, because a significant portion of the population in Canada, particularly younger people, have grown up in an environment where piracy seems to be okay, where it has no consequences. We have notice and notice, but everybody that they know is doing it, so changes have to be made.
Bill C-11 tries to address the issue by creating a $5,000 cap on liability for non-commercial infringement, yet the Hurt Locker case suggests that does not go far enough. A better approach would be to eliminate statutory damages in non-commercial cases altogether. That change, which would bring Canada into line with most of its trading partners, would allow for full $20,000 per infringement liability for commercial infringement, while requiring claimants to offer evidence of actual damages in non-commercial cases. Without such a change, the government is still leaving the door open to thousands of potential lawsuits against individuals.