copyright (1) by Maria Elena (CC BY 2.0)

copyright (1) by Maria Elena (CC BY 2.0)


Glass Houses and Throwing Stones: Why a Canadian Anti-Piracy Firm May Need to Send Itself Copyright Infringement Notices

Canipre, a Montreal-based intellectual property enforcement firm, yesterday issued a press release announcing an infringement monitoring program designed to take advantage of the new copyright notice-and-notice system. The release notes that the service detects online infringement and sends notifications alleging infringement to Canadian Internet providers, who must forward the notifications to their subscribers. The company has been involved in the Voltage Pictures – TekSavvy lawsuit and it cites that case as evidence of the effectiveness of its services.

Yet what Canipre does not say is that a blog associated with the company may have been engaged in copyright infringement for many months. The blog – – is run by Barry Logan, the company’s Managing Director, Operations (I received an email from Mr. Logan last year that listed the site as his blog address). In addition to posting releases from Canipre and information about the TekSavvy case, the site has posted dozens of full-text articles from media organizations around the world.

For example, last week it posted the full text of a 1200 word article on TV piracy from the Wire Report, an Ottawa-based telecom publication. The article resides behind a paywall limited to subscribers and is listed as “exclusive content.” In fact, reposting full-text articles from other sources is a regular occurrence on the site. Posts in December feature articles from the Huffington Post Canada, Business Insider, and CNET.  Earlier posts include full-text articles from the Hollywood Reporter, StreamDaily, Reuters, the Canadian Press, Global News, Vancouver Sun, and the National Post. Some of the posts include articles that strip out reference to the author (Chronicle Herald, CBC) and others include no attribution whatsoever. The site also uses photos from the articles, often without attribution.

While the use of clips of articles will often qualify as fair dealing and even full text of articles can be fair dealing in some circumstances, posting full text articles without attribution or including subscription-only information that is not otherwise available, is much more likely to be viewed as infringement if posted without authorization. Canipre would likely offer its services to the media companies whose work is affected, yet it might want to take a closer look at its internal conduct before throwing stones in the form of thousands of notices alleging infringement.


  1. Maybe Canipre looks at the alleged infringement as a business development tool: “You need us to prevent other people from doing what we do.”

    • That sounds suspiciously like the logic a mafia uses when it goes to shake down merchants for “protection” money. The question being, coincidence or true commonality, and that I make no claim of knowing at all.

  2. David Allsebrook says:

    It will be interesting to see if anyone will pay them to send out copyright notices that produce no revenue stream.

  3. Ivan Gluscic says:

    This is the same organization that was busted for using copyrighted images without permission on their website in 2013. What a bunch of frauds.

  4. It sounds to me like they could use the assistance of a librarian!

  5. This article assumes a lot. How do you know they haven’t asked for and received permission from the copyright holders to republish the articles and photos? Do you know what license agreement, if any, they have made with the copyright holders?

    If you have evidence that they are infringing copyright, then by all means show it and expose them. If you don’t have evidence, then this blog post is nothing more than speculation which ultimately does a disservice to those who are working hard to reform the broken copyright system.

    • A Canipre employee has been exposed. Stone him!

    • Devil's Advocate says:

      Did you click any of the links provided in the post, or even do any basic searching yourself? Didn’t think so. I’ll give you one.

      Canipre already made the news a few years ago for using all sorts of content, without attribution or permission. Some of the offending pages have since had the attribution added, or have been taken down after Canipre was outed for it.

    • Matt, when you have permission to re-post someone’s else’s article its normal to put in a line at the end such as, “Re-printed with permission of author.”

      • Standard news reports are aggregated by many all the time, and not just Canipre. They do have a nice collection I see and seem to be building the “go to” library. Didnt see any articles that were not credited or inclusive of an authorship credit?

        It looks like Michael has generated a bunch of traffic back over to the canipre website though with the “hear ye hear ye” blog. And considering the traffic I bet they generate anyway, its likely most publishers, reporters, authors likely consent and approve of the placement of their words on a library of some notoriety and visibility. They dont appear to comment and maybe they should for the uninformed – who dont visit these nooks and crannies.

        There seem to be lots of ways to view this, and the ‘fair dealing’ principals. I for one support the process – Canada has been quite slow to adopt the internet age and protection of IP, has it not Mr. Geist? Did you not suggest the Notice protocol was a benefit of balanced copyright? Obviously the Canadian public requires a little assistance in understanding and being informed. So perhaps this is your contribution? They certainly dont get an ABC here, nor there. My vote is you find something a little more interesting to dangle.

        But … if they have infringed the news and news articles in Joe Public’s world, what would a court award the rights owner do you think? If it is peanuts for a movie, is it 1/4 of a peanut for a news article??

        Now there’s a better blog ..we have the crime, now lets valuate, shall we?

  6. Pingback: Why a Canadian anti-piracy firm may need to send itself copyright infringement notices — “posting full text articles without attribution or including subscription-only information that is not otherwise available is much more likely to be viewe

  7. Must be a very slow day in Geistland. Is that the extent of the news, maybe if you wrote something decent they could post it and we could watch what you do Michael. How sensational.

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  9. Good article. Happy New Year!

  10. If there is not proper proof of the copyright infringement would one of these letters be considered slander or libel if brought in front of a court? Since I am allowed to share music in Canada, if I am accused of breaching copyright by downloading a song is that not harming my reputation?

    • Only if your lobbyist has greased all the proper palms.

      • Dave,

        How do you make the leap from being in receipt of a notice to libel / slander? These are not published records. They sound to individual notifications to individual IP addresses.

        As for the technical concepts of downloading and uploading/sharing, I believe you stand a higher risk on the uploading end of the discussion that you do on the downloading scale.

        And yes, techno-peeps, there are some inter-relationships between both down/up. We all know that. The questions relates to slander and libel, not how you turn your computer on.

  11. Pingback: Canadian Anti-Piracy Company Caught Using Unattributed And Paywalled Articles To Fill Its Blog * The New World

  12. Liam Young says:

    Great article! Their approach seems to be in keeping with our government: do what we say and not what we do!

    I love seeing the ‘other point of view’ coming out on this. Would Michael Geist stoop to sensationalism and risk of libel / slander just to get a few extra views to an already popular blog?

    Thank you Mr. Geist for poking holes in the very scheme and threat that would conceivably bring thousands of Canadians to court simply to protect yet another media company, wasting millions of dollars in the process.

  13. Speaking of the Voltage Pictures – TekSavvy lawsuit, was it finally resolved or is it still in some kind of limbo?

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