You Can Click But You Can't Hide by Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/25LtL

You Can Click But You Can't Hide by Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/25LtL

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Movie Industry Denies Lawsuit Strategy Despite Proliferation of Legal Actions and Settlement Demands Against Thousands of Canadians

Over the past several years, hundreds of thousands of Canadians have received notifications from movie and television interests threatening high-priced lawsuits unless they agreed to pay settlement fees. Moreover, a recent strategy led by the law firm Aird & Berlis has resulted in hundreds of actual legal filings against individuals, using a reverse class action strategy described as a “legal machine”. Yet despite the proliferation of lawsuits and demand letters, the head of the movie industry in Canada recently told the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology that lawsuits against individuals were not part of their legal strategy.

The exchange between Liberal MP David Graham and the MPA-Canada’s Wendy Noss, which also included an acknowledgement that the MPAA and Motion Picture Association Canada are the same organization, included the following:

Mr. David de Burgh Graham: A number of years ago, the MPAA and RIAA, the recording industry association, went after individuals who were using P2P sites and suing the pants off these poor families. How did that go, what happened, and does that still happen?

Ms. Wendy Noss: I’m not sure where you’re getting that information, but that’s not a position of our company. As I indicated in my statement and reinforced there, and as you heard from Erin, we’re looking to address commercial-scale piracy by people who enable infringement in a way that hurts Canadian jobs, Canadian businesses, and the full scope of the creative process.

Yet despite the denials, suing individuals or threatening lawsuits appears to be a foundational part of the industry’s strategy. In fact, the threats have become so commonplace that ISED Minister Navdeep Bains has announced plans to change the notice-and-notice system to stop the inclusion of settlement demands within copyright notices. Beyond those steps, however, MPs involved within the copyright review should take note of the disconnect between industry claims that lawsuits against individuals are not their position and the reality faced by many Canadians who receive demands to settle or actual lawsuits over unproven allegations of file sharing movies and films.

30 Comments

  1. How can these people stand up before these committees and just outright lie? Aren’t these Standing Committee appearances under oath? If so, where are the perjury charges?

    What’s the value in such a committee if people can just show up and lie without penalty?

    • well, because they are liars to the core and it’s nothing to them.

    • You really don’t have a clue, do you? Someone speaking to a parliamentary committee in such a capacity is not sworn in or speaking under oath.

      If you’re so worried about personal morality and people lying, try “thou shalt not steal.”

      • Sure, and the world is sunshine lollipops and moonbeams George from bell media.

      • And who are you calling a thief george from bell media? Look in the mirror and tell me bell is not robbing canadians blind every month.

      • Ah. So that’s why can be bald-face liars then.

        From your tone, you sound like you could be one of them. Get off your high horse already.

        Indeed, “thou shalt not steal” is a good one for the overpriced cable and satellite programming that is finally a dead service. I hope to see each and every one of those companies die under the crush of Netflix.

  2. Just a sickening bunch of trolls and liars.

  3. So Geist calls a criminal activity “file sharing.” Interesting.

    • Kelly Manning says:

      @George How do you make your living? Your question assumes criminal activity not in evidence. I use shared google drives for my professional society volunteer work.

      I also use BitTorrent to download software such as Linux, Open Office and Office Libre.

      Blizzard Entertainment has maps available for customers to download for free.

      • ah, Mr/Ms Manning, long time no see. Say, do you want to take a crack at refuting these criticisms of Doctor Geist’s, shall we say, grasp of the truth? No one else here is willing to give it a shot, oddly enough. Go ahead, give it a try. I’ll give you a stuffed animal if you knock enough down.

        https://www.barrysookman.com/2018/03/29/fact-checking-michael-geists-criticisms-of-the-fairplay-site-blocking-proposal/

        • Looks like someone fell for Barry Sookman hook line and sinker.

        • Kelly Manning says:

          @”George” So much industry funded mythology, so little time. Do you understand the meaning of JFGI?

          Industry funded “alternate facts” have a long and shameful history.

          We have seen it with Big Tobacco and the USA Surgeon General Report on the lethal effects of smoking, with laundry detergent and Phosphate pollution, with pesticides, with Acid Rain, with Sugar and Salt added to food and making us fat and sick, with Fossil Fuel and Global Warming.

          Before Social Media usenet filled much the same role. A paid lobbyist used to post anti-ICBC items in the bc.general newsgroup. He was too stupid to use a sock puppet name, so I was able to confirm that he got paid to promote the interests of the Insurance Underwriters for private auto insurance. Every time I took him up on his suggestion to check out websites for auto insurance in Alberta and Ontario the quotes came out significantly higher than what I pay ICBC each year.

          After a certain point time spent refuting Paid Industry Spin Doctors just seems like a waste of time.

          Are you familiar with the infamous Conference Board of Canada reports about alleged file sharing of audio, video and software in Canada. The material supporting that claim was cut and pasted from Industry PR material. The original researchers hired by the Conference Board asked to have their names severed from “Reports” that bore no resemblance to what they wrote.

          http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-convince-someone-when-facts-fail/

          • Still waiting for someone to refute Sookman’s takedown of Geist. The above poster spent a lot of time saying he didn’t have time. Right. You’d tear Sookman apart if you could. And it’s not even industry spin. He just points out all the places Geist is factually incorrect – what other countries do, etc.

    • You are really something george from bell media, we can only hope that your outfit is put in it’s place and not allowed to squeeze canadian’s anymore than you already are and for that matter censor or disrupt the internet for canadians in any way. Sickening lot you and rogers.

    • George lieks it in the bum

  4. Kelly Manning says:

    None of the “notice and notice” emails forwarded to me have any basis in fact. The most recent ones seem to be a gimmick for advertising a website for a cancelled Japanese Anime series. The last time anyone in my home viewed it was YTV more than a decade ago. I have the wireless radios on my home gateway router and all of our laptops turned off, so nobody is hijacking our high speed connection either.

    With the failed RIAA intimidation and civil action campaign we saw seniors with Macintosh comptuers sued, supposedly downloading with Kazaa.

    Kazaa only ran on Windows computers, not on apple computers.

    Every defendant who seriously contested Prenda Law Copyright Troll demands in court won.

  5. “…we’re looking to address commercial-scale piracy by people who enable infringement in a way that hurts Canadian jobs, Canadian businesses, and the full scope of the creative process.” She could have just shortened it to ‘national security’. Or maybe that would have been reaching.

    • So you refute that mass piracy harms Canadian creators? You seem to enjoy making fun of the notion that it does. Tell you what, whatever good or service you offer to earn a living, tell me what it is so I can ask you to provide it to me and then not pay you for it. Ha ha, that is so funny.

      • yes, yes we do, who says we don’t pay, you? It’s not funny you are the real thieves george.

      • It’s “funny,” if, like Corey Lewandowski south of the border, I were to go “wah, wah, wah” when someone raised the issue of children separated from their parents, there would (justifiably) be outrage. If I were to make similar snickering comments (let’s just say they’re “wah, wah, wah” in each case) about racial discrimination or sexual harassment, the same would come to pass. Say that I don’t like people stealing my livelihood simply because technology has recently made it extremely easy to do so, one hears a loud chorus of “wah, wah, wah.” Why is that exactly? Why is this acceptable and supposedly funny?

        • Listen you are saying theft on a massive scale in canada and the data shows the opposite, so it’s not funny and you can go back to work now at bell or rogers or wherever, and again it’s bell and rogers who appear to be the real thieves.

  6. Listen you are saying theft on a massive scale in canada and the data shows the opposite, so it’s not funny and you can go back to work now at bell or rogers or wherever, and again it’s bell and rogers who appear to be the real thieves.

  7. The biggest “lie” the MPAA/MPAC is telling is that it is the voice of the global film and television industry. It is not. The best it can claim is that it is the voice of its 6 members – Disney, Sony, Fox, WB, Paramount and Universal. https://www.mpaa.org/who-we-are/

    The MPAA may try to put a nice face on how the industry treats individuals who download from pirate sites, but the actual actions against these individuals are decided by each media company whether they are a member of the MPAA or not. Some will go aggressively after individuals and some won’t.

    The government and regulators must recognize this and put measures in place to curb the bad practices of some media companies while allowing all media companies to enforce their rights.

  8. Pingback: Movie Industry Denies the Existence of File-Sharing Lawsuits In Canada

  9. I’m pretty sure “george” is a bell or rogers mouth piece so you are probably wasting your breath on him or her.

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  12. I was served these papers and they asked me for a high priced settlement. There were over 300 other people on the lawsuit. They are clearly and shamelessly using this to take our money. Another case of rich old people using the legal system they built to take money from poor young people 😪. If there is anyone who can help me fight off these bullies, please get in contact with me.

    Thank you,
    Ethan

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