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Distributel Fights Back Against Motion to Disclose Subscriber Information in File Sharing Case

Distributel, an independent ISP with services in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and B.C., has fought back in a file sharing lawsuit launched by NGN Prima Productions, opposing a motion to disclose the names of subscribers alleged to have engaged in file sharing. It appears that NGN is using Canipre to identify alleged file sharers, the same company that has supplied information to Voltage Pictures in its case involving thousands of subscribers at TekSavvy. Distributel did not oppose a similar request in November 2012, but says in court documents filed today that several factors led to a change in position when NGN filed another request for more names.

First, Distributel was concerned with how NGN treated its subscribers, demanding a $1500 settlement in a notice claiming that subscribers could face up to $20,000 in damages. Distributel noted the lack of evidence for the claim made by NGN, relying on an expert analysis of BitTorrent to highlight the shortcomings. Moreover, Distributel says NGN is engaged in copyright trolling, citing the misrepresentation in the potential liability (the law now features a cap of $5,000 for non-commercial statutory damages) and the settlement demands that far exceed actual damages.


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Canadian Chamber of Commerce Attacks Anti-Spam Law: Challenges the Law's Opt-In Requirement

For the past two days I've called attention to the shocking demands by business groups, including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Marketing Association, and the Entertainment Software Association of Canada, to legalize spyware by permitting the secret installation of computer programs to monitor activities of Canadians suspected a potential contravention of the law (including laws such as copyright or any foreign law) or unauthorized use of a computer system (including wireless networks).

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce added its own submission to the government's consultation on the anti-spam regulations. The Chamber's key concern is the very foundation of the law: opt-in consent that requires businesses to obtain consent before sending commercial electronic messages (subject to a wide range of exceptions). The Chamber says:


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