The Legal Battle over QuebecTorrent

While Demonoid has attracted much of the attention, it is the legal battle over QuebecTorrent that is the real story.  QuebecTorrent is a BitTorrent tracker that facilitates links to content, both authorized and unauthorized. It does not host any of the content.

The site is facing a legal fight on two fronts.  First, CRIA and a group of entertainment producers have filed suit in Quebec courts trying to shut it down.  Unlike Demonoid, which took itself offline in the face of similar threats, QuebecTorrent is fighting back.  CRIA asked the court to issue a preliminary injunction ordering the site offline.  The suit also seeks $200,000 in damages.   Last week, a Quebec court rejected the demand, leaving the site online and foreshadowing a lengthy court battle. This morning LaPresse reports that the site is now facing criminal concerns as well as the RCMP has apparently launched its own investigation.

This case is one worth watching – while the knee jerk reaction of some will be to call for the site's immediate takedown, the legal principles that come from the case, including the liability for linking to unauthorized content and the responsibility of site owners for content posted by 3rd parties, could have significant implications for search engines, bloggers, and anyone else operating online.

Update:  This evening I received an email from ADISQ, clarifying that the lawsuit was initiated by ADISQ and APFTQ on behalf of their  members. CRIA and CIRPA were invited by those groups to join in the action. They are continuing to actively pursue the case.


  1. Once the CRIA takes over the Internet, and creates the distribution channel they envision, they will be implementing Quebectorrent as a convenience for their customers. If I contact the CRIA and let them know that the following URL (some URL) has copyrighted file, they can enforce the existing copyright laws. If Quebectorrent contacts the CRIA and lets them know that the following URL (some URL) has copyrighted file, they can enforce existing copyright laws. Instead, the CRIA goes for bringing down the site. Where does logic go with these jerks? Ooops! I forgot, they want to charge per view for all Internet content, whether they own it, or not. Please disregard the above. 🙂

  2. Gabriel Hurley says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the RCMP recently say they wouldn’t investigate filesharing any longer?

  3. My French isn’t as good as it used to be, but I think the La Presse article just says that the RCMP are attempting to determine the true identity of Doditz the site administrator for

    But you’re right Gabriel, the RCMP did say that filesharing wasn’t of great concern to them.
    The RCMP may just be doing some small investigation to clear up details rather than a full blown criminal investigation to lay charges.

  4. Precedent?
    Hi Michael,

    I assume that the court case will be held in Quebec. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that Quebec uses the Civil Law system. If the court case goes to the highest court in Quebec, will that create a precedent for the other provinces?

    Or is this case going to be held in a federal court?

  5. Wow – I hope they don’t win (CRIA) because then that would make Google equally as illegal, seeing as how they link to the exact same content. And I like using Google. 😉

  6. Reality check
    [Refresher coarse]
    Once you let someone know a secret it’s not a secret any more. It becomes general knowledge once a third person knows and FREE for everyone. Internet is an extreme example of this theory. Get used to it.

    Sports games: you can go to actual game and tape it too, watch it on TV and record it, no way to stop copying!
    Movies: you can go to theater and record it, copy VCR/DVD/HDTV and more, and you can’t stop it!
    Music: go to concert and record it, off TV, from CD/DVD/Tape etc., and can’t be stopped!
    Patents: go to patent office or online, get copy, build it, can’t top this either!

    Example: Just try to tell all students to stop copying from teacher’s backboard, HAHAHA.

    American DOD rejected Internet for it’s totally insecure structure. It was given away for the purpose of FREE sharing of information for all [all on this planet]. Distributed networking guarantees this freedom and CAN NOT be shut down no matter what.
    Result: file/information sharing will continue as long as Internet is up.

    These days almost all users have Server capable Operating Systems. This means they become a Server as soon as they log on. It also means they can share any and all information they want.
    [End of refresher coarse]

    We already pay a levy for downloading content so why are we penalized again?

    RIAA, CRIA and rest of Spoiled Little Brats trying to stop users from sharing can go “piss up a rope”. They are wasting Billions of our money to promote their drivel so they can sit on their Asses and get a free ride. Yet they have declared WAR on the general public. Are we going to put up with it?

    If you notice, the IP’s attacking any flow of FREE information are the governments, big business and their related SPAM factories.

    I propose a Tarpit/Honeypot be coded to trap all offending IP’s. You know, the ones that attack file sharing and any user communications. This would solve any infraction against any user.

    There’s no call what-so-ever to throttle any connection in Canada for bandwidth use. All ISP’s that throttle bellow what user pays for [example: 5 Mbps dwld and 3 Mbps upld] should be charged for Fraud or charged for ripping off customers by whatever they take away from customer. You might include your wasted time on phone, loss of work, business etc. on invoice.

    Also, as Michael pointed out, complain to CRTC and Competition Bureau and don’t stop till they change it back to acceptable levels. Contact all Premiers of all provinces with your complaints too. Many of us use P2P for beta testing software, files, sending / receiving security or home video and much more which is none of ISP’s or anyone else’s business.

    Senior Network and Systems Analyst

  7. Miguel Tremblay says:

    QuebecTorrent is helpful
    There is no other equivalent alternative than QuebecTorrent.

    I have a written a post, in french, explaining this here:
    [ link ]

  8. Greed
    Greed as usual, and the morons know most will buckle under the pressure of legal fees so they are all ganging up on the little guy. Even if they lose, they will keep appealing and so on i guess (not a lawyer for sure) and bring them back to more legal battles. Its sad for the little guys that we have allowed these SOBs to have so much power… am rooting for the little guy tho, even tho I am far away in Sweden.

    If interested in more filesharing stuff you might want to visit our Swedish blog at [ link ]

  9. Copyright Infringement
    I remember copyright infringement as being replicating or duplicating original work and reselling the work for profit. Photographers and artists have struggled with this for many years. But when it enters the world wide domain, it’s really tough to sue another person or company when they are in another legal jurisdications. Besides copying will never go away, they just find other ways to get their money…who da ya thinks sells us the media to copy onto?