CRIA & CMPDA Lobbyist Calls for Three Strikes System for Canada

Barry Sookman, a leading lawyer and registered lobbyist for both CRIA and CMPDA, has an op-ed in the National Post on copyright reform.  Jointly authored with Stephen Stohn, the piece says Canada is regarded as a "piracy heaven" and calls for the adoption of "graduated response" – the three strikes and you're out system that has been subject to court challenges and controversy in countries that have attempted to implement it.


  1. That article was pure fud.

    “There should be no doubt that such sites are illegal here as they are in every other country where they have been sued or criminally prosecuted, such as, most recently, Pirate Bay in Sweden.”

    He is straight up wrong here. First, I don’t believe Pirate Bay was sued. 4 people from the Pirate Bay were.

    But the main thing he had wrong was on the fact of stating “every other country where they have been sued”. I’m guessing they have never read anything going on in Spain. Where the courts have stated that BitTorrent sites in that country are not illegal as long as they were not directly making money from distribution.

  2. The NP didn’t
    mention the fact that Sookman is a registered lobbyist for the CRIA and CMPDA (or rather I didn’t see an acknowledgement of this). Another thing with the article… “Canada is viewed as a pirate heaven, both by the pirate sites that have moved to Canada because of lax laws and by Canada’s trading partners, who have singled us out for our weak laws” makes it sound like many if not all of our trading partners, as opposed to a single, albeit the largest, trading partner. At the very least this article appears to intentionally misrepresent the situation for the gain of the CRIA and CMPDA.

    The problem with typical three strikes laws is that it is in fact three accusations. While I don’t agree with the idea of a three strikes law, at the very least the three strikes should be three convictions… and to discourage over-zealous use of the law, the accuser also should be forced to pay a fine of say $100K for each claim where they had no legal standing (50% of which is payable to the accused), and on the third such fine it boosts to $750K per infringement. For instance, the CRIA accuses an individual of illegally sharing a song where the CRIA doesn’t represent the artist, writer or publisher (i.e. an independent artist who publishes their own stuff on the Internet). On the first such accusation the CRIA would be fined $100K, however if they claimed three songs the total fine would be $950K. Every time thereafter that they falsely accused someone they would be fined $750K per song. This should also apply to take down notices.

  3. Pure Garbage
    Barry Sookman is one of the most aggressive advocates of disastrous US-style copyright reforms in Canada. His extreme views should alarm all Canadian consumers. This op-ed made my blood boil.

    “Canada is viewed as a pirate heaven, both by the pirate sites that have moved to Canada because of lax laws and by Canada’s trading partners, who have singled us out for our weak laws.”

    If you consider copying a song or movie for personal use to be piracy then, yes, Canada is a pirate heaven, as is every other country with widespread Internet access. A decade of the DMCA certainly hasn’t stopped file sharing in the US. It sure has kept a lot of lawyers busy, though, and ruined the lives of a few very unlucky citizens.

    “When a person distributes tools that facilitate picking digital locks that prevent unauthorized copying of works, individuals can easily remove the digital locks and distribute unprotected copies around the world. This trafficking in “digital breaking and entering tools” also harms everyone.”

    Really? Everyone? It doesn’t harm the blind person who can access books produced by an e-book publisher that chooses to ignore his disability. It doesn’t harm the Linux user who can watch movies on a platform that studios consider too niche to worry about. It doesn’t harm the electronics manufacturer trying to provide interoperability with his competitor’s proprietary formats. Oh, and wait, it doesn’t harm the consumer either, since we all benefit from that kind of competition.

  4. Presumption of Guilt
    Am I wrong, or do most jurisdictions use a presumption of guilt approach when it comes to 3 strikes. IOW, people have to prove their innocence to avoid receiving a “strike”. That just seems to violate fundamental Canadian principles.

  5. Presumption of Guilt
    The presumption of guilt in 3-strikes has to be struck down. Guilt must be determined by a court and not by ISPs. At the very least, false-accusers should be held responsible for liable and damages as well.

  6. Well, I can see the arrogance coming from these rotten bastards with their falsify information. Don’t they ever research the numbers aggressively before they open their damn mouths?

    Seriously, I’m getting very fed up with them, they should just leave this country and complain somewhere else. We don’t need that kind of defamation garbage here.

  7. The Government at some point needs to look at solutions close at home. I don’t think they have much choice. The consultation process has basically cornered our Government to come up with solutions that are in line with the expectations of the Canadian public and industry, most of which are against this type of approach. Simply put, the “graduated response” will just serve to piss the Canadian public off more, and those in opposition can basically draw up copyright reform of their own based on what has come out of the consultation thus far, and what Canadians will vote for in the end.

    Clement, Moore, and Harper better be very careful on how they approach reform. The market and consumers have spoken. It’s up to the Canadian people, not Ministers Clement and Moore at this point what reforms are put into place, and the Canadian public will not tolerate the “graduated response”, we want to make money off of P2P, not piss off consumers!!! They better take head and respond appropriately if the Conservatives want any more then 2 seats in the next election. If the Conservatives decide to not follow the Canadian public, chances are the opposition will.

  8. factnotfallacy says:

    plausible deniability
    Plausible deniability would make this regime hes proposing impossible. Open router? Denial. Tor node? Denial. hacked? denial. That was the worst propaganda piece ive read in a long time. Either hes being willfully ignorant of reality, or its just pure propaganda. Small business’s would be attacked under said regime, if an employee were to be flagged for infringement. Thus employers would then have to pay for nanny software to self administer their network just to protect them from extortion lawsuits. If its a larger business they may have to go the extra step in hiring a full time admin rather than a separate contracted company or individual. I would think it would be extremely rare if a small/medium sized business’, agreed to police their networks/internet connection in the name of CRIA + CMPDA.