CIMA and ADISQ, which represents the Quebec music industry, appeared before the C-11 committee last week and the demands only seemed to increase. For example, ADISQ is asking the government to add a requirement for Internet providers to disclose customer name and address information to copyright owners without court oversight. Conservative MP Paul Calandra rightly noted the obvious parallels to Bill C-30, where the government wants similar disclosures to law enforcement. In this case, however, ADISQ wants the information disclosed to a private party based on nothing more than an allegation of infringement. Calandra’s comments suggest that the government recognizes the dangers of such an approach.
The proposed lack of due process is not limited to the disclosure of subscriber information. During its appearance, CIMA said it wanted a takedown system without any due process.
Don’t get us wrong there. We believe that there should be some due process. What we don’t believe is that it’s practical to expect.
In other words, CIMA believes in due process, but doesn’t think Canadians should expect any.
As for where proposed mandatory disclosure of subscriber information in copyright claims and content takedowns might lead, the industry also wants unlimited damage awards for individuals. When asked for a figure, CIMA responded:
Quite frankly, we’d rather see no limit on statutory damages, but in the spirit of the act, I don’t think, as an association, we’ve talked about a specific ceiling. We were hoping to engage in more discussions on that with folks on your side of the table to talk about what is an appropriate level, if it is deemed that there should in fact be a level.
The comments bring to mind assurances from movie industry representatives last year that there no plans to file lawsuits against individuals, only to launch dozens of lawsuits against individuals over the alleged downloading of the Hurt Locker movie a few months later. The Bill C-11 hearings continue this afternoon.