Do I have to pay when I receive a “Claimed copy infringement” notice?

Since 2015, the Canadian government has allowed companies owning copyrights to send e-mails or warning letters to people suspected of pirating their content such as movies, TV shows, music and video games.

New amendment to the “Copyright Act”

At the beginning of the year, the Canadian government has decided to clarify the copyright law. From now on, content creators cannot request personal information or require payment in their notices. This addition to the law further protects the identity of consumers and prevents them from being extracting money.

This system known as “notice-to-notice” requires Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as B2B2C, to transmit the illegal download notification to their customer. In total, Canadian providers often process more than one million notices per month. Except from the obligation to retain the download notice for six months in case the holder decides to take legal action against the targeted person, the provider does not undertake any additional measures.

Money claim

Even though this law was implemented with the intent of only discouraging people from pirating content, many copyright holders claimed money and threaten to sue citizens in court if they’re not paid immediately. The fees they ask can be as much as hundreds of dollars.

Many consumers pay for nothing

Despite the amendment to this law, many citizens continue to receive notices requesting immediate payment. Most consumers ignore this payment request. On the other hand, some still decide to pay because they fear of facing prosecution and paying a larger fine.

If you receive an illegal download notice, you are not required to reply to this letter or email. You also are under no obligation to send money or provide them with your personal information. The purpose of these notices is to simply discourage consumers from continuing their actions so as to protect their copyrights.

Good to know

What is the role of your ISP?

Copyright owners do not know the real identity of the person to whom they want to communicate the notice, only the IP address related to the apparently illegal download . Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is required by law to transmit on the date provided by the copyright holder any notice that is associated with the specific IP address of the account. This being said, Canadian ISPs are not required to disclose the identity of their customers to the licensee and are not responsible for verifying the content of these notices.

Can errors occur?

Some experts point out that this method may involve some risks or errors. Indeed, it is possible that ISPs may not be able to contact the person targeted by the applicant. IP addresses can change several times during a given period. In reality, these IP addresses are associated with a client modem and not a specific user.