The laws and actual repercussions surrounding illegally downloading movies have always been blurry, yet movie companies have always been silently watching those who choose to do so. Though after Friday's court ruling, it seems that another pair of eyes have a big incentive to sell you out to movie companies for illegally downloading their works. But it's not another company in the movie business- it's actually your internet provider.
Yesterday after a 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that internet providers would be able to seek compensation to cover the costs of assisting movie companies in finding the people illegally downloading and distributing their movies. One internet provider though in specific was the one who started the ball rolling- and that was Rogers.
It all started when a movie company called Voltage Pictures reached out to Rogers in hopes they would share their client information specifically regarding users who were violating the Copyright Act when it came to movies they had produced. Rogers said they would, but it would come at a price: $100/hour of work plus HST.
The demand on Rogers' end prompted a legal battle that has been going on for years, where both movie companies and Rogers have been fighting over whether Rogers is able to actually charge the companies for that information on their customers. Now that Rogers has officially won in court, they will be able to charge said companies their fee. So they have more incentive than ever to out their own customers who had broken the Copyright Law.
As of right now, Rogers uses an automated system to send 200,000 customers thought to be allegedly using or distributing copyrighted content a warning notice. While that comes free of charge, it's when movie companies come to the internet provider with the personal information of a certain customer in hopes of reprimanding them that Rogers will enact the fee. As it costs them time and money to find the specific customer.
While this doesn't necessarily mean Rogers is going to be handing movie companies extensive lists of customers they suspect are watching movies illegally on a silver platter, it does mean you should probably think twice before doing so. Now Rogers isn't faced with having to waste time and money on helping movie companies as they'll be compensated. Which means they've got no reason not to give up your information the next time a movie company asks for it.
Source: CTV News