Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hurt Locker Canadian Litigation Update - Decision Ordering Disclosure Available in English


On September 9, 2011 I did a blog entitled "Hurt Locker Lawsuits About to Detonate in Canada?". 

The Federal Court decision required disclosure by three ISPs - Bell, Cogeco, and Videotron  of the identities of  certain of the customers who were alleged to have infringed copyright in Hurt Locker and who were identifiable only on the basis of their IP addresses. These ISPs - unlike Shaw and Telus in the BMG case -  apparently took no steps to safeguard the privacy rights of their customers by testing through cross-examination the adequacy and reliability of the evidence filed and by appearing in Court to make submissions. So, the matter was unopposed. The decision is now available in its official English translation here.

Here are copies of the Affidavit  and the Motion Record filed with the court. 

CNN Money reported in June, 2011  that Voltage Pictures has sued about 25,000  people over Hurt Locker  in the USA. The word "troll" is often used in discussions of this type of mass litigation. For example, see the CNN article just mentioned, As to the Canadian case, see the comments oDavid Fewer of CIPPIC. 

It will be interesting to see if this is the first step towards U.S. style mass litigation in Canada since the contested and subsequently abandoned attempt by the record industry in 2004 -2005, in which the Federal Court of Appeal affirmed the need for adequate, reliable, non-hearsay evidence.