Ready for a digital slap on the wrist? Due to a change in Canadian copyright law and an anti-downloading lobby group, if you're one of those "pirates" it just might happen.
The Globe and Mail is reporting that anti-piracy firm Canipre is pushing ISPs to send out notices to customers pirating movies and music. But it's more of an "FYI" than legal threat.
According to Canipre's website, they're targeting IP addresses visiting "content rich" websites.
Canipre is using the Copyright Modernization Act as its claim that ISPs are legally required to notify their customers of copyright infringements.
The firm won't say who's making the claim (who's paying them), but if you're at all aware of the state of media concentration, you know who the possible companies are.
For film it's Sony, Universal, Warner, Fox or Viacom. For music it's Sony, Universal or Warner.
I think the state of media concentration can be slightly credited to how devalued movie and music sales have become, but that has as much to do with how these companies reacted to new technology as the people downloading. Entertainment companies have been trying to stop people from downloading for over a decade, and except for a few people made examples of in the United States — where the laws are different — it's been a colossal failure.
In Canada, if you're not uploading stolen content for others to download, then there's no precedent of you facing any legal trouble.
These notices are apparently for educational purposes, like that old "you wouldn't steal a car" TV spot. Plant just a bit of fear, with a fairly toothless action. But even if the threat is pretty vague, according to Rogers it's proven to be effective.
ISPs have been sending out these notices to their customers for years. The company told Canada.com that 67% of users stop downloading when they get one, and 89% stop after a second notice. So there might be something to the scare tactics.
2015 might be starting with no more Pirate Bay, but getting free music and movies is just getting easier. BitTorrent now has legitimate music catalogues available through its client. Popcorn Time, "made with ❤ by a bunch of geeks from All Around The World", organizes quality torrents into a Netflix-like interface. Plus, they have HBO.
It'll be interesting to see how wide Canipre casts their net. But they're delusional if they think it'll put an end to piracy.