Canada to Notify and Track Online Pirates to Protect Copyright Holders

Despite pressure from Hollywood, the move stops short of the DMCA's notice-and-takedown regime south of the border.

TORONTO – Canada has moved to battle Internet piracy by compelling Internet service providers (ISPs) to notify and track serial infringers.

But Ottawa has not gone as far as Hollywood would like.

The federal government on Tuesday said it will introduce a long-awaited notice-and-notice system to use ISPs to target serial copyright infringers.

That move still stops short of the notice-and-takedown regime used south of the border as part of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The first-time notice-and-notice system compels ISPs to tell subscribers suspected of piracy that they are breaking the law.

U.S. copyright law calls on ISPs that receive a notice of copyright piracy to remove the infringing content from the Internet.

Federal industry minister James Moore and minister of Canadian heritage Shelly Glover, who unveiled plans to shortly introduce the notice-and-notice regime for copyright protection, insisted it was a "made-in-Canada" solution that balanced the interests of copyright holders and consumers.

Ottawa has already taken two years, from the passage of its Copyright Modernization Act into law in 2012, to introduce the notice-and-notice regime.

That hesitancy came as Ottawa, besides fending off pressure from the U.S. government and Hollywood to do so, also faced a Canadian legal tradition that traditionally stopped short of pursuing consumers that use circumvention devices to access or copy content.

At the same time, Ottawa has elsewhere adopted U.S.-style protections against piracy by barring Canadians from picking a digital lock on music, film or any entertainment product protected from duplication.