Quick Facts

  • On January 2,  2015,  the Notice and Notice provisions of the Copyright Modernization Act came into force.
  • The Notice and Notice regime formalizes a voluntary practice aimed at discouraging online copyright infringement.
  • The Notice and Notice regime is one of several new measures introduced through the Copyright Modernization Act that strengthen the ability of copyright owners to control the use of their online works.

Quick Facts for Consumers

  • If you receive a notice of alleged infringement, it is because a copyright owner has identified your Internet address as being involved in an activity that allegedly infringes their copyright.
  • Receiving a notice does not necessarily mean that you have in fact infringed copyright or that you will be sued for copyright infringement.
  • The Notice and Notice regime does not impose any obligations on a subscriber who receives a notice and it does not require the subscriber to contact the copyright owner or the intermediary.
  • The information provided by the copyright owner should help you understand the details of the alleged infringement.
  • An objective of the Notice and Notice regime is to discourage online infringement on the part of Internet subscribers and to raise awareness in instances where Internet subscribers’ accounts are being used for such purposes by others.
  • U.S. copyright fines and penalties do not apply in Canada.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Notice and Notice?

Notice and Notice is a tool established in the Copyright Act to help copyright owners address online copyright infringement (e.g. illegal downloading) so that they can protect their copyright material while respecting the interests and freedom of users. It formalized a voluntary industry-based practice that has been in place for several years.

How does Notice and Notice work?

When a copyright owner thinks that an Internet user might be infringing their copyright, they can send a notice of alleged infringement to the user’s Internet service provider (ISP), such as Distributel. Notice and Notice requires that Distributel forward (e.g. via email) the notice of alleged infringement to the user and then inform the copyright owner once this has been done.

For example, a copyright owner observes an Internet user with a Canadian Internet protocol (IP) address downloading a movie from a pirate site. Not knowing who the person is, the copyright owner can send a notice of alleged infringement to the ISP that owns the relevant IP address. The ISP must then forward the notice to its subscriber who was using that IP address at the time of the alleged infringement.

What are the obligations for Distributel?

Upon receipt of an alleged copyright infringement notice, Distributel must electronically forward an unaltered copy of the notice to the identified end user. The law states that Distributel must also preserve records associated to the identification of the end user for a minimum of 6 months.   Records may be preserved for a maximum of 12 months in the event the copyright owner pursues a suit against the end user.

Does Distributel have any part in the discovery of alleged copyright infringement?

No, Distributel does not monitor customer Internet activities for possible copyright infringement. Distributel will not investigate the copyright owner’s claim(s), nor will assess the merits of the claim.  Distributel simply play the role of messenger;  Distributel receives the copyright holder’s notice and forwards a copy to the customer.

Through this regime, do copyright owners have access to end user’s personal information?

No, copyright owners do not have access to end user information through the notice-and-notice regime. Distributel does not share end user information with the copyright owner unless ordered to do so by a court with the appropriate jurisdictional authority. The only information Distributel provides to the copyright owner is whether or not the notice was successfully forwarded to the end user.

What does it mean for an end user if they receive a notice?

The notice itself simply means that a copyright owner has identified their assigned IP address as being involved in an activity that allegedly infringes their copyright. The goal of the Notice and Notice regime is to discourage online infringement. Receiving a notice does not necessarily mean that you have in fact infringed copyright or that you will be sued for copyright infringement.

If you receive a notice, it must contain information that will help you understand the details of the allegation, including the date and time of the alleged conduct. For instance, you may receive a notice in which a copyright owner alleges that you or someone using your Internet address has engaged in illegal downloading or illegally sharing a song or movie.

It is possible that the notice pertains to acts that were undertaken by someone using your Internet connection without your knowledge. You may want to ensure that your home network is secured by a strong password to prevent others from using your Internet connection to engage in infringement.

Does the end user have to respond to the notice?

The Notice and Notice regime does not impose any obligations on a subscriber who receives a notice, and it does not require the subscriber to contact the copyright owner or the intermediary.

What should the end user do if they believe someone has used their Internet connection without their authorization?

According to the published Distributel Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), the account holder is responsible for all activities originating from the Internet service. To avoid unauthorized use of the Internet connection, it is important that secure passwords be enabled on home Wi-Fi networks if applicable and to change the password(s) on a regular basis.

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