SaskTel Sent 30,000 Copyright Infringement Notices to Internet Customers

As it turns out that a lot of SaskTel customers are allegedly involved in internet piracy, the company, since January 2019, has sent out around 30,000 Copyright Infringement notifications to customers, who are accused of engaging in downloading or uploading copyrighted materials.

A spokesperson for SaskTel said that the number of notices the Crown tends to issue has remained steady in recent years. The spokesperson explained that receiving one of such notices doesn’t mean that the user is being sued by Hollywood studio. However, it can lead to a suit if the user continues with the activity causing infringement.

Although SaskTel doesn’t monitor the customers’ online activities, it is obligated under the Copyright Act of Canada to issue notices related to infringement on receiving communications from copyright owners.

Halifax-based lawyer David Fraser, who specializes in internet privacy and technology law, warned SaskTel customers by saying that they shouldn’t take the notices lightly. Mr. Fraser, during a recent telephonic interview, said that he would neither ignore it and nor laugh it off; rather, he would take it seriously. The lawyer continued and provided an example saying that if he were to receive a notice in his house or to discover that one of his kids was doing something like a violation, he would have a conversation with the kid as he wouldn’t want the thing to go further.

According to Mr. Fraser, copyright owners can track SaskTel users with the help of companies that possess the technology to detect the IP addresses that access copyrighted materials, like movies through peer-to-peer file-sharing software. Nonetheless, the copyright holders don’t get aware of the users’ names, and SaskTel wouldn’t provide that information to anyone unless a court orders it to do so.

Fraser then said that Hollywood studios have sued around thousands of individuals in Canada for piracy. While representing Canadian residents against whom the lawsuits for copyright infringement have been filed by the studios, Mr. Fraser revealed that these lawsuits often fall within the range of $5,000.

Companies usually provide individuals with several notices before deciding to sue them for copyright infringement. If you receive one or two notices, then there’re possibilities that you could be sued in case you continue doing the same thing as you were doing it before. Moreover, once you get sued, you will be sued again and again. You cannot ignore it, as if you do so, then the studio gets a default judgment against you, said Fraser.

A default judgment takes place when a defendant fails to respond to summons or unable to appear in court. SaskTel said it received one court application asking for information about copyright infringement, but the data wasn’t available because the Crown stores the information only for six months. Pirating copyrighted material is in infringement of the Crown agency’s Internet use policy.

According to this policy, customers should not upload, transmit, publish, or reproduce literary work, software, or other material, which is protected by any Intellectual Property (IP) right without obtaining the prior written permission of the copyright holder.

SaskTel, at last, said getting a copyright infringement notice doesn’t affect the customers’ internet access, but the continuation in piracy-related activities can result in the suspension of service. For more visit:

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