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It's all communications. It's certainly possible to commit illegal activities over the phone, but it takes a court order for the phone company to legally monitor your phone. As I mentioned and gave examples of, downloading copyright material in and of itself is not illegal, as the owners have often given permission to do precisely that. The problem is with people downloading stuff that does not have permission to be shared in that manner. How does Shaw or other determine if the copyright material does or does not come with appropriate permissions. I could, for example, download some Linux distros and place them on my own web site, where anyone can legally download them. Is Shaw supposed to stop that too? What if encryption is used? How will they determine what's being downloaded? Turning ISPs into police is most definitely the wrong way to go. To follow your argument, perhaps Canada Post should get into the habit of opening mail to see if any illegal material is being mailed.
 

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Is Shaw proactively notifying people without any prompting, or is Shaw notifying people that the copyright holder notifies them about?

Also, literally almost everything is copyright these days, except for a few books written before 1923. Regardless of whether it has a (C) symbol, is registered with any government office, or says Copyright anywhere on it, every creative work is automatically copywritten by the creator. You take a photo with your digital camera, you make a scribble in Paint, you take public-domain sheet music and change a few notes, you have a copyright.

Downloading copyright material does not automatically imply infringement, and there are services, including Bittorrent-based services, that offer legal downloads of copyrighted works and media. Unless Shaw actually has reason to believe that you're performing illegal downloading (such as a complaint from the copyright holder), I don't think they should be notifying users with emails saying "Hi, we think you might have downloaded this movie illegally"
 

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If you go back to the original post, it was a news report that Shaw was sending notices to customers identified through a complaint filed by Warner Bros. It is well known that content holders record IP addresses of those people sharing their content over P2P networks.

There's no suggestion anywhere that any Canadian ISP is monitoring individual usage patterns and sending notices because it seems suspicious. What Shaw is doing is what Telus and several others do. Notifying customers that they have received a complaint about that individual's sharing of content over P2P. Feel free to debate whether Shaw or the other ISPs are doing the right thing by passing on those warnings, but let's try and keep it on topic.
 

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Well, if Shaw is getting notices from WB alleging copyright infringement by specific users, that's completely different from Shaw monitoring your downloads and telling you "we think you violated copyright" .

If Shaw receives a notice from a copyright holder alleging infringement, then they should by all means notify the user responsible. If the user is unaware of the infringement, it allows them to take corrective action and minimize their potential liability.
 

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Well, if Shaw is getting notices from WB alleging copyright infringement by specific users, that's completely different from Shaw monitoring your downloads and telling you "we think you violated copyright"
There is a real *BIG* problem with this. A few years ago, The SCO Group* started claiming they "owned" Unix and Linux was violating their "IP" (they changed their claims and stories with time). They were sending out threatening letters to various companies. As it turned out in court, they did not have the rights they claimed to Unix and Linux and that company is now in the dustbin of history. Now supposing they had sent a letter to Shaw telling them that people downloading Linux were violating their copyright etc.

By allowing companies or individuals to unilaterally make such a claim, without supporting evidence, you give them the ability to stop legal activities. That's why court orders are required to tap phones or open mail. Why should the internet be any different?

*BTW, there's a fair bit of evidence that Microsoft was using SCO as a proxy to attack Linux. Similar is happening with Android.
 

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I don't think that in this case there is any concern about who owns the copyright, so again you're comparing apples and oranges.

If you can show me an individual who has been wrongly accused of downloading legal product, then you may have a case, but that is simply not what's happening here. Also, this is a warning, not a legal action (yet)
 

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^^^^
Linux is often downloaded for free. SCO wrote those letters to companies that used Linux accusing them of stealing SCO's IP. There are also those who consider all torrents to be used for violating copywrite, even though they are often used to distribute Linux, OpenOffice and other open source software. The problem with this sort of thing is that someone makes a claim and Shaw sends out the letter etc. There is no process to verify that the infringement claims are correct. In some countries, they now have a "3 strikes" law, where you simply have to be accused, without proof, of infringement and lose internet access. Again, to make the ISPs "police" is the far greater problem, as there is no due process for the accused.

As for examples, here's one where someone hadn't downloaded and was accused.

Download lawsuit dismissed / RIAA drops claim that grandmother stole online music

Now suppose that Shaw had received a letter accusing her...

There have been several similar cases where the RIAA went after completely innocent people.


Again, why is the Internet different from phone or mail? All can be used to distribute illegally copied material. Why is it Internet users are not afforded the protections that phone and mail users are entitled to?
 

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Again, why is the Internet different from phone or mail? All can be used to distribute illegally copied material. Why is it Internet users are not afforded the protections that phone and mail users are entitled to?
I agree with this concept, however I think that the issue here is a little different than tapping someone's phone or opening their envelopes.

As far as I know, Shaw isn't revealing personal information about what a subscriber downloaded/uploaded.

If the production studios are using P2P to track the source of illegally distributed copyrighted material, then they automatically know the IP address of the source. They in turn notify the ISP that xxx IP address is distributing copyrighted material and request that the ISP notify the customer.

The studios aren't wire-tapping the connection or inspecting the data packets between the source and destination.


However, under a Harper Majority I wouldn't be surprised if ISPs will be required to track the downloads of individual users.
 

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^^^^
How do the studios find out who downloaded if they don't have the assistance of the ISP?
 

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Now suppose that Shaw had received a letter accusing her...
Ok, let's suppose. Shaw is just passing the notification along. She gets a letter from Shaw. She can ignore it. Or if innocent she can try and find what's going on and get it fixed. Either way, who cares? You're trying to compare lawsuits in the US where the companies have obtained the final customer's information and gone after them aggressively with Shaw passing along a notification without ever telling Warner how was using that IP. Apples to oranges, you can't compare them. Please read the thread in it's entirety, it's already been said that numerous Canadian ISPs have already been doing this for some time; and those have also had no consequences for the end users. Your example is a different situation in a different country with different laws and a different mindset when it comes to lawsuits.
 

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If you can show me an individual who has been wrongly accused of downloading legal product(yet)
Why go to that extent before admitting of a problem? Cases of people wrongfully accused of downloading anything (legal or illegal) is easy to google.
 

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From my understanding (and I may very well be incorrect) is that Shaw is notified by the content's owner (WB in this case) that IP such and such on the Shaw network is sharing/downloading copywrited material. Rather than simply just hand over the customer's information a letter is passed along to give the customer a heads up that their activities have been noticed byt the content's owner. Many customers are simply not aware that uploading copy protected material could get them in trouble.

Shaw is trying to protect their customers here and appease the bigger content providers at the same time is the feeling I get from this.
 

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How do the studios find out who downloaded if they don't have the assistance of the ISP?
Who downloaded? They can't. They can find out the IP address very easily though.

My question is this: Is Shaw tracking IP addresses over time? If I shut off my modem for long enough, chances are good that I will be assigned a new IP when I turn it back on, and someone else in the Shaw network might very well be assigned the IP I had previously. So if a rights holder notifies Shaw that a particular IP address was uploading/downloading copyrighted material on a particular date, can Shaw reliably pass on the notification to the customer who had that IP address at that time?

I assume the answer is yes, as this historical info could be useful to Shaw for a variety of reasons, but I thought I'd throw that out there.

As we've seen recently in the US, IP addresses cannot be reliably tied to individuals. I think passing on a notification is an acceptable course of action for Shaw, rather than supplying customer information to WB (or anyone else). It's a very common-sense (Canadian) way to deal with the situation, rather than the finger-pointing the RIAA and US Court system wants from ISPs.
 

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I'm assuming yes, because not only does Shaw assign you an IP address, but they also seem to assign you a hostname containing the unique MAC ID of your router.

For example, I have a Linksys router with a MAC ID of 002369xxyyzz , and I have an IP address of 24.77.aaa.bbb . If I do a reverse DNS lookup of my IP, I get a hostname S0106002369xxyyzz.wp.shawcable.net , and if I do a forward lookup of that hostname, I get my IP address. This seems to have privacy implications, since anyone who knows my IP address, can determine the MAC ID of my router, and also track my IP even if it changes.

Using both the IP and MAC ID, IP addresses can reliably be tied to individuals. A third party can obtain your IP address from 6-month-old logs, and do a DNS lookup to see if the person's IP has changed. And that's just at the public level. At the ISP level, the IPs and MACs are tied to the modems and accounts, they could easily query their DHCP server logs from 6 months back, and check whether you've changed modems, routers, hostnames, or service levels.
 

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The g8 and France is really pushing hard to stop piracy. Now that Harper has a majority it would be very easy for him to push a bill into law making are laws more in line with theirs. Under current law there is nothing to worry about but if the laws changes it is a whole new ball game!.

The states ruling that an ip is not a person is a USA law and is irrelevant to our law, unless a high up judge ruled the same for Canada.
 

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from what people say, the actual downloading of stuff through torrents is legal, but as soon as it starts to upload, it becomes illiegal because you are sharing copyrighted material. What about downloading from sites like Megaupload or Rapidshare, since you arent uploading anything, isnt it legal under Canadian law?

Can WB or another company track your IP through Megaupload? I dont see how it would track your IP though?

Oh and thanks to Shaw Guru for clearing up the issue that they are only passing on a complaint from a Copyright holder, and arent actually accusing you, and will not give out your info unless forced to do so from court order.

I completely agree, that since we pay the ISP, we should be able to download whatever we want. But I understand though that Shaw isnt necessarily accusing us of anything, nor are they barring us from doing so, they are just passing on a complaint, which is completely fine. I can see why they would be facing pressure from WB to do this. WB could easily take away Shaw's rights to broadcast their movies on VOD.

Also, has anybody on this thread actually recieved a letter? Does it state what your distributing.
 

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Downloading from a file repository website like Rapidfire would currently be legal in Canada for certain content. We are mostly talking about media files here and specifically in relation to the Copyright Levy. This passage is from the Copyright Board of Canada:

Certain issues concerning Part VIII have come to light since the enactment of the regime. The Board was asked expressly to comment upon several nuances relating to the legal framework, and in particular upon its relevance to peer-to-peer networks, the application of fair dealing exemptions and other matters.

The exemption in section 80 applies only when a copy is made for the private use of the person making it. This expressly excludes selling, renting out, exposing for trade or rental, distributing, communicating to the public by telecommunication, or performing in public the copy made. This means that making a copy of a CD of the latest release by the hottest star to give to one's friend is still an infringing action, as it is not a copy for personal use. In the same vein, distributing this same copy to friends online is prohibited.

In these proceedings, the liability of persons uploading, distributing or communicating music through these services is not at issue. Nor is the liability of those providing software, operating networks or Internet connections. Peer-to-peer distribution on the Internet is not addressed as such in the regime. In this respect, other copyright considerations certainly apply. However, we are only dealing here with the end copies.

The regime does not address the source of the material copied. There is no requirement in Part VIII that the source copy be a non-infringing copy. Hence, it is not relevant whether the source of the track is a pre-owned recording, a borrowed CD, or a track downloaded from the Internet.

Although the source of the copy does not matter, the destination does. The Board believes that section 80 creates an exemption that applies as long as two conditions are met: the copy must be for the private use of the person making it, and it must be made onto an audio recording medium, as defined in section 79.
In other words, downloading audio tracks from Rapidfire would be deemed legal in Canada. Downloaing cracked software would not. As Rapidfire likely logs your IP, it is not inconceivable that a copyright holder could obtain a warrant requiring Rapidfire to identify the IP addresses of those who have downloaded certain files. That copyright holder could then go and get a court order requiring Shaw (or any ISP) to identify you.

I also cited that passage because it explicitly articulates the liability attached to file sharing via P2P.
 
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