Voltage v Does: Copyright Trolls of the World Unite…

Looks like Voltage may obtain subscriber info in Canada from Teksavvy, but not without court oversight and privacy protections for people accused of infringement. Still, this was just a motion. The demand letters may roll out soon, but this litigation might prove to be unprofitable, given the tone and language of the judgement.

This could play out in many different ways. I’ve long suspected that this case is merely a demo tape for a sweep of a much larger number of suspected infringing IP addresses assigned to the major ISPs. Time will tell if Canada proves at all to be a jurisdiction within which copyright trolling is a profitable enterprise, but at this point the court looks like it wants to prevent that.

We shouldn’t rule out entirely, though, that copyright trolling might ensue here. Given the well-publicized precedent of secret surveillance by the Canadian government, along with the growing awareness that our data is not our own but potentially everyone’s now, I am hopeful that the time is right for people to mobilize on all of these related problems of digital life: protecting our privacy in ways that reinvigorate digital media with our values and interests (and not just the values of an increasingly out-of-touch, increasingly surveillant near-authoritarian state, or the values of copyright trolls), protecting our access to culture and participation in its reproduction, and protecting our freedom to connect without corporate and government meddling.

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