Canadian copyright law now makes you think twice about downloading content from the internet.

As of January 2nd 2015, Internet service providers are required to inform their customers if someone flags the fact that copywrited content was downloaded illegally via their network. Federal law C-11 was adopted in 2012, but the implementation of this portion of the law came in to affect this year. Film producers and music rights owners lose millions of dollars in revue per year from the downloading of pirated content.

Author Micheal Geist provides an interesting summary of the working of the new copyright law:

  • You download copywrited content such as movies, music or software.
  • The owner of the content finds out that this was done.
  • He contacts your internet service provider or the owner of the platform that you used to download the content. (Like :Google, Dropbox or a VPN provider). The owner of the content will provide your internet supplier with the nature of the alleged allegations, your IP address, the name of the product you downloaded and the infraction notice that is to be transmitted to you.
  • Your internet service provider must send you the message and keep the information for 6 months. (12 months if you are charged with the infraction and the file goes to court)

On your end, you may be fined up to 5000.00$, even if you delete the content once you get the infraction notice. So think twice about saving a few dollars on renting a movie or less than 2.00$ for a song, it could cost you a lot more in the long run.