TekSavvy BitTorrent litigation

Earlier today, the Federal Court heard Voltage Pictures’ motion for third-party discovery of TekSavvy, an Ontario ISP, in the copyright infringement proceeding against unidentified BitTorrent users. The Court granted TekSavvy’s request to adjourn the motion to January 14, 2013 to allow time for more notices to be sent to affected users.

Voltage Pictures alleges that users associated with over 2000 IP addresses used BitTorrent to download and share various movies belonging to Voltage Pictures. Voltage Pictures is seeking subscriber information corresponding to these IP addresses to try to identify the BitTorrent users.

The proceeding, T-2058-12, is the second BitTorrent litigation initiated by Voltage Pictures in the Federal Court. In an earlier 2011 proceeding against subscribers of Bell Canada, Cogeco Cable Inc. and Videotron GP, Justice Shore granted Voltage Pictures’ unopposed motion for subscriber information from the ISPs (see 2011 FC 1024). The 2011 proceeding (T-1373-11) was ultimately discontinued but it is unclear how many subscribers settled with Voltage Pictures, if any.

In the TekSavvy proceeding, Teksavvy notified some of its subscribers and posted copies of the court materials, including the Statement of Claim and the Motion Record for discovery of the ISP. TekSavvy apparently told the court today that it required additional time to notify more of the affected subscribers. While it indicated that it did not intend to oppose the motion, TekSavvy invited notified subscribers to appear at the hearing.

The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) wrote a letter to the Court on Friday and indicated that it intended to intervene in the proceeding and also requested additional time to respond to the motion for third party discovery.

Thanks to Paul Anderson (@pandersen) for live tweeting the hearing this morning. There is significant commentary on the proceeding, including by the National Post which highlights the arguments made at today’s hearing.

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