On January 2, 2015, the Notice and Notice provisions of the Copyright Modernization Act came into force. The Notice and Notice regime formalizes a voluntary practice aimed at discouraging online copyright infringement. The Notice and Notice regime is one of several new measures introduced through the Copyright Modernization Act that strengthen the ability of copyright owners to control the use of their online works.
Quick Facts for Consumers
If you receive a notice of alleged infringement, it is because a copyright owner has identified your Internet Address or Hosting Account as being involved in an activity that allegedly infringes their copyright. Receiving a notice does not necessarily mean that you have in fact infringed copyright or that you will be sued for copyright infringement. The Notice and Notice regime does not impose any obligations on a subscriber who receives a notice and it does not require the subscriber to contact the copyright owner or the intermediary. The information provided by the copyright owner should help you understand the details of the alleged infringement. An objective of the Notice and Notice regime is to discourage online infringement on the part of subscribers and to raise awareness in instances where subscribers’ accounts are being used for such purposes by others.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Notice and Notice?
Notice and Notice is a tool established in the Copyright Act to help copyright owners address online copyright infringement (e.g. illegal downloading or uploading) so that they can protect their copyright material while respecting the interests and freedom of users. It formalized a voluntary industry-based practice that has been in place for several years.
How does Notice and Notice work?
When a copyright owner thinks that a user might be infringing their copyright, they can send a notice of alleged infringement to the user’s Internet service provider (ISP), such as Canaca. Notice and Notice requires that Canaca forward (e.g. via email) the notice of alleged infringement to the user and then inform the copyright owner once this has been done.
For example, a copyright owner observes an Internet user with a Canadian Internet protocol (IP) address downloading or uploading a movie from a pirate site. Not knowing who the person is, the copyright owner can send a notice of alleged infringement to the ISP that owns the relevant IP address. The ISP must then forward the notice to its subscriber who was using that IP address at the time of the alleged infringement.
What are the obligations for Canaca?
Upon receipt of an alleged copyright infringement notice, Canaca must electronically forward an unaltered copy of the notice to the identified end user. The law states that Canaca must also preserve records associated to the identification of the end user for a minimum of 6 months. Records may be preserved for a maximum of 12 months in the event the copyright owner pursues a suit against the end user.
Does Canaca have any part in the discovery of alleged copyright infringement?
No, Canaca does not monitor customer activities for possible copyright infringement. Canaca will not investigate the copyright owner’s claim(s), nor will assess the merits of the claim. Canaca simply play the role of messenger; Canaca receives the copyright holder’s notice and forwards a copy to the customer.
Through this regime, do copyright owners have access to end user’s personal information?
No, copyright owners do not have access to end user information through the notice-and-notice regime. Canaca does not share end user information with the copyright owner unless ordered to do so by a court with the appropriate jurisdictional authority. The only information Canaca provides to the copyright owner is whether or not the notice was successfully forwarded to the end user.
What does it mean for an end user if they receive a notice?
The notice itself simply means that a copyright owner has identified their assigned IP address as being involved in an activity that allegedly infringes their copyright. The goal of the Notice and Notice regime is to discourage online infringement. Receiving a notice does not necessarily mean that you have in fact infringed copyright or that you will be sued for copyright infringement. If you receive a notice, it must contain information that will help you understand the details of the allegation, including the date and time of the alleged conduct. For instance, you may receive a notice in which a copyright owner alleges that you or someone using your Internet address has engaged in illegal downloading or illegally sharing a song or movie. It is possible that the notice pertains to acts that were undertaken by someone using your account without your knowledge. You may want to ensure that your account is secured by a strong password to prevent others from using your acount to engage in infringement.
Does the end user have to respond to the notice?
The Notice and Notice regime does not impose any obligations on a subscriber who receives a notice, and it does not require the subscriber to contact the copyright owner or the intermediary.
What should the end user do if they believe someone has used their Internet connection without their authorization?
According to the published Canaca Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), the account holder is responsible for all activities originating from the service. To avoid unauthorized use of the account, it is important that secure passwords be enabled and to change the password(s) on a regular basis.