Canada has asked of ISPs and VPNs to hand over notices of infringement to pirates. In order to do so, anonymity must be breached and users’ logs should be kept to VPNs’ files for at least 6 months, causing great discomfort. This decision has already been put into effect and many think stricter reactions are about to follow.
Discussion as to anti-piracy legislation has been on for years in Canada and the outcome was none other than the Copyright Modernization Act (or else Bill C-11). This act that strives to deal with the ongoing problems related to the phenomenon of piracy asks of the ISPs to hand over notices of infringement to their customers, when this is the case.
Of course, along with the ISPs, crucial personal information might be requested on the same ground from VPNs. This is called “notice-and-notice” policy and affects Canadians from 2nd January, 2015, leaving no actual room for anonymity and binding ISPs and VPNs with legal requirements.
If the ISPs or VPNs do not follow the guidelines sent over to them, they will be obliged to pay a penalty that is in no way negligible; the monetary damage might be as high as $10,000 for those who do not follow what the legislation states. Although to this date the notices are expected to be nothing more than warnings of illegal behaviour, in the near future there is growing concern that they will include a fee to be paid. A company that deals with the phenomenon of piracy and seeks to confront with it effectively is CEG TEK, with their services being expanded in Canada soon.
In the case of VPNs, it needs to be highlighted that there is a great problem in the identification of their subscribers. In order for the notice to be handed out to the customers, all these customers need to be brought to light and not remain in the shadows of anonymity. The users’ logs that some VPNs do not even hold and some others just hold for statistics will now be compulsory for at least six months.
Viking VPN has been dealing with the case powerfully, according to a spokesman of the company: “We have strategically placed our server clusters on the northern half of the US (Seattle, Chicago, NYC) to provide good Canadian coverage. This is because the vast majority of Canada lives close to the US border anyway, and the performance hit for the distance is small.” At the same discussion, though, there are those who believe that VPNs will remain out of the picture in this Act and will not be affected in the long run.