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Comment Misleading title (Score 2) 87

It is not clear whether Canpire is "behind" the lawsuits at all and specifically, the VOLTAGE PICTURES LLC v. JOHN DOE AND JANE DOE case (Federal Court Number : T-2058-12

To be "behind" the lawsuit, Canpire must have some form of ownership over the works. The court materials show that Voltage claims ownership. So Voltage is and remains "behind" the lawsuit. Canpire are Voltage's "experts" on the issue of who is infringing. Barry Logan of Canpire has provided an affidavit in support of Voltage's motion for disclosure. The affidavit is inside the motion materials, available at So Canpire's role has not been a secret. As "experts," they might hope their side wins (although 'experts' in Canadian law should not be advocates) and they get paid handsomely, etc. but that in itself is not being "behind" a lawsuit.

What is secret at this point is whether there is some form of agreement between Voltage, Canpire, and Voltage's lawyers (Brauti Thorning Zibarras) with respect to the monies they presumably will get from the mass collection letters and whether the agreement violates the any laws on champerty or maintenance or perhaps, as in the UK case (ACS:Law), lawyers' codes of conduct.

In the Voltage case, CIPPC (Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic was granted an intervenor status ( and was allowed to produce its own materials and experts (which it did) and examine Barry Logan (Canpire's principal) on his materials (which I am not sure has been done yet).

The interesting question is how Logan will be cross-examined on his affidavit.

Comment Canadian legal landscape; Distributel case (Score 4, Interesting) 66

Some things to consider in Canada:

First, in general, the losing party pays legal costs of the successful party. The amount is usually from 50% to 60% of what the successful party should have paid its lawyers.

Second, foreing plaintiffs may be required to post “security for costs” before they proceed with an action. This is to protect the costs of a successful defendant.

Third, courts are ill-equipped to deal with multiple defendants, especially if there is a likelihood that they may be self-represented. It is diifuclt to see how a court would allow a lawsuit against hundreds of unrelated defendants identified only by IP addresses obtained by a third party (an ISP).

With the new changes in the copyright law, it only takes one case of non-commerical infringement to set damages at $100 for the whole “trolling” enterprise to be a questionable proposition. On the other hand, if the target defendant collecting on judgments in Canada is usually difficult and expensive unless the debtor has real estate. So all that makes the Canadian legal landscape somewhat inhospitable for US-style litigation.

In Distributel's case, it looks like this is the second motion they were served with. They did not oppose the first one and it looks like as a result of the first disclosure, only threatening demand letters were sent. There were no actions before the courts.

Following this case and the Voltage vs. Does case (involving the ISP Teksavvy), reminds me of the UK case of the ACS Law firm ( where the lawyers set up loval shell corporations to own the rights (to avoid security for costs likely) and then send around 40,000 misleading letters to customers identified by IP addresses from ISPs not opposing motions for disclosure. The firm collected about a million pounds in several years. The lawyer behind it was eventually suspended because of the misleading demand letters and it seems his case killed any future litigation in the immidiate future. It remans to be seen whether this will play out in Canada.

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