This page provides information on how we handle third-party copyright claims and notices, including how we comply with notice-and-notice rules. Please see the notice wrapper or, if you have already received one, the FAQ for further information.
Many jurisdictions, including Canada, protect the separation of content and carriage. The European Union, for instance, distinguishes between its rules for audiovisual media services and for electronic communications networks. In the same way, Canada distinguishes between broadcasting (which includes selecting, originating, or packaging programming) and telecommunications. Network neutrality is a policy for ensuring the availability of network services that maintain this distinction.
TekSavvy is a strong proponent of network neutrality. We believe that everyone benefits when consumers can buy Internet access that does not discriminate, degrade, or prefer certain content or content providers over others. Network-neutral services, and the separation of carriage from content, are fundamental to pro-privacy network services, by ensuring we have no incentive to snoop on what you do online. Instead, we can focus on network performance, value for service, and customer care.
Changes made in 2012 to Canada’s Copyright Act, by amending legislation known as the Copyright Modernization Act, tried to strike a balance between the rights of creators of copyrighted works, on one hand, and of these works’ users, on the other. In doing so, it also had to balance between copyright and network privacy, because a growing proportion of copyrighted works are obtained or accessed over digital networks with no direct involvement in that process except to carry the underlying bits. TekSavvy therefore had a particular interest in ensuring that the Copyright Modernization Act respect the separation of content and carriage. We did not want to see changes to copyright legislation that would compromise our ability to deliver network-neutral, pro-privacy services to our users.
Changes to copyright law in Canada
Internet access providers may be asked, under the amended Copyright Act, to provide customer information when there is evidence of potential copyright infringement, and the copyright owner decides to take action. TekSavvy will only disclose customer information in these circumstances if required to do so by a court order.
Effective January 2, 2015, new rules under the amended Copyright Act also give copyright owners the right to send notifications to digital network providers, including ISPs, alleging that a customer has infringed their copyright. This system is known as “Notice-and-Notice”. Notices sent under it must contain certain information:
· the infringement alleged;
Under Notice-and-Notice, ISPs receiving a notice of claimed infringement are required to do two things. We must forward the notice of claimed infringement to the customer whose account corresponds to the electronic location and time identified in the notice. And we must preserve, for six months, the records allowing the identity of the person to whom the electronic location belongs to be determined. If a court orders us to, we may be required to preserve those records for longer.
Rightsholders are entitled to take legal action to enforce their rights under the Copyright Act. TekSavvy abides, and requires its customers, to abide by all applicable laws. TekSavvy therefore encourages everyone to become familiar with their rights and obligations under the law. These include both copyright obligations, and privacy rights.
User privacy and our customers’ rights
At TekSavvy, we take pride in our dedication to our customers. We listen to our customers and try to respect their needs. We have always fought for our customers rights and we take their privacy seriously. Our customers have a right to:
· have their privacy safeguarded.
We forward notices of claimed copyright infringement based on a look-up of the customer account to which the IP address and time indicated by the claimant corresponded, provided we still have this information. The notice is forwarded to the email address on file for that user account. The notice is only a claim. We have no way to evaluate it. We do add a wrapper to the top of the email, in order to put it into context.
We do not provide any information back to the sender of the notice. As a result, they know only what is in the notice -- they have not been given the means to know anything about you, unless you contact them and tell them. The sender cannot cause you to do anything, cause TekSavvy to do anything, or require TekSavvy to tell them anything about you, without going to court. We will let you know if that happens.
TekSavvy will do everything in its power to protect its customers. However, we must comply with our legal obligations.
The changes in Canada’s copyright law are complex. Should you face a copyright infringement lawsuit or receive a legal demand letter alleging infringement, we strongly suggest you seek independent legal advice.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Copyright Act, sections 41.25 and 41.26
Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic
Voltage Pictures LLC v. John Doe filings:
Archived Government of Canada pages on the Copyright Modernization Act: