If you’ve found your way to this site, it is likely because a copyright owner has notified your Internet Service Provider (ISP) that your Internet account has been used to illegally copy and/or distribute copyright protected movies or television shows. Content creators are dedicated to fostering a safe, legal online environment where consumers have many choices for viewing the movies and TV shows they love, while addressing the growing problem of illegal content on the Internet. If you received a notice of copyright infringement, you likely have questions about what you should do now and how you can prevent this activity in the future. This site is designed to help answer those questions and to provide information to help you find the content you want legally.
What do I do now?
Scroll down to see our FAQs.
Frequently Asked Questions
I received a communication that says my IP address was identified as having been used to illegally copy and/or distribute copyright protected material over the Internet. What does this mean?
Movies, TV shows and music are protected by copyright. The unauthorized copying and/or distribution of movies, TV shows and music is illegal under Canadian copyright law, even if not done for profit.
Illegal copying and distribution of copyright protected movies, TV shows and music is often accomplished using “peer-to-peer” (P2P) software installed on individual computers, which allows your computer to exchange files with other computers that are running similar software. P2P services usually configure their software so that any files you download (and any other files in your “shared folder”) are automatically made accessible to anyone else on the P2P network that requests them.
When you use such services to download and upload files, you are not anonymous. Whenever you connect to the Internet, your computer is assigned a unique “Internet Protocol (IP) address” from your ISP. This unique IP address is used to identify your computer as the source of available files to all other computers on a P2P network. The infringement notice you received is the result of your computer having been identified as engaged in illegal copying and/or distribution of copyrighted movies, TV shows or music. Artists, moviemakers and other owners of content join P2P networks to see if the movies, music and TV shows they’ve made available are being shared without permission and in violation of Canadian copyright law. If they notice that a file is being shared illegally, they can send a notice to the ISP associated with the IP address. Under Canada’s new copyright law, your ISP is now required to forward this notice to you, inform the copyright owner that the notice has been forwarded, and retain records associated with the notice.
A notice was sent to your ISP identifying the particular infringement and the associated IP address. Your ISP determined from its records that the IP address was assigned to your account when the infringement was committed. Your ISP then sent you the infringement notice you received.
What if I didn't realize I was downloading or uploading copyright protected files?
If you have P2P software installed on one or more of your computers connected to the Internet it enables computers with similar P2P software to communicate with your computer to request and transfer files. If you have P2P software on your computer you may want to consider deleting or disabling it, or if you have a legal reason to use the P2P software, delete any unauthorized files in your "shared folder."
What if my current IP address does not match the one listed on the notice?
That doesn’t mean that the notice is mistaken. IP addresses are not permanent; they change from time to time. Your ISP keeps records listing the IP address assigned to your account at any given time. According to your ISP’s records, when the IP address in question was identified illegally downloading and/or distributing the movie, TV show or music in question, the IP address was assigned to your account. So, even if your account has a different IP address now, according to your ISP’s records it was assigned the IP address in question when the infringement occurred and was verified.
What do I do now that I’ve received a notice?
- Stop downloading and uploading movies, TV shows and music without authorization. Doing so constitutes copyright infringement;
- Permanently delete from your computer(s) all unauthorized copies you may have already made of these movies, TV shows and music; and
- Make sure that anyone else who is authorized to use your Internet account is made aware of this notice and take steps to ensure that your Internet account cannot be used by someone who is not authorized to do so.
- If you do not use P2P software for lawful purposes, you may want to consider deleting or disabling it. If you use P2P for lawful purposes (to upload or download files that you are legally authorized to reproduce or distribute), make sure the only authorized files in your P2P "shared folder" are ones you are authorized to distribute in this way.
You should also be aware that many of the sites, including P2P sites, that are used to illegally download or watch movies, TV shows and music are unsafe for consumers, and can be used to steal personal information. Internet security experts warn that these sites can infect computers and devices, and render the user vulnerable to spam, viruses, malware or phishing attacks.
I believe that someone else may have used my Network without my knowledge or approval. How can I secure my Network?
It is important for consumers to protect their home wireless networks against viruses, identity theft, and preventing unauthorized users from gaining access to their networks (especially if it incorporates a wireless connection) without their knowledge.
Consumers can take the following steps to make sure their Internet connection is secure:
- Use the strongest network encryption compatible with their home routers, computers and mobile devices. The subscriber’s ISP can help make sure they are using a level of encryption that is most suitable for their home network;
- Install - and regularly update - firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware software; and
- Use strong, hard-to-guess network passwords for the wireless connection and the network itself. Subscribers may want to visit the technical support pages of their ISP's website for more information on how to secure their home wireless home network
How does a Content Owner identify the infringement activity alleged in the notice I received?
Content owners join P2P networks in order to locate the music, movies or TV shows they own. Once they see a title being made available, they confirm that it is copyright protected content by downloading and reviewing the file. In the case of a large video file like a movie, a person watches key portions of it to confirm that it is an infringing copy.
After confirming that a copyright protected file is being shared illegally, content owners identify the IP address that is making the file available. Each IP address belongs to an ISP—so content owners can provide a notice to the ISP related to the address, and the ISP then passes the notice on to the customer whose account was assigned the IP address at the date and time that the file was shared and the infringement was verified. Content owners provide notices to the ISP because the IP address is known, but the name of the customer is not.
What happens after I have received the notice?
If the alleged behavior stops, no additional notices will be sent.
Why should I be concerned when using a P2P site?
Internet security experts warn that illegal pirate sites:
- Can severely infect computers and devices;
- Render the user vulnerable to spam, viruses, malware or phishing attacks; and
- Are often unsafe for consumers – used to steal personal information such as e-mail addresses and passwords.
Sites that illegally profit off of the creativity and hard work of others do a serious disservice to audiences who deserve high-quality, legitimate viewing experiences online.
These sites damage copyright owners around the world: exploiting the hard work and investments of the creative industries and threatening the jobs and businesses that depend on film and television production.
Who pays when movies are stolen? Local movie theaters, the writers, actors and other artists who contribute to the movies we love, and the stuntmen, make-up artists, grips and other production crew members who depend on a healthy industry for their jobs and their families’ income.
Content theft also has an enormous impact on movie fans around the world. Quality movies and television shows are expensive to produce. In fact, most movies never break even and recover the cost of making and marketing the film. If movies are routinely stolen and distributed, then it becomes less likely that people will invest in the big, high-quality movies and TV shows we love.
Why should Canadians care about protecting content?
Sites that build businesses around enabling and encouraging infringement impact Canada’s industry, jobs, and economy. It hurts legitimate Canadian businesses, including film distributors, theatre owners, retailers and the Canadians employed by them – in other words, the hardworking Canadians who make it their life’s work to create, make, and build the film and television industry across the country.
Movies and TV shows are known for telling big stories that make a big impact, but the film and television industry isn’t just Hollywood. The film and television industry is a Canadian economic engine that is bringing new jobs and economic opportunities – and compelling entertainment content – to communities around the world. In 2014/15, the total volume of film and television production in Canada was $7.1 billion, which accounted for 148,500 full-time equivalent FTE jobs and generated $9 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) across the Canadian economy.
Film and television production provides direct benefits in the form of jobs for local performers, crews, and other dependent businesses, economic activity through spending, to production-related vendors and general suppliers, and direct and indirect tax revenues. The economic benefits go well beyond production alone, with numerous related industries benefiting through film and television distribution, theatrical exhibition, video on demand and online digital, manufacturing, broadcasting, film festivals and more.
What is the industry doing to give consumers legal ways to access the movies and television shows they want?
The industry is constantly working to offer more and better content and access for their audiences. More content everywhere, every day.
The film and television industry is a creative and innovative community, fuelled by the content distributors (to provide more ways to deliver content to the consumer). Movie producers and distributors are focused on developing more ways for audiences to enjoy content on a variety of legitimate sites, services and platforms. Entertainment studios are working with inventive technologies and a multitude of partners, retailers, cable providers, social networking sites, gaming systems, and web sites devoted to online distribution to bring more choice to Canadians wanting to access movies and television programs online.
To find out where Canadians can access legitimate and high quality film and television content visit www.wheretowatchincanada.ca.
Is it against the law in Canada?
The illegal downloading and distribution of copyright protected work is prohibited under the Canadian Copyright Act. In addition, unauthorized copying and/or distributing of copyrighted content using your Internet account may be a violation of your ISP's terms of service for which there are other consequences. Under Canada’s copyright law, your ISP is now required to forward this notice to you, inform us that the notice has been forwarded, and retain records associated with this notice for prescribed periods of time.
Where can I get Movies and TV shows legally?
Copyright laws offer legal protection for artists – the individuals who write stories and songs, and the people who create movies, music, video games and other products for a living. These protections provide a set of “rules of the road” for enjoying content – both online and off – enabling artists of all kinds to specify how they wish to make their work accessible to others, to earn a living, and continue to create.
Copyright benefits the public by encouraging the creation of new works of art, books, poems, movies, music and much more. The laws that make up the Canadian copyright system provide parameters for sharing and enjoying various types of content and ensure that the original investments of time, resources and ingenuity of the creator are recognized and protected. These laws give the owners of the works a limited time to exclusively use the work, and provide limited exceptions (such as “the fair dealing” provisions of the law) to permit certain uses without the owner’s authorization.
To learn more about copyright law in Canada, see the following link to the provisions in the Copyright Act:
Here are some quick facts about the Notice and Notice Regime compiled by Industry Canada's Office of Consumer Affairs: