What is the Notice and Notice Regime?

Notice and Notice is a tool established in the Copyright Act to help copyright owners address illegal downloading so that they can protect their copyright material, while respecting the interests and freedoms of users. It formalized a voluntary, industry-based practice that has been in place for several years.

When a copyright owner thinks that an Internet user might be infringing their copyright, they can send a notice of alleged infringement to the user's Internet service provider (ISP). Notice and Notice then requires that the ISP forward (e.g., via email) the notice of alleged infringement to the user, and 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 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 their subscriber that was using that IP address at the time of the alleged infringement.

For Consumers

If you receive a notice of alleged infringement, it is because a copyright owner has identified your Internet address 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 Internet subscribers and to raise awareness in instances where Internet subscribers' accounts are being used for such purposes by others.

U.S. copyright fines and penalties do not apply in Canada. Statutory damages for non-commercial infringement in Canada do not exceed $5,000.‎

Infringment

What should I do if I receive a notice of alleged infringement?

The purpose of a notice is to inform you that a copyright owner has identified your Internet address as being involved in an activity that allegedly infringes their copyright. 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.

The notice will provide you with the date and time that the alleged infringement took place and identify the copyright material in question (e.g. the name of the song or movie that was allegedly illegally copied or shared).

An objective of the Notice and Notice regime is to discourage online infringement on the part of Internet subscribers and to raise awareness in instances where Internet subscribers' accounts are being used for illegal downloading.

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 their internet service provider.

Does receiving a notice mean I am going to be sued for copyright infringement?

A notice of alleged infringement is separate from any lawsuit for copyright infringement. There is no legal obligation to pay any settlement offered by a copyright owner in a notice forwarded by the internet service provider.

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • With the coming into force of the Notice and Notice regime – the final step in implementing the Copyright Modernization Act – Canadians now have balanced, modern copyright laws that will help support innovation and drive investment in the economy.

The information on this webpage was provided by Industry Canada, Office of Consumer Affairs.

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