Federal Court of Canada, Voltage Pictures v Does, 2014 FC 161

Document type
Court Decision
(1) This case is an application of the principles laid out in BMG Canada v John Doe (see below) with respect to disclosure orders. Here, the claimant sought the identities of 2,000 users from TekSavvy, an independent ISP. Voltage argued that by downloading movies produced by their company via P2P file-sharing networks, these users infringed copyright in those works and their identities were needed to start legal proceedings. 
(2) Although the Court expressed concerns about “copyright trolls”, the disclosure order was ultimately granted because the claimant showed that it had a bona fides claim and privacy rights of the users did not outweigh the interests of the copyright holders. However, numerous safeguards against possible invasions of privacy were attached. For example, users’ information could not be released to the public or be used for any other purposes and Voltage was required to pay TechSavvy the legal costs it incurred in complying with the order. Further, court is required to review any demand letter sent by Voltage to subscribers.
Topic, claim, or defense
Document type
Court Decision
Issuing entity
Appellate Domestic Court
Type of service provider
Issues addressed
Trigger for OSP obligations
Procedural Protections for Users and Publishers
OSP obligation considered
Data Retention or Disclosure
Type of law
General effect on immunity
Weakens Immunity
General intermediary liability model
Takedown/Act Upon Court Order