If you’re in Canada, you’ve probably already heard news of the final part of the Copyright Modernization Act would be implement at the start of the New Year. In effect since January 1st, all Canadian Internet providers and hosting providers are now obliged to forward copyright infringement notices from copyright holders, to subscriber IP addresses, when reported to have allegedly ‘downloaded’ copyright material.
These notices may not be completely new to you, as some Canadian ISPs have already been sending out some notices where abuse was detected. Since 2012, Canada has been implementing the Copyright Modernization Act, and they have had a ‘Notice and Notice’ system ready, just not being enforced, and that’s precisely what changed this year.
So what is this Notice and Notice copyright act? Similar to the US counterpart DMCA notice takedowns, it is an act legally obliging Online Service Providers to send out notices to subscribers found of sharing copyright content. However, it differs from the DMCA Notice and Takedown in two ways;
First, Canadian Notice and Notice protocol does not enforce a takedown of the material by the ISP or Hosting provider, such as a DMCA. And, the second key difference is that Online Service Providers are not liable for legal action, as long as they comply with the Notice and Notice procedures.
Although the notices do not represent any legal actions or ramifications, the warning does open up the possibility to carry out legal action against the individual, or more likely a large group of downloaders.
ISPs are not required to take any sort of action against the subscriber’s connection, such as suspending service or throttling network speeds, or provide any personal information, but it will keep notifications for a period of 6 months in the case the copyright holder decides to take legal action. In the case that a lawsuit is launched, the ISP is legally required to give up the subscriber information attached to the IP.
According to the CTV News coverage, lawsuits can reclaim up to $5,000 for personal downloads, and up to $20,000 if the accused profited monetarily from the material.
The notice advises of the occurrence and alleged copyright material, as well as to stop the download, take down files that may have been posted online, or delete any P2P sharing. Canadian VPN providers are also affected, who are now required to keep connection logs for a minimum of 6 months. We expect to see this new law bring forth new ways to legally pursue piracy across Canadian homes.
Although the main goal is to scare individuals to stop pirating, the use of legal action will be a powerful tool to further dissuade the public from using illegal download or streaming sites in the future. The best first line of protection is a VPN connection, which will effectively encrypt all your internet data, so that your Canadian ISP cannot detect any torrents or illegal downloading or copyright material.
Last year, we compiled both a list for the best VPNs in Canada, as well as the best VPNs for Torrents and P2P file sharing, but in the light of the severity of the new law, we will be updating both pages, as well as adding our best picks for VPN service for Canadians downloading torrents.
PureVPN – Full Review
A great choice for both speed, network size, and Canadians who want to continue downloading torrents with little concern, all while having some good features to take advantage of, is PureVPN. The company provides and promises log-free vpn servers, and allows P2P torrents on a short list of servers in Countries that do not follow copyright acts, respectively; Brunei, Turkey , Sweden, Romania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Germany, and Russia. This means PureVPN does block torrents on all other servers, but to ease the process, the P2P allowed servers are nicely labelled on the list for easy identification. This allows the VPN provider to steer clear of all DMCA notices as well as any other government copyright acts arising.
Pros: Extra large network w/ P2P dedicated servers – Fast servers – 5 Simultaneous connections
Cons: PureVPN software only supports OpenVPN on Windows – NAT Firewall included at extra cost
IPVanish – Full Review
If you want consistently fast speeds matched with a very simple, straight forward interface all while having solid encryption and log-free VPN service, IPVanish has got you covered. They welcome P2P traffic and even suggest you use the closest possible routes for the best speeds. Although a young company, they’ve been able to grow at a very fast pace. In response to customer concerns, back in April 2014, IPVanish updated their Terms of Service to be 100% log free, and no longer keep any limited connection data whatsoever for troubleshooting purposes, showing that they listen and are dedicated to providing the best security and anonymity to their subscriber base.
Pros: Very fast servers and ping times – Large network – Great software on OpenVPN w/ Auto-Reconnect
Cons: Lacks VPN Kill Switch on software (but has auto-reconnect) – Only 2 simultaneous devices; 1 OpenVPN – 1 PPTP/L2TP
Private Internet Access – Full Review
PIA – Private Internet Access has been a favorite for many thanks to their friendly customer service, very large network, and rock bottom prices. The best bang for your buck, or value VPN service seems to usually fall on PIA. They don’t make you pay extra for firewall Wi-Fi protection, so when compared to their main competitors, they do come in a bit cheaper. With that said, the service is still great, and while you might not find all servers to be fast, you certainly have plenty of selections to quickly find one that does the job. PrivateInternetAccess has also been around for a long time, and has so far kept a solid record of secure, log-free service.
Pros: Inexpensive – Large network – Straightforward service – 5 Simultaneous Connections
Cons: Slower speeds at times depending on location
TorGuard – Full Review
TorGuard is often regarded as being ‘the’ choice for torrents and P2P filesharing. They not only allow it, they welcome it! The way they deal with DMCA notices is by simply closing the protocol on the server where the copyright infringement is detected, this way they can comply without ever having to be pressured to log or put at risk subscriber information. Canadian internet users can feel just as welcome to start using Torguard for torrents. Although not the largest network, it’s certainly not small, with great worldwide coverage and servers built for speed, and military grade encryption.
Pros: Fast servers – P2P Torrents Allowed – High Security – Viscosity VPN software included – 5 Simultaneous Connections
Cons: Website is a bit complicated and cluttered with different services – but no negatives on VPN product found.