Canadian Court Shuts Down Quebec Torrent Site
In a move many people see as controversial, a Quebec court has ruled that a torrent tracker site based out of Quebec, and hosting mostly french-language content, must shut down.
This is a tricky situation, because it could leave the potential open for shutting down any torrent site in Canada. As well, the wording is very ambiguous, suggesting that any software used to download or search for torrents (and this would include google, FTP, irc, etc.) could be covered under this ruling.
The ruling found on Quebectorrent.com's website reads:
The torrents on this website has been closed as per judgment by the Superior Court of Quebec rendered on July 9, 2008 stating:
ORDER the defedants Sébastien Brûlotte and Quebectorrent.com inc., their officers, administrators, employees, representatives, mandator as well as any person acting directly or indirectly on their behalf or according to their instructions, as well as to any person informed of the present injunction to immediately close the torrents on these website Quebectorrent and to refrain from being involved in any website using the bittorrent technology, peer to peer, or any other technology allowing the download of any work protected by copyright.
Canadian law professor and copyright expert Michael Geist weighs in on the ruling here:
A Quebec court has issued a permanent injunction against Quebec Torrent. ADISQ and AFTPQ, the two Quebec associations that filed suit against the torrent tracker site, report that the Superior Court ordered the site to shut down the section of the site that permitted unauthorized sharing of music, movies, and other copyrighted works. The site now features a shutdown notice that says that the court ordered:
Back in November of last year, some bloggers were suggesting this type of ruling could have far-reaching consequences.
On October 18th 2007 we wrote about the situation faced by a couple of Canadian BitTorrent trackers being threatened by the recording industry there. One of them, the 46,000 member QuebecTorrent was being targeted by a coalition of four recording labels.
Since then the situation has grown much more serious and it is feared that this case could have implications for all Canadian hosted torrent sites. There are quite a few big sites hosted in Canada (IsoHunt and TorrentBox to name just two) and with LeaseWeb kicking out torrent sites en masse, it’s thought that there is the potential for a lot more to be hosted there in the future. Demonoid has already been effectively kicked out of Canada - so what now?
QuebecTorrent, the Canadian-based BitTorrent tracker has lost its legal battle against the Canadian recording industry.
Targeted in 2007, they faced the combined resources of the CRIA, ADISQ and APFTQ (the TV and movie companies) - and CIRPA. In all, 31 organizations went after QuebecTorrent, demanding $200,000 in punitive damages.
The Quebec Superior Court has issued an injunction shutting down the controversial company Quebectorrent.com Inc., one of the most prominent file sharing services operating in the province.
The court ordered defendant Sebastien Brulotte to "cease operating the Quebectorrent Website and any other Website of a similar nature regarding the sharing of files and the release, upload, download, communication to the public by telecommunications or distribution of copies of any sound recording."