Anti-piracy laws have been in practice since technology evolved to a stage where any Tom, Dick and Harry can just freely acquire any copyrighted content from the Internet. You can still get away from being an avid user of torrent and other illegal means of downloading content in certain countries, but if you are living in Western countries such as the United States or Canada, it’s definitely a big no-no.
Christine McMillan of Ontario apparently didn’t get the memo when she received an email claiming she pirated the post-apocalyptic FPS title, Metro 2033. A fine of $5,000 might be incurred for the said offence, but here’s the problem: she is 86-years-old and doesn’t have a clue what is Metro 2033.
According to Go Public, the email was sent by a private company called Canadian Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement and was forwarded to McMillan by her Internet service provider.
“I found it quite shocking… I’m 86 years old. No one has access to my computer but me. Why would I download a war game?” she told Go Public.
The notice came after the introduction of Canada’s Notice and Notice regulations, which were introduced last year under the Copyright Modernization Act. The law dictates Internet service providers to send infringement notices to customers who might have illegally acquire copyrighted content online.
Notice and Notice was enforced to protect the rights of both parties, just in case an end user was wrongly accused and punished for a crime that they didn’t commit. But the practice has been sketchy at best as vague notices were being sent out by companies such as Canadian Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement, causing unnecessary fees to be paid out of fear. Most importantly, these notices are not solid proof of any offence and people are not legally required to pay copyright holders.
As for McMillan, she is going to ignore the notice for now since she wasn’t told what she actually owed or other key details. Only what might be the possible outcomes if she didn’t take action. “They didn’t tell me how much I owed,” she said. “They only told me that if I didn’t comply, I would be liable for a fine of up to $5,000, and I could pay immediately by entering my credit card number.”