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Take notice. Notice-and-notice coming into force in January 2015

By Bob Tarantino

On 17 June 2014, the Canadian government announced that the ‘notice-and-notice’ provisions contained in the Copyright Act (Canada) will be coming into force in January 2015. (The precise date they will come into effect is still a bit uncertain: the government’s ‘Backgrounder’ on the topic says: ‘The notice-and-notice regime will come into force six months following publication of the order in council. The Copyright Modernization Act will be fully in force by January 2015.’) As of the writing of this post, the order in council does not appear to have been published yet — so long as it is published before 1 July 2014, the government will be able to meet the deadline of the provisions coming into force by the end of January 2015.

The notice-and-notice mechanism is contained in sections 41.25 to 41.27 of the Copyright Act (Canada) and creates a process by which copyright owners can send a notice of claimed copyright infringement to online service providers (such as internet service providers, site hosting services and search engine providers). When a recipient receives a notice of infringement, the recipient must ‘as soon as feasible forward the notice electronically to the person to whom the electronic location identified by the location data specified in the notice belongs and inform the claimant of its forwarding or, if applicable, of the reason why it was not possible to forward it’ and must also retain records for specified periods of time to enable the sender of the notice to identify the ultimate recipient of the notice (i.e. to enable the copyright owner to identify the service user who uploaded the purportedly infringing content). Online service providers will still retain the discretion to remove purportedly infringing content, but the Copyright Act will not require them to do so…

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