Accounting for Law

Public's interest in privacy part of 'new balance'

The Hollywood production company recently given access to the names and addresses of 2,000 suspected illegal downloaders has struggled to turn a profit on its films, Toronto civil litigation lawyer John Philpott tells CityNews.

Canada’s Federal Court has ordered Internet service provider TekSavvy Solutions to release the information to the international production company, Voltage Pictures LLC.

"They felt that something had to be done and the only way they can protect their rights is to enforce them through the Copyright Act," says Philpott, associate with Brauti Thorning Zibarras LLP, who worked alongside firm co-managing partner, James Zibarras, on the case.

Philpott says the company has found it difficult to make a profit on the films they produced – which include The Hurt Locker, Dallas Buyers' Club and American Heist – due to illegal downloading, which he says has "skyrocketed" recently.

"We think a new balance needs to be struck that protects the rights of artists, of small movie studios like Voltage, while also considering the public’s interest in privacy," says Philpott.

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