OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada says internet service providers can recover some of the costs of helping movie companies and other copyright holders find illegal downloaders.
In a decision today, the high court sides with Rogers Communications in ruling that the companies pursuing copyright violators should reimburse service providers a reasonable amount for the effort of looking up subscribers suspected of breaking the law.
The decision could end up saving Rogers and other internet providers many thousands of dollars, but the Supreme Court says the appropriate fees should be decided at a future Federal Court hearing.
The case began when movie production firm Voltage Pictures asked Rogers for information about an alleged violator under provisions of the Copyright Act.
Rogers retrieved the information but agreed to disclose it only upon payment of a fee -- $100 per hour of work plus HST.
Voltage Pictures hopes to eventually obtain the information of tens of thousands of suspected copyright infringers, and it argued the federal legislative regime precluded Rogers from charging a fee.