Canadian Anti-Piracy Company Caught Using Unattributed And Paywalled Articles To Fill Its Blog

from the putting-lipstick-on-a-scraper dept

Canipre, one of Canada's foremost anti-piracy enforcers, has a bit of a problem on its hands. Like others that zealously guard against piracy, the company expects everyone else to fully respect the IP rights of the entities it acts for. And like others in the same field, it seemingly can't be bothered to make sure it properly respects other entities' IP rights. (See also: BREIN, the BSA, the City of New York, the list goes on and on…)

Michael Geist points to Canipre's latest press release, touting the use of its evidence in a Voltage Pictures lawsuit, as well as its intent to fully take advantage of Canada's new infringement notification system. Then he points to this:

Yet what Canipre does not say is that a blog associated with the company may have been engaged in copyright infringement for many months. The blog – copyrightenforcement.ca – is run by Barry Logan, the company’s Managing Director, Operations (I received an email from Mr. Logan last year that listed the site as his blog address). In addition to posting releases from Canipre and information about the TekSavvy case, the site has posted dozens of full-text articles from media organizations around the world.

For example, last week it posted the full text of a 1200 word article on TV piracy from the Wire Report, an Ottawa-based telecom publication. The article resides behind a paywall limited to subscribers and is listed as “exclusive content.” In fact, reposting full-text articles from other sources is a regular occurrence on the site. Posts in December feature articles from the Huffington Post Canada, Business Insider, and CNET. Earlier posts include full-text articles from the Hollywood Reporter, StreamDaily, Reuters, the Canadian Press, Global News, Vancouver Sun, and the National Post. Some of the posts include articles that strip out reference to the author (Chronicle Herald, CBC) and others include no attribution whatsoever. The site also uses photos from the articles, often without attribution.
Hey, fair dealing and all that, some might say. Sure, but let's not get carried away. Posting up plain text versions of paywalled articles -- in full, without additional commentary or criticism -- isn't exactly fair dealing. And it's not as if Canipre has any respect for the fair dealing of others. It's an anti-piracy firm and its vision of the world's use of IP is solidly black and white. Either you've paid for it, or you're an infringer.

And, as Geist notes, there's plenty of stuff in there that goes further than what could even be the outer reaches of fair dealing. The blog has stripped attribution/authorial references -- maybe out of cluelessness, maybe in a desire to obscure its origins -- which is no one's idea of fair dealing.

This isn't Canipre's first hypocritical dance with the IP devil. Back in 2013, it was caught tarting up its dark and dramatic website with photos belonging to other people, all without even making the slightest attempt to credit the actual creators. Barry Logan was the man behind that debacle as well, who contributed nothing to the discussion of the company's hypocrisy other than some buck-passing to the third party site designer.

Even if some of this could be considered fair dealing, the company using the creations of others without permission frowns deeply and legally on those who would do the same to its protected content. Michael Geist's headline puts it beautifully: Canipre certainly has a beautiful glass house. Shame it can't seem to kick its rock-throwing habit.

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Filed Under: anti-piracy, blog, canada, copyright
Companies: canipre


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  • icon
    MadAsASnake (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 4:19am

    As far as I am aware, all of these organisations (MPAA, RIAA and evil clones, IP scrapers, IP protection 'societies') have two things in common:
    - they really do not care at all about intellectual properties
    - they all want money, lots of it, and any old reason will do

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 4:22am

      Re:

      They ONLY care enough when it is their IP being used by others but have NO regards to using others IP.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 5:17am

      Re:

      You left off a few words on that first point.

      - they really do not care at all about intellectual properties that they do not control and/or own

      They spend incredible amounts of time, money, and effort 'defending' their IP, it's just the IP of everyone else that they couldn't care less about.

      Second point is dead on though.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        MadAsASnake (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 5:42am

        Re: Re:

        As far as I can tell, the apparent concern for their own IP is driven entirely by their demands for money, and that they seem to see every conceivable use of IP in their purview as a demand money or deny use. In many cases, the demand for money will be as a 'look how effective we are' to a rightsholder, with no value to anyone. MPAA practices this hard...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      mb, 8 Jan 2015 @ 9:40am

      Re:

      I couldn't agree more, but honestly, how is that much different from the current state of copyright in general. The current copyright regime so greatly exceeds the intent, that it is nothing more than a government legislated monopoly pushed through by organizations that have a record of grossly ignoring the intellectual property of others to make a buck. Consider the number of movie studios that have sent rejection letters to writer's for a script, only to turn around and write a "remarkably similar" script a year later. Or look at the origins or the music industry in the USA: it is based upon selling copies of European recordings without paying the original artists.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 4:20am

    They will claim its fair use in doing this even though they cry foul at anyone who also gives the using fair use claim.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 4:21am

    You seem to be living under the weird assumption that laws should be the same for everyone involved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 4:49am

    Hypocrisy knows no bounds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 5:14am

    'When you do it it's a crime, when I do it it's an accident'

    This really should surprise absolutely no-one. I mean, it's almost impossible to find a collection agency, or a 'pirate hunting' agency, that doesn't also do the very things they claim are unspeakable and vile crimes, all without even the slightest bit of self-awareness regarding their glaring hypocrisy.

    Of course the real kicker, the absolute punchline, is the complete and utter blindspot both agencies like this, and those that defend them, show towards said hypocrisy. Where before even potential copyright infringement was grounds for the harshest punishments possible, suddenly it was 'all an accident', and 'totally not intentional', and look, they 'apologized', so that should be enough, and why are you focusing so much on such a minor thing?

    While aggravating, it is nice of them to expose their hypocrisy in such a blatant manner I guess.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      MadAsASnake (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 5:43am

      Re: 'When you do it it's a crime, when I do it it's an accident'

      When did these tossers apologise?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 5:59am

        Re: Re: 'When you do it it's a crime, when I do it it's an accident'

        In this case, as far as I know, they haven't, I was more referring to past examples, where once the company/individual in question had their actions exposed, they 'apologise', remove the offending item, and then pretend that that makes everything fine, even though they demand much stricter 'punishments' for anyone else caught infringing copyright, and would never accept an 'Oops, my bad, but look, I took it down, no need for anything else'.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 5:25am

    I'm a personal fan of "Live by the sword, die by the sword."
    These copyright holders that have been infringed should not get together but all sue individually, get them delisted/deranked from Google, send DMCA takedowns and contact their local government agency to have their servers raided.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 5:48am

    Copyright for me but not for thee!

    Now at $150.000 per work infringed, how much will them pay? I bet nothing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      BigKeithO, 8 Jan 2015 @ 3:02pm

      Re:

      Only $20,000 per work in Canada I'm afraid ($5,000 for non-commercial). Canada is slightly more sane than the US when it comes to damages. But I digress, they won't pay anything.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mooper, 7 Jan 2015 @ 5:50am

    Drag them to court

    So why, when these various organizations commit infringement "accidentally" do the owners of said material not go to domain registrars asking to have these sites removed for repeated infringement? Even more importantly why do not people sue the crud out of them as they tend to enjoy doing to others? The EFF and friends need money to operate too and it might not be the cleanest money ever but surely the money would be useful with the added bonus that all these organizations are doing is showing the stupidity of the entire situation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 9:10am

      Re: Drag them to court

      Even more importantly why do not people sue the crud out of them as they tend to enjoy doing to others?

      This does seem a perfect business opportunity for Prenda Law. It's not like they'd need to actually own the copyrights to send threatening letters.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 7:58am

    I would like to see the advocates of our current broken copyright system to defend this act of what they would call theft.

    I daresay they wouldn't be so quick to condemn their allies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anon E. Mous (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 9:42am

    Canpire's whole business is based on theft and copyright enforcement by rightsholders to allegedly stop theft through litigation.

    Apparently though Canpire seems to not believe these same rules would apply to itself when it comes to other's copyrighted and authored works.

    That pretty much tells you exactly how full of shit Canpire is about copyrights and right holders protections

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JP Jones (profile), 7 Jan 2015 @ 12:04pm

    Either you've paid for it, or you're an infringer.

    If only they actually believed this. It might be easier to swallow. This is how I believe they actually think:

    "Either you've paid for it and you only use it within the narrow limits I've set for you to use it in, or you're an infringer."

    That second part makes the whole thing so much worse. To be honest, I don't really have an issue paying for things, including content. It's when people start telling me that I can only use the content I bought in certain ways and on certain devices that I get really grumpy. And if you tell me to pay for something more than once I say to go [censored] yourself.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2015 @ 4:50pm

      Re:

      Either you've paid for it and you only use it within the narrow limits I've set for you to use it in, or you're an infringer.

      ... addendum ...

      OTOH, I can do what ever the hell I want to and there is nothing you can do about it because I am above the law.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Capt ICE Enforcer, 7 Jan 2015 @ 6:23pm

    Sharing is Caring

    Yo, Sharing is Caring. When you learn something from me, and use it. You haven't stolen anything. You have made it grow stronger. Great job wonderful company. I support you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    NateWhilk, 9 Jan 2015 @ 10:54pm

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    In the early PC days, I was working for a certain medium-sized bank (years later, it was bought by a larger bank). The internal auditors were using pirated copies of Lotus 1-2-3.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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