Shocked grandmother, students 'in a panic': The rough side of our piracy notice system

A shocked grandmother is accused of illegally downloading a video game. She’s warned if she doesn’t pay a settlement fee, she could face fines of up to $5,000.

Panicked foreign university students receive similar settlement demands over alleged piracy. It sparks fears they could be deported.

These are only the latest examples of the confusion and concern ignited by Canada’s new copyright infringement notice system.
Some anti-piracy firms routinely send out letters demanding hundreds of dollars from Canadians for alleged illegal downloads. And if they don’t pay up, recipients are told they could face legal action and big fines.

The problem is, people may be falsely accused and no one is under obligation to pay a settlement — not even a penny. 

The government says it’s aware of the problem. And yet, the emails keep coming. 

Critics say it’s time for Ottawa to take a serious look at its piracy notice system …