At the University of Manitoba, thousands of students are receiving letters claiming their IP address has been connected with illegal downloads. Dorms are hotbeds for digital piracy, but some of these warnings include the demand of settlement fees.
The notice system began in 2015 when new Canadian copyright laws went into effect. The University of Manitoba is now obligated to forward infringement notices to the users attached to the flagged IPs, or risk massive fines.
Joel Guénette, the University of Manitoba’s copyright strategy manager, says the letters border on extortion and advises against responding to the notices because they may not stop even once payment has taken place.
Barry Logan, managing director of Canadian Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement, a company that sends infringement notices for rights holders, notes that everyone has the right to ask for restitution before something becomes a matter for the courts. His company has retrieved $500,000 in settlements for rights holders.