It would appear that the Montreal Canadiens might be on the defensive side of a legal battle this time. Last month the United States came up with a way to force people to not only stop file sharing, but also to make millions of dollars off unsuspecting downloaders. Voltage Pictures, the makers of the movie “The Hurt Locker,” have partnered with the law firm Dunlap Grubb and Weaver (aka the U.S Copyright Group) to catch and then settle financially with Internet users who allegedly shared The Hurt Locker online. It’s quite simple, pay them thousands of dollars in a settlement, or they will litigate you into the poorhouse!
Voltage Pictures have now moved their sights north to Canada. Through the federal court they obtained an order that forced Bell Canada, Videotron GP and Cogeco Cable inc to supply them with the personal information of subscribers Voltage Pictures claims have infringed on their copyrights.
The picture below shows a partial list of IP addresses supplied by Bell Canada. The 3rd IP from the top is accused of sharing the movie on May 4th 2011, and here lies the issue, the IP address belongs to the Bell Center and is operated by the Montreal Canadiens hockey team.
So the question becomes, will Voltage and their lawyers attempt to offer the Canadiens organization the same settlement as everyone else, or do they roll the dice considering how much the Canadiens are worth? Let’s hope that if they do decide to proceed, they are forced to settle for the same amount they did with little Johnny Smith of Utah, and not try to take advantage of our beloved franchise. Besides we only have about $3 million left under the cap!