We’ve talked quite a bit about our Canadian lawsuit, but we haven’t ever really gone into detail about what Canadian law says about Kodi addons. Technically we have the word of the law on our side, the problem is that civil law is ridiculously unfair. Exhausting their opponents financial resources is very common practice for the kinds of vicious litigators suing us. Billion dollar corporations do whatever they want in order to dominate, manipulating the law to meet their goals by any means necessary. This is why the original Federal Court judgement (which was later appealed) said that the true purpose of their original proceedings was to “destroy livelihood of the defendant.”
There are a few important points regarding the whole Canadian legal situation which we feel that everyone could benefit from understanding. The law has been completely disregarded, and the Canadian Telecom Cartel has already managed to destroy our original platform. We are rebuilding, but succeeding in doing so will be nothing short tof a miracle. We had all of our domain names, social media accounts, and other property seized – meanwhile we still even don’t have a trial date nearly a year later. We had initially won in court, but these companies don’t accept a loss, so they appealed meaning we had to defend ourselves once again at a cost of tens of thousands.
User Generated Content Platform
- TV ADDONS is a platform for unofficial Kodi addons, it has never influenced the development of individual developers.
- As an online platform, we should be shielded from liability over content we did not create, addons developed by individual developers. How could platforms like YouTube, Reddit and Twitter operate without those protections?
- Since no database of content licensing exists, how could we be possibly enforce the rights of others, especially when we never hosted nor linked to anything infringing.
Seizure of Domains and Social Media
This is the craziest part of the whole thing. They were able to get a court order allowing them to seize the most vital aspects of our community’s operations, all without trial. They were able to seize the most crucial aspects of our platform’s operation, under the ruse of “evidence preservation.” Everything seized will be worthless even if returned after we win at trial, by seizing these assets they destroyed our platform…
Even if their claims about wanting to preserve evidence were true, domain names contain zero data whatsoever, meaning they don’t contain any evidence to “preserve.” That being said, a web site’s address is the most important aspect of any web site’s operations and losing our domains meant losing our identity, search engine rankings, and marketability.
As for the social media accounts, everything is public on social media. They could have “preserved” whatever evidence they thought was there without even needing access to our accounts. Once you print a copy of social media posts, there’s nothing left to worry about preserving. Seizing our social media accounts without trial was nothing less than censorship!
Provisions Respecting Providers of Information Location Tools
Read along within the Copyright Modernization Act…
“information location tool” means any tool that makes it possible to locate information that is available through the Internet or another digital network. There’s no other way to describe how a Kodi addon works.
“An owner of the copyright in a work or other subject-matter may send a notice of claimed infringement to a person who provides.” None of these companies ever claimed to have sent us any takedown notice before getting a secret court order that allowed them to destroy our platform.
Damages related to notices: “A claimant’s only remedy against a person who fails to perform his or her obligations under subsection (1) is statutory damages in an amount that the court considers just, but not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000.” This basically says that if we ignored the takedown notice they never even bothered sending, the maximal fine would be $10000. They destroyed a platform potentially worth milliions of dollars over something with a maximum fine of $10000.
Injunctive relief only — providers of information location tools: “In any proceedings for infringement of copyright, the owner of the copyright in a work or other subject-matter is not entitled to any remedy other than an injunction against a provider of an information location tool that is found to have infringed copyright by making a reproduction of the work or other subject-matter or by communicating that reproduction to the public by telecommunication.” This part of the law basically states that they should have only been allowed to order us to remove specific allegedly infringing addons, not destroy our entire platform.
Infringement — provision of services (enabler provision)
Read along within the Copyright Modernization Act…
“It is an infringement of copyright for a person, by means of the Internet or another digital network, to provide a service primarily for the purpose of enabling acts of copyright infringement if an actual infringement of copyright occurs by means of the Internet or another digital network as a result of the use of that service.” We had close to 2000 Kodi addons being discussed over our platform, there’s no world where our “primary purpose” was infringement.
“Whether the person expressly or implicitly marketed or promoted the service as one that could be used to enable acts of copyright infringement” The Canadian Telecom Cartel tried to claim that the term “free TV” has no meaning other than infringement, simply untrue. There are millions of legitimate “free TV” services.
“Whether the person had knowledge that the service was used to enable a significant number of acts of copyright infringement.” Once someone shares an addon over our platform, we have no clue who downloads it, or what they do with it after they download it. They might never even use it, it might be totally broken, or even be used only for lawful purposes. Knowledge that infringement was occuring seems like a far stretch.
“Whether the service has significant uses other than to enable acts of copyright infringement.” Considering the fact that we had close to 2000 Kodi addons indexed, the overwhelming majority had no possible illiciit purpose, it seems like we had quite significant use other than what has been claimed in the lawsuit.
“The person’s ability, as part of providing the service, to limit acts of copyright infringement, and any action taken by the person to do so.” We provided a platform, and even the developers of addons have no control over how they are used or what content they scrape.
“Benefits the person received as a result of enabling the acts of copyright infringement and the economic viability of the provision of the service if it were not used to enable acts of copyright infringement.” Whether a user watched non-infringing or allegedly infringing content, we never allowed monetization within any Kodi addons. We relaunched our site in August 2017 after being down for three months and have quite a bit of traffic today. Had our domains, social media accounts and reputation not been destroyed by this lawsuit, we would be even bigger. We are enforcing a strict addon submission policy that restricts innovation, but ensures nothing potentially infringing makes its way onto our platform.We don’t expect everyone to donate, but we are truly grateful to those who do. We won’t be able to afford to fund this legal battle without the support of our users, no mere mortal could ever take on all of Canada’s biggest telecom companies at once. And for the record, these are the same companies that are trying to censor the Canadian internet.