What is Notice and Notice?

Many content owners or their agents monitor the Internet to identify when their copyrighted content is being shared, copied or used in a manner that infringes their copyright.   Popular file-sharing sites that use the BitTorrent protocol are actively monitored.

Notice and Notice is a tool established in the Copyright Act to help copyright owners address online copyright infringement (e.g. illegal downloading) so that they can protect their copyrighted material while respecting the interests and freedom of users.  

The Notice and Notice provisions specify protocols that intermediaries such as internet service providers (ISPs), web hosts, digital network providers and search engine providers (each a “Provider”) must use to receive, respond to, and manage complaints of copyright infringement. The process involves a content owner sending an infringement notice to the user’s Provider, and the Provider forwarding that notice to the user.

What does this mean at the University of Regina?

The Notice and Notice provisions apply to the University of Regina and the University community in several ways:

  • Since the University of Regina hosts web content and provides a digital network to its users, we are a Provider and are obliged to comply with the "Provisions Respecting Providers of Network Services or Information Location Tools" described in sections 41.25 and 41.26 of the Copyright Act.
  • University of Regina employees and students may own copyrighted content. If they believe that their material has been subject to online copyright infringement, they can use the Notice to Notice process to communicate with the infringing user, as the first step to enforcing their copyright.
  • University of Regina employees and students may use content that they obtain on the Internet, but only in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act. Copyright compliance is not only a legal requirement, but good academic practice. Any University of Regina employee or student who copies content from the Internet in breach of copyright law will be responsible for such copyright infringement (and may receive a “notice” as described below).

How does Notice and Notice work?

Where a content owner learns that their content has been shared, copied or used in a manner that is, in their view, an infringement of copyright, they typically are not able to determine the identity of the infringing user.  However, they are able to determine the IP address of the device that used or shared the content, and which Provider is responsible for that IP address.

The content owner can send a notice of alleged infringement (an “Infringement Notice”) to the Provider.

The Notice and Notice regime requires the Provider to:

  1. Make reasonable efforts to identify the user associated with the IP address listed in the Infringement Notice and either:

(a)   forward the Infringement Notice to the user and notify the content owner that the notice was forwarded; or

(b)   if the user cannot be identified, notify the content owner that the notice was not forwarded.

  1.  Keep a file of all Infringement Notices for six months from the date on which each Infringement Notice is received (or 12 months if legal proceedings are commenced)

If a Provider receives an Infringement Notice, but does not comply with its obligations under the Notice and Notice regime, the content owner may seek statutory damages against the Provider.

Four important details

  • The University of Regina will not disclose the identity of the user to the content owner, unless required to do so by a court order or at law.
  • Content owners monitor the use of IP addresses to determine whether their copyright has been infringed:  the University of Regina is not involved in this process.
  • The University of Regina does not evaluate the legitimacy of the Infringement Notices it receives. The fact that the University of Regina is forwarding a notice does not mean that the University of Regina endorses, supports, or acknowledges the allegations contained in the notice. The University of Regina is merely forwarding notices as required by law.
  • The Notice and Notice system does not otherwise change the existing laws that govern the use of copyrighted materials.  For more information about your rights and obligations under copyright law, please visit https://www.uregina.ca/copyright/.

If you have any questions about Notice and Notice, please see Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s website.  Read this commentary to learn more about Notice and Notice and what to consider if you receive a copyright Infringement Notice.

If you have any questions about Notice and Notice at the University of Regina, email copyright@uregina.ca.

The web page “What is Notice and Notice?” is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.