Canadian Telcos Take Aim At Kodi Addon Site With Shocking Search: True Purpose to “Destroy Livelihood of the Defendant”

Michael Geist, Aug 04, 2017
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I am as alarmed as Michael Geist about the extraordinary and excessive behaviour of some Canadian Telcos in their efforts to limit competition to cabe television subscriptions. They are fighting "the sale and distribution of Android set-top boxes and websites that facilitate distribution of addons for Kodi software." Kodi is a free media player designed to look good on large screen TVs. Bell, Videotron, and Rogers argue "that the pre-loaded software on set-top boxes makes it easy to access infringing streaming content." To this point it's a simple dispute that could be settled in court. But the Telcos went far beyond that to target TVAddons, a Canadian-controlled website that supports Kodi and other software.

They "used a civil search warrant (known as an Anton Pillar order) to access the home of Adam Lackman, a Montreal man who owns the site, as well as the copyright issues in the case. Their actions are documented by TorrentFreak, the CBC, and the National Post, which chronicle abusive conduct that included hours of interrogations without the ability to consult a lawyer." The purpose, concluded a judge, "was to destroy the livelihood of the Defendant, deny him the financial resources to finance a defence to the claim made against him, and to provide an opportunity for discovery of the Defendant in circumstances where none of the procedural safeguards of our civil justice system could be engaged." 

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