Film studio seeks customer info from TekSavvy

A Hollywood film studio is trying to force internet provider TekSavvy to hand over customer information about people alleged to have illegally downloaded movies.

Voltage Pictures LLC is asking the Federal Court of Canada to force TekSavvy Solutions Inc. "to provide the names and contact information of customers associated with certain IP addresses that are alleged to have engaged in copyright infringement," the ISP said in a release.

As many as 2,000 IP addresses are involved in the legal action, which would make it the largest attempt to acquire customer information for a copyright infringement investigation in Canadian history.

The move comes weeks after the Copyright Modernization Act came into effect in Canada. The act dramatically altered the landscape of Canadian copyright law.

In a release, Chatham-based TekSavvy said it has a responsibility to protect customer information and ensure customer privacy. But it also said it would comply with any court order to hand over customer information.

"Currently we have not received a court order, only a request for information and a motion for an order," TekSavvy CEO Marc Gaudrault said.

"We will not provide the information until we are ordered to by a court. This is unknown territory for Canadians. We have retained legal counsel to help us through the process and ascertain our rights and obligations as an ISP," he said.

Some TekSavvy customers have already received a communication from TekSavvy that a third party request has been made for their personal information, the company said.

Last year, Voltage took legal action against tens of thousands of U.S. web users who the studio alleges illegally downloaded the company's Oscar-winning film The Hurt Locker.

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