Quebec court shuts down peer-to-peer site

The APFTQ applauds as popular music, film and TV show downloading site Qué, which trafficked in copyrighted works, goes dark

In the first decision of its kind in Quebec, a court has shut down a popular peer-to-peer website that allowed members to download and share music, films and TV shows protected under copyright law.

The Quebec Superior Court’s July 9 ruling is being hailed by the province’s music and film and television industry associations, which last November asked the court to prevent the peer-to-peer website Qué from distributing Quebec content.

‘We are very happy. This is a major victory. We did this in the name of everyone who creates content,’ Brigitte Doucet, deputy director of Quebec producers association APFTQ, tells Playback Daily.

The APFTQ and the music industry group ADISQ (Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo) had taken legal action against Qué, one of the province’s most popular downloading sites. ‘There are over 100,000 members,’ says Doucet, adding that she estimates roughly 95 percent of the content sharing was illegal.

Qué owner Sébastien Brulotte has posted an online shutdown notice, stating that his website must now ‘refrain from being involved in any website using the bittorrent technology, peer to peer, or any other technology allowing the download of any work protected by copyright.’

In mid-June, the federal government tabled its copyright legislation meant to clamp down on online piracy. Under the proposed law, Canadians cannot share copyrighted music or video files through file-sharing programs such as BitTorrent or LimeWire.

ACTRA, the Canadian Record Industry Association and the Canadian Music Publishers Association applauded the draft legislation, while others criticized it for being ‘all locks and lawsuits.’