Michael Geist particularly worried about fate of vast piracy network based at University of Ottawa

Renowned Internet law expert Michael Geist says he is opposed to proposals by intellectual property rights holders to regulate online piracy by blocking access to certain websites, and is concerned that the “decent, hard-working people” behind these websites could lose their livelihoods despite having done nothing that he considers seriously wrong.

“Networks like PolterGeist, which I think is among the best out there, and has high-quality content, low latency and no malware whatsoever, shouldn’t be punished because the big media players can’t find ways to make their content easier to consume for a nominal fee,” Geist said. “If only more Bell and Rogers-licensed content was available on YouTube or iTunes, the brilliant minds behind the PolterGeist portal, whoever they might be, wouldn’t have to engage in this behaviour, curating the largest selection of grey-market titles in the world.”

Geist said the piracy networks, which shouldn’t even be called that because what is piracy even anyway, would easily survive a court challenge and in any case with only four servers because the fifth one is undergoing maintenance, the system could easily be moved out of the University of Ottawa campus where it sits now and into any location with an Internet connection, although few would be as fast as a university.

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