In 2015, the federal government established the "Notice and Notice" regime to help combat copyright infringement online. Copyright owners (or their appointed representative) can send a "notice of claimed infringement" email to an Internet provider when their copyrighted work is shared on the Internet or posted on a website without permission.
Internet service providers (ISPs) and Internet network intermediaries (such as MacEwan University) are required by law to forward notices that they receive when they are able to determine which account was associated with the Internet protocol (IP) address at the date and time indicated in the notice. The law requires this data to be retained to assist in identifying users, but no information is released without a court order.
ISPs and Internet network administrators merely forward these notices and do not endorse or support the allegations contained in them.
The Notice and Notice system is in contrast to the "Notice and Takedown" system in the United States that requires ISPs to immediately remove content or shut down site pages if a claim of infringement is received.
It means that the copyright owner or their representative has identified questionable internet traffic that has been associated with your account. Simply receiving a notice does not mean that you are guilty of any wrongdoing or will be sued. A copyright holder can requests this information in the process of pursuing a copyright infringement suit. In Canada, the maximum statutory penalty for non-commercial infringement is $5000.
There is no obligation to respond to the notice. The sender does not know who you are and would not know unless they formally apply to a court to have these details provided. MacEwan University respects your privacy and does not provide such information unless ordered to do so by a court. It remains a possibility that the copyright owner could pursue legal action at a later date, but this has proven to be rare.
There is certainly no obligation or requirement to pay any "settlement offer" or any other claim that may be contained in the notice you receive.
The notice acts a warning that Internet activity is monitored and a reminder that there may be consequences for illegal activity. The intention is to see a reduction of piracy and illegal posts, with or without the notices leading to a copyright lawsuit.
The Government of Canada Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) provides excellent information here:
Financial Post, September 6, 2018:
Global News, January 13, 2017:
Vice, November 7, 2016:
CBC News. November 2, 2016:
CBC News, September 12, 2016: