For freedom and solidarity online

Some precisions regarding Koumbit and ValJalbert.ca

Montreal, March 29, 2013 - Several journalists have recently contacted Koumbit concerning the website valjalbert.ca.

Koumbit is a Web service provider established in Montreal in 2004, working primarily with non-profits and community groups.

Koumbit received a call on March 25th from a person associated with the Corporation of the Regional Park of Val-Jalbert. This person asked Koumbit to disclose the identity of a client who owns the domain valjalbert.ca, in order to send him a legal notice.

Koumbit is required by law to protect the personal data of its clients, except by order of the court. We therefore proposed to the representative of the Corporation of the Regional Park of Val-Jalbert take their contact information and to forward the message to our client. However, the person chose not to identify themselves.

On March 26th, Koumbit received a notice from the Corporation of the Regional Park of Val-Jalbert, asking us to close the site valjalbert.ca within 24 hours. Koumbit sent the notice to the customer, who had moved their site away from Koumbit's servers the night of March 26th-27th before having received a copy of the notice. The site has not been hosted by Koumbit since that time.

As information concerning the hosting of domain names and web sites is public, it is easy to confirm that the site valjabert.ca is now hosted by a company called 1984.is, located in Iceland.

Our attorney responded in writing to the applicant on March 27th. Here is a translated excerpt of the response sent:

Our client has sent us the notice you have served them with concerning this matter. They have informed us that they have sent it to their client, who had already removed the site in question from Koumbit's servers. Our client no longer has any control over the site valjalbert.ca.
Moreover, we are not convinced of the merits of your appeal, especially with regard to recent amendments to the "Law on Copyright" concerning satire and parody, the 2009 bill "An Act to amend the Code of Civil Procedure to prevent improper use of the courts and promote respect for freedom of expression and citizen participation in public debate," and the apparent absence of defamation or disparagement in the content site, but these issues are now moot as to our client.

On March 28th, 48 hours after this client had moved their website, Koumbit received an injunction asking us to close the site valjalbert.ca and to retain all information pertaining to this client and site. Although we have not hosted this site since March 26th, we have complied the injunction and have preserved all relevant information.

Koumbit responded to the notice and the injunction upon receipt in accordance with the law and our contract with our client. It is impossible for Koumbit to disable the site valjalbert.ca, which has been hosted by a company based in Iceland for several days now.

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