The process of turning a newspaper into a digital file is known as file-sharing, but what happens if the paper you are reading is not yours?
ABC News’ Rob Gollin investigates.
This is the story of how a few people started an online petition that led to a court case, and the process by which it was successfully fought.
The paper, which was published by the Toronto Star in 2011, had been stolen from the University of California, Berkeley, by an unknown person.
A judge ordered the paper’s publisher, The University of Toronto, to turn over the stolen papers, and a legal battle ensued.
In January this year, the case was settled, with the papers returned to the university.
What happened next, and how did the case affect the paper?
The case was about copyright law and the way people had access to media.
One of the issues the courts were faced with was that some people who had copies of the paper were able to access the material and use it without the knowledge of the copyright holder.
“We don’t think there’s a legal right to do this, but we don’t know that we can’t,” said Professor Gollins.
There were many people who could get hold of it, he said.
“We do not have a crystal ball.””
Professor Goll, who has previously dealt with cases like this, said the court had to consider the wider implications of the ruling. “
We do not have a crystal ball.”
Professor Goll, who has previously dealt with cases like this, said the court had to consider the wider implications of the ruling.
But it did have some lessons for the newspaper’s owner, the university, and anyone who had access.
Professor Gellins said that although the papers had not been returned to him, the University had received the legal documents and was in discussions with the paper owner.
If the paper was returned, the student who created the petition, Josh Brough, had no problems with it, Professor Gellin said.
He said he had received no official notification of the outcome of the case and had been unaware of any of the legal ramifications.
“It’s pretty cool that they got a court order and that the university is in discussions, so I think that’s pretty awesome,” he said, before laughing.
As the case proceeded, the story gained traction on Twitter and Facebook, with thousands of people signing the petition and the university agreeing to hand over the papers.
More than 300,000 people had signed the petition by the time it was published, and it was backed by some of the world’s biggest publishers.
Then, in late January, the papers’ publisher, Toronto Star, published a statement in which it acknowledged that it had received a court demand for information.
It said that it would take the paper to court if it failed to comply.
However, the paper refused to pay the legal costs and the case went to court.
Two weeks later, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a ruling, ruling that it was not a copyright infringement case.
For now, Professor Brough and his fellow students have continued their battle to get their paper back.
‘It’s going to take time’A number of students have been involved in the fight, with some claiming to have made millions from the campaign.
They have received donations, some of which have exceeded $US2 million, and have received financial support from The University, the National Union of Students and other organisations.
Mr Brough said the legal battle had been a “really difficult and very long process”.
“I was lucky that I was part of it because I was a student at the time and it wasn’t that big of a deal,” he told ABC News.
I’m not a lawyer, he added.
“I was just doing my job.
I got a job as a courier and a courier can make money and get paid for what they deliver.”
The university, which has not yet made a statement on the case, has not commented.
According to Professor Gottins, the media industry was affected by the case.
“The big question is whether the internet, the mobile phone, social media and the new technologies that are coming into existence will really bring us closer to the digital age, which will bring us into a more intimate relationship with our content,” he explained.
Read more “There is a huge potential here for this case to have a lasting impact on the media landscape in the years to come.”
What do you think of the student petition?
Let us know in the comments below.