Canadian government officials have been downloading copyright-protected items from file-sharing sites, according to activist researchers north of the border.

Activist group, the Pirate Party of Canada, used, a Russian site that scrapes public torrents for IP addresses, to find IP addresses used by illegal downloaders. The service, similar to those used by content owners to find copyright infringers, turned up IP addresses leased to the Canadian House of Commons.

Files downloaded from these addresses included video games, such as The Need for Speed, and movies, including the children's favourite, Hop. Also downloaded were copyrighted software titles, including Adobe Premiere Elements 10.

Representatives from the Pirate Party of Canada highlighted the irony of Canadian government officials using file-sharing sites to infringe on copyright, while the government attempts to push through C–11, a piece of legislation designed to enforce stricter copyright protection.

Kennedy Stewart, a member of Parliament for the opposition NDP, criticized this bill, also known as the Copyright Act. “We think the bill is tipped too far in favour of industry and needs to be rethought," he said in November.

The Copyright Act makes it illegal to break digital locks unless given express permission by the content owner.

The technology site BoingBoing also reported that torrent files have been downloaded from the offices of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.