internet down :( by Kirk Lau (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/3uMSYS

internet down :( by Kirk Lau (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/3uMSYS

News

Bell Calls for CRTC-Backed Website Blocking System and Complete Criminalization of Copyright in NAFTA

Bell, Canada’s largest telecom company, has called on the government to support radical copyright and broadcast distribution reforms as part of the NAFTA renegotiation. Their proposals include the creation of a mandated website blocking system without judicial review overseen by the CRTC and the complete criminalization of copyright with criminal provisions attached to all commercial infringement. Bell also supports an overhaul of the current retransmission system for broadcasters, supporting a “consent model” that would either keep U.S. channels out of the Canadian market or dramatically increase their cost of access while maintaining simultaneous substitution.

The Bell positions were articulated at hearing this week of the Standing Committee on International Trade on NAFTA (I appeared earlier in the week before the same committee). The first hour included representatives from both Rogers and Bell. The Rogers position on copyright struck a reasonable balance:

The 2012 Copyright Modernization Act was carefully developed by Parliament over many years and is designed to serve the interests of all Canadians in its balance between rights holders and uses of copyrighted works. We are concerned that a trade renegotiation, where copyright issues are used as bargaining chips, could endanger this delicate balance. In our view, any changes to our domestic copyright laws should be made through the upcoming five-year review of the Copyright Modernization Act, not through the NAFTA renegotiation.

In other words, Rogers believes that changes to Canadian copyright law should come through an open, public process, not behind closed doors in a trade negotiation.

By contrast, Bell took precisely the opposite approach, urging the government to use secretive trade discussions to establish copyright reforms that would be unlikely to ever garner public or policy support. Indeed, it seems likely that the only way Canada could end up with a mandated website blocking system overseen by the CRTC would be to cook it up in a trade negotiation.

Bell focused on piracy during its presentation, arguing that website blocking is the best solution:

Our view on how we solve the piracy problem is it is not sort of coming up with new technological measures, it’s blocking access to piracy. How do you do that? We would like to see measures put in place whereby all Internet service providers are required to block consumer access to pirated websites. In our view, that is the only way to stop it. So you would mandate all ISPs across the country to essentially block access to a black list of egregious piracy sites. That would be job number one.

How does Bell envision this working?  When asked, Bell’s representative stated:

In our view it would be an independent agency that would be charged with that task. You certainly would not want ISPs acting as censors as to what content is pirate content. But, surely, an independent third party agency could be formed, could create a black list of pirate sites and then the ISPs would be required to block it. That is at a high level how we would see it unfolding, perhaps overseen by a regulator like the CRTC.

This is not a misprint. Bell would like the CRTC to police allegations of copyright infringement by overseeing a new website blocking agency charged with creating a block list. Incredibly, Bell’s proposal involves no court oversight, hoping to create a mandatory system for blocking websites that excludes the due process that comes from judicial review (raising obvious Charter of Rights and Freedoms concerns). Notably, Bell does not discuss that Canada already has a provision in the Copyright Act that allows rights holders to target websites that enable infringement.

Moreover, Bell also wants to introduce criminal liability for all commercial copyright infringement. During the opening remarks, it said “Canada should also create a criminal provision for any infringement of copyright, including facilitating and enabling piracy where it is undertaken for commercial purpose.” Since Canada already has a provision to target sites that enable infringement, Bell’s goal is to dramatically expand the prospect of criminal liability for infringement by opening the door to criminal sanction for all commercial copyright infringement. Since some groups have argued that even non-commercial activity could have a commercial impact, the proposal could conceivably capture a wide range of common activities. As with the mandated website blocking proposal, Bell is hoping that the government support inclusion of criminal copyright in NAFTA, thereby ensuring that it does not go through the same policy and public review as other copyright reforms.

The Bell proposals (which sit alongside broadcast distribution proposals that would enshrine simultaneous substitution in NAFTA and create the prospect of blocked U.S. channels under a consent model) suggest that the company’s position as a common carrier representing the concerns of ISPs and their subscribers is long over. Instead, Bell’s copyright advocacy goes beyond what even some U.S. rights holders have called for, envisioning new methods of using copyright law to police the Internet with oversight from the CRTC and implementing such provisions through NAFTA.

67 Comments

  1. A reasonable and balanced compromise would be to block and criminalize Bell.

    Dear Bell customers,
    Please consider alternatives.

  2. No problem, Bell. They’ll get right on it just as soon as you implement a system that blocks spoofed calls.

  3. They’ll get all of that plus more! Why? Because Lisa LaFlamme said so, so it must be true. I do recall a big stink the networks had regarding political advertising a few years back, and how they mislead the public in newscasts on copyright law to politically attack the conservatives. If we are going to start blocking websites, maybe we need incorporate broadcasters who don’t follow code of ethics laws.

    • The findings in that report should be brought forward to our government/CRTC, perhaps do a Canadian focused study by the same firm.

  4. Bell (and all of its subsidiaries) is following a typical self indulgence of capitalism and greed and painting the picture of what that would look like to the government. It is merely a fantasy wishlist – and it should just stay in fantasyland. Bell should be embarrassed to even propose sucha one sided scheme so short on details.

  5. Oh how i’ve hated bell my whole life and they dream up another reason for me to continue.

  6. So Bell Canada want the government to erect The Great Firewall of Canada. fsck that crap! Time to boycott Bell Canada!

  7. Am I allowed to say, Fuck Bell?

    Or is that too rude?

  8. The Quebec government passed a law to redirect gamblers… guess Bell gets their corporate direction because of this. Their new marketing phrase should be `we spy on and screw all equally’

    Cast your vote, encourage all to sell their Bell stock. If this scheme sees daylight, the stock will be worthless any way.

  9. Pingback: Bell Calls for CRTC-Backed Website Blocking System and Complete Criminalization of Copyright in NAFTA - Michael Geist

  10. Pingback: #Bell Calls for #CRTC-Backed Website Blocking System and Complete C… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (罗伊)

  11. Pingback: Bell Calls for CRTC-Backed Website Blocking System and Complete Criminalization of Copyright in NAFTA | EDUMIO.com

  12. Devil's Advocate says:

    Another argument against allowing service providers to also be content providers.

    Bell knows very well the implications of what they’re proposing, and argued against such proposals in the past, before they put their hands in the “IP Market”.

  13. Exclusivity Promotes Priracy says:

    This is the same company whose media president said “It has to become socially unacceptable to admit to another human being that you are VPNing into U.S. Netflix”. If there was ever an indication that Bell is losing the ISP war and falling back on media this is it.

  14. Pingback: An Industry Divided: How Bell Broke With the Telecom Sector on Copyright - Michael Geist

  15. I would love to boycott Bell and Rogers, but it is either Bell or Rogers around here for ISP, and all the other garbage services.

  16. Pingback: CTP Ep. 133 - Sep 24, 2017: Jump Off a Cliff - Canadian Tech Podcast

  17. Pingback: Canadian ISP Bell Calls For Pirate Site Blacklist in NAFTA Hearing - TorrentFreak

  18. Pingback: Canadian ISP Bell Calls For Pirate Site Blacklist in NAFTA Hearing - Enigma TV

  19. Bell should try getting into the router or black market box business. That’s where all the money’s gonna be if Bell has it’s way.

  20. Pingback: Canadian ISP Bell Calls For Pirate Site Blacklist in NAFTA Hearing – 260Blog

  21. Pingback: Canadian ISP Bell Calls For Pirate Site Blacklist in NAFTA Hearing | come-join.us

  22. Pingback: Canadian ISP Bell Calls For Pirate Site Blacklist in NAFTA Hearing

  23. Pingback: Canadian ISP Bell Calls For Pirate Site Blacklist in NAFTA Hearing » Enigma TV

  24. This is a good time to switch to OpenNIC DNS servers. At the very least it’s a good time to think about DNS and why you might not want to use your ISP’s.

  25. Pingback: Canadian ISP Bell Calls For Pirate Site Blacklist in NAFTA Hearing | Crypto Cabaret

  26. Subscribe to a good local TPIA for a dry loop (or cable if prefered) and internet only . And go with the voip route!

  27. So glad I switched from Hell 12 years ago. Never even thought about going back once and actually got all family members to switch all services OFF of Bell.

  28. Pingback: ‘Radical and overreaching’: Bell wants Canadians blocked from piracy websites – Canada News

  29. Pingback: ‘Radical and overreaching’: Bell wants Canadians blocked from piracy websites – MaharlikaNews @ykhy CW051017

  30. Pingback: 'Radical and overreaching': Bell wants Canadians blocked from piracy websites - Times of News Canada

  31. Pingback: ‘Radical and overreaching’: Bell wants Canadians blocked from piracy websites – Les écrits lunatiques

  32. Pingback: ‘Radical and overreaching’: Bell wants Canadians blocke… – Breaking

  33. Pingback: ‘Radical and overreaching’: Bell wants Canadians blocked from piracy websites | MediaNavy

  34. Pingback: 'Radical and overreaching': Bell wants Canadians blocked from piracy websites - AllCharts

  35. Pingback: ‘Radical and overreaching’: Bell wants Canadians blocked from piracy websites | CSIS News

  36. Pingback: Media News Digest: CBC Montreal open house, EBOX complains about Bell Media, Mercer Report starts final season | Fagstein

  37. Pingback: Bell Canada Wants Pirate Websites Blocked For Canadians - R- Pakistan Daily Roznama

  38. Pingback: Bell Canada Wants Pirate Websites Blocked For Canadians (www.cbc.ca) – Modern Tech Builder

  39. Pingback: Bell Canada Wants Pirate Websites Blocked For Canadians (www.cbc.ca) – Tech Bloom

  40. Pingback: Bell Canada Wants Pirate Websites Blocked For Canadians (www.cbc.ca) – Tech Invention

  41. Pingback: Bell Canada Wants Pirate Websites Blocked For Canadians (www.cbc.ca) – About Tech

  42. Pingback: Bell Canada Wants Pirate Websites Blocked For Canadians (www.cbc.ca) – Tech Marketing Now

  43. Pingback: Bell wants to create piracy blacklist through NAFTA | Daily Update

  44. …wow, didn’t know Bell “Canada” and BCE were actually Quebec companies.
    Hmmmm.

  45. Pingback: About mobile data costs in Canada | I was just thinking…

  46. Pingback: A NAFTA sztori #2 – A harmadik kör a szerzői jogról is szólt – COPY21

  47. Pingback: Bell quiere crear la lista negra de la piratería a través del TLCAN – High Tech Newz

  48. Pingback: Escalating war on net neutrality, Bell Canada wants to block Canadians' access to pirate websites – The Canadian Progressive

  49. Pingback: Bell wants Canadian government to maintain black list of piracy sites – नेपाली टाईम्स

  50. Pingback: Defending Users in NAFTA 2.0: Who Are We Up Against? | NETWORKFIGHTS.COM

  51. Pingback: Defending Users in NAFTA 2.0: Who Are We Up Against? – YSecure

  52. Pingback: Defending Users in NAFTA 2.0: Who Are We Up Against? | Electronic Frontier Foundation

  53. Pingback: Bell is using international negotiations to influence domestic policy - The Fulcrum

  54. God TheFather says:

    Again chasing witches. Bell is like the Canadian Trump. They are as dumb as he is, they want to crush poor people like him, they want to control the internet, they want to control YOU!

    I have NO internet at home, NO phone line, NO CABLE or SATELLITE. I do everything from the workplace. If they want people to pay, well corporations will have to pay because people like me are off the grid and are using the corporate networks to do stuff.

    The rich will make the rich pay. That is a GOOD thing. Join us in our OFF-THE-GRID movement, all governments and their masters (corporations) hate us, and WE love it!

  55. for this type of rumor Bell’s licence to work on this market should be cancelled

  56. Pingback: Unikají zisky při porušování autorských práv na internetu? Zašantročená studie ukazuje, že to není prokazatelné. | Otevřené vzdělávání

  57. Pingback: Bell Leads on Radical Proposal for CRTC-Backed Mandatory Website Blocking System - Michael Geist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

*