Telecom by yum9me (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/53jSy4

Telecom by yum9me (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/53jSy4

Telecom

iphone-vpn-pptp-l2tp by tua ulamac (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/NUSKTU

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 5: The Inevitable Expansion of the Block List Standard for “Piracy” Sites

The Bell coalition website blocking proposal downplays concerns about over-blocking that often accompanies site blocking regimes by arguing that it will be limited to “websites and services that are blatantly, overwhelmingly, or structurally engaged in piracy.” Having discussed piracy issues in Canada and how the absence of a court order makes the proposal an outlier with virtually every country that has permitted site blocking, the case against the website blocking plan now turns to the inevitability of over-blocking that comes from expanding the block list or from the technical realities of mandating site blocking across hundreds of ISPs for millions of subscribers. This post focuses on the likely expansion of the scope of piracy for the purposes of blocking and the forthcoming posts will discuss other sources of blocking over-reach.

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February 16, 2018 10 comments News
This site contains blocked messages by Banksy by Duncan Hull https://flic.kr/p/nDggUx (CC BY 2.0)

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 4: Absence of Court Orders Would Put Canada At Odds With Almost Everyone

The first three posts in the case against the Bell coalition website plan focused on why it has failed to provide convincing evidence that the drastic step of site blocking is needed (existing law, weak evidence on Canadian piracy, limited negative impact on the market). The series continues by examining some of the problems with the proposal itself. One of the most obvious problems – indeed one that is fatal – is the absence of court orders for website blocking. The attempt to avoid direct court involvement in blocking decisions means the proposal suffers from an absence of full due process, raising a myriad of legal concerns. If adopted, the coalition website plan would put Canada at odds with almost every other country that has permitted blocking since the data is unequivocal: the overwhelming majority require a court order for site blocking.

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February 15, 2018 1 comment News
Netflix - Generic Photo - Creative Commons by Matthew Keys (CC BY-ND 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/vsTUgA

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 3: Piracy Having Little Impact on Thriving Digital Services and TV Production

The case against the Bell coalition’s website blocking plan continues with an examination of the state of new digital business models and Canadian content production (earlier posts looked at Canadian copyright law and weak evidence on Canadian piracy). Given the high threshold needed to gain CRTC support for website blocking (which requires exceptional circumstances), the coalition proposal must not only make the case that there is a significant Canadian piracy problem, but also that piracy is having an enormous impact on the business and creative sectors.

The proposal tries to meet that standard by claiming that Canadian piracy “makes it difficult if not impossible to build the successful business models that will meet the evolving demands of Canadians, support Canadian content production, and contribute to the Canadian economy.” Yet as with the actual data on Canadian piracy, which firmly rebuts claims that Canada is a piracy haven, the Canadian data on the digital economy and Canadian creative sector show a thriving industry.

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February 14, 2018 8 comments News
FBI Anti-Piracy Warning! by Shunsuke Kobayashi https://flic.kr/p/2HJmHK (CC BY 2.0)

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 2: Weak Evidence on the State of Canadian Piracy

Having examined the state of current Canadian copyright law with respect to anti-piracy measures, the series outlining the case against the Bell coalition’s website blocking plan continues with an examination of the evidence on Canadian piracy. The coalition argues that piracy in Canada is a growing threat, relying on data from MUSO to suggest that current activities “makes it difficult if not impossible to build the successful business models that will meet the evolving demands of Canadians, support Canadian content production, and contribute to the Canadian economy.” My next post will discuss economic evidence in Canada, highlighting record growth in authorized streaming services and production in the Canadian creative sector. This post is limited to data on Canadian piracy rates and whether drastic measures such as website blocking are needed.

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February 13, 2018 2 comments News
Press Conference: Meet the Co-Chairs by World Economic Forum (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/JqKwT9

The Case Against the Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan, Part 1: Canada’s Current Copyright Law Provides Effective Anti-Piracy Tools

The Bell coalition’s website blocking proposal has sparked a huge public outcry, with thousands of Canadians submitting interventions to the CRTC opposing a plan premised on website blocking without direct court involvement. I have written several posts on the issue – a general assessment on why it is a terrible idea, a closer look at the economic reality of the Canadian film and television sector, and a discussion of Bell’s inconsistent comments to the CRTC vs. business analysts – but the case against the radical plan merits a closer look at both the evidence and the legal arguments. With this post, I begin a new series that will make the case against the Bell coalition’s website blocking plan.

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February 12, 2018 5 comments News