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

the television will not be... by aesthetics of crisis (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dT9oyX

Canada’s Tough Anti-Piracy Copyright Law: Federal Court Awards Millions in Damages Against Unauthorized Streaming Site

When the Bell coalition filed its website blocking application earlier this year, the immediate response from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains was to point to the strength of existing copyright law:

We understand that there are groups, including Bell, calling for additional tools to better fight piracy, particularly in the digital domain. Canada’s copyright system has numerous legal provisions and tools to help copyright owners protect their intellectual property, both online and in the physical realm. We are committed to maintaining one of the best intellectual property and copyright frameworks in the world to support creativity and innovation to the benefit of artists, creators, consumers and all Canadians.

I emphasized the point in my first post making the case against site blocking, arguing that Canada already has many legal provisions designed to assist copyright owners.

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April 16, 2018 11 comments News
25 Under 25 (2017) by Internet Society ©Tsutsumida Pictures (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/Y5wvzo

CRTC Website Blocking Submissions Confirm Over-Blocking Risks: “Every Blocking Technique Suffers from Over-blocking and Under-blocking”

With broad-based criticism of the Bell website blocking plan, supporters have tried to dismiss the opposition by characterizing much of their analysis as “misinformation”. Yet a review of many expert submissions reveals widely held concerns regarding the proposal. Many point to the absence of court orders as a key flaw and no one – whether supporter or critic – disputes that the majority of countries that have used site blocking require court orders. Further, claims that human rights concerns are unfounded ring hollow in light of the critical submission from the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression. Efforts to dismiss the cost implications of site blocking are undermined by the clear position of the majority of Canadian Internet providers that the expenses associated with blocking are likely to lead to increased consumer costs and reduced competition.

Many submissions similarly point to the risks of over-blocking legitimate content.

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April 10, 2018 2 comments News
No Internet by Marcelo Graciolli (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/5h48hK

Canadian Internet Providers Warn of Site Blocking Consequences: Threat to Affordable Internet Access and Market Competition

Given that Canadian consumers pay some of the highest fees among peer countries for Internet and wireless access, the federal government has increasingly emphasized the need to address Internet affordability. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has told the House of Commons that “Canadians pay enough for their Internet” and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains echoed the same concerns in a speech last year, noting that high costs create a digital divide that represents a barrier to continued prosperity for Canadians.

The Internet access cost concerns seems likely to emerge as a key issue in response to the Bell coalition website blocking plan. While some have tried to deflect the cost concern by pointing to the purported anti-piracy benefits of blocking (a claim that is subject to considerable dispute in the CRTC submissions), the clear position of the majority of Canadian providers – whether independent ISPs, cable companies, or satellite-based providers – is that the costs associated with blocking are likely to lead to increased consumer costs, reduced competition, and risks to extending broadband services to under-served areas.

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April 6, 2018 7 comments News
IMG_0207 by wyliepoon https://flic.kr/p/8Q7Ef3 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Telus’ Website Blocking Submission: No Copyright Expertise Needed and No Net Neutrality Violation if Everyone is Doing It

Telus was not a charter member of the Bell website blocking coalition, but there was never much doubt that the last of the big incumbents would side with the application. Most of the independent and smaller telecom companies have opposed the proposal (and even the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association cannot bring itself to state that it supports the plan), but Canada is not known for competition among the big incumbents and this issue was no different. Indeed, the Telus submission supports the application, but relies on remarkably weak and somewhat head-scratching analysis to arrive at its conclusion that the proposal meets the necessary legal standards.

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April 3, 2018 3 comments News
What's on the blacklist? Three sites that SOPA could put at risk by opensource.com (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/aZhtRV

My CRTC Submission on the Bell Coalition Site Blocking Plan: Why it is Disproportionate, Harmful, and Inconsistent With Global Standards

The CRTC’s deadline for submissions on the Bell coalition website blocking plan closed last week, with more than 10,000 people and organizations filing directly with the CRTC. The interventions including a warning from the U.N. Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression that the blocking plan “raises serious inconsistencies” with Canada’s human rights obligations, fears from ISPs that the plan will increase Internet costs for consumers, expert analysis on the technical risks of site blocking, and detailed reviews of the many problems with the plan.

My submission has not yet been posted online, but is available in full here. The submission is divided into five parts:

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April 2, 2018 1 comment News