Canadian Creators Groups Come Out for Net Neutrality

Earlier this week, Denis McGrath noted that Internet users should be remember that the same Canadian creator groups being criticized over the new media hearing, will be supportive of arguments for net neutrality.  Several submissions to the CRTC's net neutrality proceeding from leading creator groups such as CFTPA, DOC, Canadian Conference of the Arts, and the CBC confirm their support for net neutrality and emphasize the importance of P2P as a distribution technology.   For example, the CFTPA says:

while P2P applications are undeniably used for the distribution of unauthorized content (as are email, newsgroups and the web), they also are increasingly serving as the foundation for new business models that will enable independent producers to make full use of broadband as a delivery vehicle for Canadian audio-visual programming.  Consequently, the CFTPA is concerned that discriminatory traffic throttling may inhibit the development of new applications that would facilitate the ability of independent producers and other content providers to better monetize their content – whether self-distributed, distributfinds its way onto the Internet.

It therefore submits that the CRTC "require as a condition of service that ISPs refrain from employing any traffic management practice that discriminates on the basis of application or protocol."


Meanwhile, the Documentary Organization of Canada argues:

The ISP practice of throttling to manage Internet traffic is a particular concern to the Canadian documentary filmmaking community.  DOC supports the notion of Net Neutrality. By employing traffic shaping techniques that target P2P applications, ISPs are effectively taking on the role of gatekeepers.  

In the view of the CBC:

In CBC/Radio-Canada’s view, an Internet traffic management practice would contravene section 36 of the Act if it involved either blocking access to a website or altering a communication over the Internet so as to significantly distort the content of the communication or frustrate timely access to the content.

According to the CCA:

One cannot argue simultaneously that Canadians’ access to content is now unlimited, if the companies from which Canadians obtain access to that content, decide to and actually impose their own limits on users’ access to, that content, for reasons that involve profit, as much as or even more than they involve ‘pure’ traffic management to manage traffic congestion.

There are similar sentiments posted by ACTRA and the Canadian Media Guild. The net neutrality hearings will clearly extend beyond the business, innovation, and consumer concerns, as these submissions point to the strong Canadian culture connection to the issue.

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