Quebecor Opens Door to Canadian Three Strikes Policy

The CRTC's net neutrality hearing submissions have generated several comments that link net neutrality with copyright.  As noted yesterday, CIRPA believes that content blocking of P2P sites should be considered.  Quebecor, which owns Videotron, a leading Quebec ISP, goes even further.  While ISPs in countries such as New Zealand are pushing back against "graduated response" policies that would create a three strikes and you're out policy terminating subscribers based on unproven allegations of copyright infringement, Quebecor argues that CRTC network management policies should account for the possibility of a Canadian three strikes model.

The Quebecor submission [zip] includes the following:

Certains participants à la présente instance ont déjà fait état de situations où le contrôle de contenus peut être bénéfique non seulement pour les utilisateurs de services Internet mais pour la société en général.  On peut penser au contrôle des pourriels et des virus, ou à la pornographie infantile.  À cette liste pourrait éventuellement s’ajouter des mesures de protection du droit d’auteur pouvant possiblement s’inspirer des modèles de riposte graduée déjà adoptés dans d’autres pays occidentaux.

Translated, Quebecor argues in favour of certain instances of ISPs controlling content, including anti-spam or child pornography blocking.  Moreover, it suggests that copyright policies that build upon the graduated response policies in other countries should be added to the list of content controls that benefit society. 

The Quebecor submission achieves a remarkable combination – arguing against net neutrality and for a three strikes approach that would terminate its own subscribers.  That any ISP could demonstrate such hostility toward its own customers provides a clear indicator of the utter lack of broadband competition in Canada and serves as a warning that the New Zealand fight could eventually make its way here.


  1. Devil's Advocate says:

    “…the New Zealand fight could eventually make its way here.”

    I’d say the mentality has already been demonstrated a number of times here.

  2. videotron blows, always has.
    Videotrons reply doesn’t surprise me, they own Archambault, the music store.

    They were also the ones who wanted to give those Montreal IRC users info away to be sued by cria (or whoever it was).

    Videotron is the biggest asshats out there.

    Thing is, there is no one else to change to for many.

  3. very scarey
    They own the french media.
    They own the french music stores
    They own more than what I know of
    And they are a financial backer of the Block who are pushing for Quebecs own CRTC

    Very scarey

    Quebec internet users are up the creek w/o a paddle.

  4. I am not surprised at all frankly…
    Nothing out of Quebec has never made any sense. Not businesses, not politicians, not laws and now not even ISP’s.

  5. Network BC argues for strict AUP
    How come you like the Network BC proposal to disconnect customers through a strict policing of an AUP?

  6. So send a message with your wallet…
    Gregg, give me a break. If nothing out of Quebec makes sense to you I’m afraid you haven’t tried hard enough. Quebecers are different, deal with it.

    As for Quebecor, there are perfectly good alternatives to their TV stations, radio stations, music stores and ISP out there. If, like me, you disagree with their positions then don’t use their services and purchase their products.

  7. Three Strikes
    Does this not set a precedent that with 3 unproven claims of accusation you are liable and lose something you paid for?

    How about three false claims of infringement means you lose your privilege to claim infringement? Or you are open to being counter sued?

    It is unfortunate that those who will be sued or lose their ISP connection do not posses the funds to fight back, maybe if the ISP charges the **AA groups a policing fee, that ‘revenue’ can go into a special fund to counter sue false infringement claimers.

  8. So…
    Will I be able to sue them when they cut off my service due to false accusations and someone dies because I couldn’t reach 911 on my VOIP phone?

  9. Severe Retardation
    Does the management of this company have severe retardation? Within 6-12 months, if they enthusiastically enforce a 3 strikes policy, they won’t have and customers left. Good luck with that guys, way to bury your own business, with gusto.

  10. @triga
    Actually since they control most of the news media in Quebec… Québécor might not lose that mutch customers..

    Once aggain this prouves that Péladaux(sp?) jr. will bring that compagny down…

    PS: @ Gegg
    Please dont start doing Quebec Bashing… that is counter productive and stupid there are a few great things that came from Quebec… (even if I dont like her songs, Celine Dion is a prime exemple of that).

  11. can I have some of your crack pls.
    Send a msg with your wallet?


    …and move to who exactly? hBell America? A hBell wholesaler? A videotron reseller?

    Alternatives? Where. Show me. Explain to me.

    There is NO alternatives in Quebec.

    There is NO “competitive market” in Quebec.

    Show me the “competitve market” in Ontario. Please leave the Rogers/hBell wholesalers and resellers, and show me the competition.

    Primus in select area’s that is not on Bell equipment?
    MSNi in Windsor not on Bell equipment?
    nexicom in petorborough not on Bell equipment?

    This competition is in isolated communities that the masses have no access to.

    Now explain the competition in Quebec to me please. Where should Videotron users move to again?

    Whith whom should they speak to with their wallet?

    I will be very surprised if the french language media even picks up on this.

    Quebec isn’t even aware of the copyright fight that went on. A couple of obscure articles that came out a month AFTER the re-election.

    Think they will know about this?

    Quebec will push for its own CRTC saying its good for the people, have no coverage, and not tell the people stuff like this will happen. They have been pushing for their own CRTC for years now.

    There is close to zero awareness of these things in Quebec french media and french population.

    Will Quebecor put out a press release saying what it wants to do in their media? heh

    speak with your wallet? Change telco? Let me know when you found an alternative…

  12. Hows your socialist wonderland working out there to my neighboors to the north?

    PWNED! Freemarket still has you by the balls!
    No matter what… you will always be owned by the US corporate interests!

    You simply can never break the control. First it was the French Masters, then the English Masters… even the Russian Royalty… now the American Corporations!

  13. We’ll figure something out
    They’ll have to find a way to legally hack my VPN connection if they want to gain the control they seek.

  14. If ever…
    I get a new ToS from Videotron stating a 3 strikes policy, I am switching ISP’s, cutting my cable TV and switching to Bell. If Bell decides to go this way as well then it’s no more internet and TV for me. I barely watch TV as it is and could probably get by playing single player games and *gasp* doing stuff like reading or going outside.

    Sometimes we take for granted that the world still worked just fine without the internet. Besides if I need to get my email and /. fix, there will always be internet access at work. 🙂

    Too bad adapt or die does not work for big companies. It’s easier for them to just have some laws changed.

  15. Easiest thing to do
    Use your neighbor internet.

  16. no other choices???
    wtf no choices in quebec? where have have all of you been the last decade, first theres b2b2c, then theres radioactive, acanac, THEY ALL offer high speed, most of them dont even have limits, dont throttle your torrents,, and for the rest of you PEERGUARDIAN2 will keep you safe!

  17. No joke, just got off phone 2-min ago and decided to write this
    My brother-in-law just got a Notice-on-notice from videotron for p2p downloading just yesterday.

    He doesn’t have any p2p apps. Doesn’t know what it is, or how it works. He doesn’t even use his Email program because he can’t figure out how to put the server credentials in it. He uses videotron webmail only, checks stocks and watches youtube.

    He called them to say they are mistaken. After the run-around he got off the phone with them and said, “videotron said I can be sued and they have to give my information to the people who sues me”.

    I just got off the phone with him and told him otherwise. But I did tell him about this new submission and told him, this is strike one.

    He won’t go back to Bell. Many won’t.

    Whats the alternative?

    This is a farce.

  18. not surprised
    why is anyone surprised by this? Quebecor owns a lot of stuff, including music stores and a cable tv company. Its only natural (if idiotic) behaviour from any company (this is not a Quebec behaviour, people…) to want to protect their TV and music properties that are “hurting” because of their internet property. Think, people…

    I know a lot of people that don’t bother subscribing to cable/sat TV anymore cause its just easier to get shows online… so Quebecor neuters one property to save a few others…

    Sigh… user that states that there is little to no alternatives to go to anymore is quite right… the sad reality is that the same companies that offer us “services” are also the ones that own the infrastructure. Not only does it not work from a cost perspective (big companies bleed money no matter what, “synergies” between divisions just don’t seem to work at that size…) but it has perverse effects such as the anti-competitive behaviour we’ve been seeing from Bell lately…

    Best thing that could ever happen to this country would be if infrastructure was controlled/maintained by government and/or specialized companies that could not expand into services…

  19. This is why it is important for Internet users to support fights against these laws in other countries
    The law in New Zealand, the must maligned Section 92A, has been put on hold by the Prime Minister, stating there is too much debate over how it will work in practice, even though he agrees with the principal of stopping copyright infringement.

    The onus is on the LAW to prosecute people for copyright infringement, NOT TECHNICAL PEOPLE.

    Quebecor really shows their lack of brains even proposiing this crud, just like the Politicians in NZ faced the same onslaught of criticism.

  20. Stop that nonesense about how things are run in Quebec, just pop your head out of the box for a minute. It’s all about control in a large scale, a world taken over kind of thing, now the next thing we’ll know is that Internet will get regulated and the front is author’s rights protection but the real reason is for control.. China has a “great” system, we’ll get is soon enough.

  21. RE: So…
    AB – No you can’t because when you subscribed to VoIP you signed an agreement waiving any liability for the stability of your VoIP service and therefor accessibility of 911 services.

    But you can probably sue them for reckless endangerment if nobody dies.

  22. Arthur Goldsmith says:

    They’d be happy to kick off subscribers,
    Their download limits are already some of the most ridiculous on the planet, their middle tier highspeed package has a limit of 20gigabytes. My neighbor already got charged an additional $60 in a month for going over his limit.

    Aside from the enjoying additional revenue, it’s really just a tax on video content, driving their users to curb their online content choices so they can sell more of their traditional higher yielding television service. Their DVR prices are something you need to bend over for, and their speciality channels, although plentiful are dry of any real choice in terms of content.

    Not having control over what they distribute in terms of media content drives these companies up the wall, they’re gripping tighter than ever now to a failing business model. Any reasonably competent economics major can draw you a graph showing you the DWL (dead weight loss) created by this inefficient media distribution model imposed by these oligopolies. Essentially what they’re doing is artificially lowering the supply (shifting the curve right), and since there’s some elasticity (product substitution, like their tv service) they’re able to control how people get their media.

    Seriously, that’s how these CEOs think, imho we should send these aging baby boomer CEOs to the Gulags.

  23. Carrier Status
    So if I download a copy of an album, I can have my ISP cut me off, but if someone plays me the same album over a phone line and I record it, there is no problem and my phone connection goes un-changed?
    Thsi is as stupid as the public performance provisions in the Aussie copyright rules that made it an offense to sing songs still under copyright such as “Waltzing Matilda” in a public place as it would make it a public performance. Piano bars had to think twice about having an actual piano in there as someone might belt out a few bars of a current tune.

    Copyright is broken. There has to be a better way to allow private/fair use!

  24. Arthur Goldsmith says:

    price fixation
    actually, there’s probably a good argument in what I just said for illegal price fixation practices, not in the fact that these companies are colluding Oligopolies (because it’s well understood and accepted, sometimes for good reasons, that they are) but in the fact that they’re directly controlling the supply side of the equation here to artificially raise the price of content distribution.

    I don’t understand why we don’t have more aggressive legal lobby groups for this kind of thing in Canada, you could even make a civil liberties case out of this one, jesus.

  25. Anthony Hémond says:

    answer to “check this”
    Hello Check This,

    I’m particularly interested by what you said about your brother in law and videotron.
    Say him to contact me: hemond at

  26. Find an alternative
    There are plenty of alternatives out there. Just check

  27. Haters: Give Quebec a break
    I’m from Quebec and Gregg, you’re an idiot. I hate Videotron and so most of the persons in Quebec do. We hate Bell as well because their customer service sucks. We don’t have other options. Of course, there are smaller regional ISP but most of them are provided by Bell or Videotron.

    Does that make us, our culture and our people senseless? We haven’t choose this oligopolistic situation. I’m quite sick of English Canadians targeting Quebec everytime there’s a news concerning my province. Back off.

  28. Are you kidding?
    ab said: “Find an alternative”

    They are so woefully out of date and inaccurate, it’s disgusting.

    They even ignored a request to update their database when an ISP contacted them and said “We don’t service that town, please remove us”.

    The maintainer must be dead or something.

  29. Quebecor sucks says:

    Quebecor is the worst media company
    Their Internet offering has the most ridiculous caps ever

    Their “24 heures” newspaper is worse than the “Métro” one (STM did the right choice when they retained Metro and not “24 heures”)

    Then that illico shit that they advertise here and there.

    By the way, here is the dslreports post referencing this article:

  30. Arthur Goldsmith says:

    can we stop the Quebec flame wars already?
    this has nothing to do with provincial politics and everything to do with industry and media distro control. Net Neutrality threatens their ability to sell us their poorly packaged ‘value added’ services, (hdtv, dvrs, channel packages, movie channels). Without this control, they might actually be forced to make real products, instead of just hijacking other people’s hard work for local and selective distribution.

    Although Quebecor has significant influence in the upper echelons of Quebec Politics this does not grant them carte blanche or immunity from your elected officials, make a loud enough stink, and this is no different from any other major provincial company in any other part of the country.

  31. Anonymous Coward says:

    This is why it is important for Internet users to support fights against these laws in other countries
    > The law in New Zealand, the must maligned Section 92A

    You actually did make a typo, it’s not Section 92A^H^H^^H but Section 29A, or 666 Dec.

    Please behave properly next time.

    And thanks for all the fish..

  32. David J. Baron says:

    The internet should be considered an essential service
    It’s obvious by now that the internet is an essentiel service, we pay our bills, deal with the gov and educate our children with the net, a company cannot take it away a service that has become almost as essential as hydro.

    Let me had also that the Quebec gov & private industries are extremely corrupted and it’s time for the federal government to come and clean it up.

  33. Arthur Goldsmith says:

    Tell them directly
    Although companies like this don’t actually read or care for individual email, they do care about the ‘volume’ of response they get on certain public matter like this

    Here’s their contact info, it’s a quick form:

    When I was working for Telus a couple years back, they had announced they were going to release adult porn services through their cellphone networks. They took diligent note of how many people called and emailed in to complain about their proposed service. After about 2 weeks, they decided to retract the service. MAKE A STINK! stop standing for this, if they hear from you every day, they might change their tune.

  34. I am ashamed
    I am particularily ashamed to be working for another part of the Quebecor family of companies right now.

    I agree with the above about old minded CEO’s… they have to wake up and realize this isn’t 10-15 years ago… the way things change is accelerating all the time, and all the old models that they rely on can’t be reliably applied to situations anymore.

    Thanks for sharing this news. I hope this is the first and the last time that we will hear about the 3 Strikes Policy in Canada. The 3 Strikes Policy is draconian – unconstitutional – illegal and contrary to the Rules of Natural Justice.

    Internet is an essential service, just as Telephone and Electricity. No one can cut this off without giving a chance to counter, defend and appeal.

    Where is Bell – Rogers and other ISP on this one? Does anyone know if Internet Service Providers in other provinces support the 3 Strikes Policy?

    In France, HADOPI proposes to send 10,000 emails, 3,000 recommended letters and to cut off 1,000 Internet users per day. I cannot believe these numbers. But go here to read this:

    Please go on Facebook, type in HADOPI and join the groups so that HADOPI dies before it is born.

    Also please join the Facebook Group:

    New Zealand Internet Users managed to delay the imposition of the 3 Strikes Policy.

    The Web is a young adolescent. Let’s make sure that he grows up to be a responsible, open, transparent and user-friendly adult.

  36. It’ll never happen
    Don’t get all your panties in a bunch over this. It’ll never happen here in Canada. We had very strong industry opposition to a heavy handed copyright bill, that looked mild in comparison to what other countries have put out there on this debate. The UK also strongly struck this down very heavily and humilliated those in the industry that were putting up fears this would happen in the UK stating “There’s a difference between stealing a bar of soap and walking out with the TV).

    You’re seeing a bit of french arrogance here nothing more. Quebec wants to be everything France is(I know my family is from Quebec). This was a French Proposal, of course those in Quebec will support it. Politicians won’t touch this proposal here in Canada especially in a minority Parliament. The public will cry bloody murder if this was even seriously proposed here. It’s too controversial, and raises too many constitutional questions.

  37. Anthony Hémond, Saw your message
    @Anthony Hémond

    Saw your message. I called, he was asleep. But I spoke with his wife and told her. He will call me back tomorrow and I’ll give your contact info.

    I spoke to his wife about it a bit. Both don’t grasp it.

    His wife said 20-minutes ago:
    Quote “videotron said the producers will come after us and will sue us”, end quote. This is what was explained to him by videotron, or what videotron put in his head. This is what they understand when they called videotron about this notice.

    If they contact you, maybe you will explain it better.

    When I told him about this site and the 3-strike submission earlier this afternoon, I asked him to post here. He said no because “videotron said I will be sued”. I don’t think he understood when I told him what notice-on-notice was. All he has stuck in his head is being sued (and seriously, typing on a blog is too advanced for him).

    She told me the letter said they downloaded some english movie at a time when both are at work.

    He is 100% totally french. He doesn’t watch english TV. He for sure didn’t download some english movie on P2P when he can’t even put his Email settings in his email program (and he’s the expert of the house).

    They are both impossible to talk to about anything to do with a computer. Many people are like this.

    A 10-year old playing WoW online is a computer expert to these people.

    I will make sure to give your message again tomorrow.

    I wished this happened to me. Well, maybe not.

  38. Market forces says:

    what alternative competition again??
    @ “lol and “ab”

    Though you think this is competition, these are all in fact Bell wholesalers and videotron resellers.

    I won’t leave one then put money back in their pocket.

    How is this talking with your wallet? Its not.

    If I left Bell I surly won’t be paying so 20-24$/month of what I pay goes right back to Bell and be in the same boat.

    If I leave videotron I surely won’t change to a reseller so 20-24$/month of what I pay goes right back to videotron and be in the same boat.

    Bell and Videotron turned all resellers wholesalers into min-Bells and mini-videotrons.

    This would be like leaving Bell mobile and going with Virgin mobile. Virgin is just another Bell brand.

    Look at Their financials show that if you sign up for places like acanac or radioactive or virgin it counts on their earnings. I want a REAL alternative. I want the choice to LEAVE them both. Many do.

    Let me know when you found real competition or a real alternative that isn’t affected by Bell or Videotron in Quebec.

  39. Frustrated Quebec resident says:

    Leave us alone!
    What Quebecor is suggesting is disgusting, plain and simple.
    Videotron’s monthly plans are some of the most ridiculous ones, and the lack of choice makes most of us stuck with them.
    Bell is no better, therefore it isn’t even a viable option…

    I would certainly hope that if such thing as the “3 strikes crap” gets the green light, that they will notify their subscribers about it.
    I will be among the first ones to end my subscription.

    We are already being ripped off and we are biting the bullet, more than that we will start to bleed….

    Leave our Internet connections alone, and mind your damn business already, enough is enough!

  40. SEE conservative buddies are buddies a hollywood
    don’t that brian mulroney own part of qubecor and his son some wannabe on some show like entertainment tonight crapola.

    DROP videotron now and migrate off htem while you can it will show htem hard and fast.
    If you have no choice get a friend in an area whom does and get an external if you want osmehting . SAY NO WITH NOT PATRONIZING THEM.
    what they dont get is about 90% of hte highspeed users will vanish under such rules and that in such so called economic times that measn that hollywood will be “stimulous” them up to keep them afloat and that will hgasten there own demise, ISPS that stand and fight will prosper and can use more cash to lobby properly.

    SERIOUSLY how on earth can you fight a monopoly ????



  42. Dangerous Idea
    In a winner take all fight where you have a choice between the free and neutral internet we all talk about with it’s educated and militant citizenry, going up against the internet fantasy of a few dinosaurs like Bell, Videotron and the RIAA and their vast resources, I’d put my money on our side (cyberspace) anytime, anywhere.

    The main reason being that without us they die a slow death as a company and to be perfectly blunt… they need us a lot more than we need them.

    PS… First we have to stop being afraid of them (Google:FUD) and speak out every chance we get. Educate your friends and family about internet freedom so that together we can stand up to these greedy people.


    300 million in levies and they threaten to sue??
    SO were criminals if you do and criminals if you dont well fook them all.

  44. Quebecor sucks
    Quebecor sleeps with the ADISQ which are a bunch of would be artists who are the worst parasites I know of. They can’t move a finger without receiving money from the government. So their child pornography reason is rubbish, all they want is more money. Anyway I don’t think people pirate their stuff, their music and movies are so boring you could die from boredom listening to it or watching it.

    BTW I’m from Quebec and I don’t approve everything that’s done here.

  45. Yess … a way to break Videotron’s contract
    I’m a Videotron’s customer tied with an auto-renew 12 months Internet contract (to benefit a discount), you just game me a way to break it without paying penalties!

  46. A Videotron Customer says:

    Videotron’s Notice of Illegal Downloading
    I’ve received 2 letters like this one in the last week. It frightens me. My sense is that Videotron is sending these letters out like crazy. Are they gearing up for the 3 Strikes Policy? I’ve been told that these letters are automated by Videotron. Please keep on sharing your views on this one.

    Subject: Illicit Use of your Internet Access

    Madam, Sir,

    We received a complaint affirming that activities associated with your IP address may infringe intellectual property rights of a third party.

    We would like to remind you that the reproduction of protected material constitutes an infringement to the exclusive right of its holder. This behaviour could expose you to legal action from this third party and to a judgment to pay damages. Generally, you must obtain the permission or
    rights in order to reproduce any protected material.

    Please note that Videotron will not take any action against you, but if legal actions were to be brought against you by the plaintiff, we would have no other alternative except than hold you responsible for any damages you may have caused. We thus ask you to cease any activity that may be considered an infringement of a third party’s intellectual property rights.

    Here is the infringing material according to the complaint (some information has been blanked):

    Evidentiary information:
    Notice ID: xxxxxxxx
    Recent infringement timestamp: 2009-02-21T23:19:17.000Z
    Infringed work: Adobe Photoshop
    Infringing file name: Adobe.Photoshop.CS3.Extended.Incl.Crack.Mac.OSX-COSMiC
    Infringing file size: 982426946
    Protocol: BitTorrent
    Infringing URL:
    Infringing IP address:
    Infringing DNS name:


    Because of privacy concerns, we cannot give any information regarding the plaintiff, as we do not provide any information to the plaintiff about you except if ordered by a court of law. If you want to know who the plaintiff is, you can search on the internet who is the copyright owner of the material referenced in the complaint.

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

    Yours truly,

    Internet Security
    Vidéotron ltée
    Phone : (514) 281-8498
    Toll free : 1 (877) 551-8019

  47. Boycott Quebecor says:

    We have the power on this one, and it’s more than time we all stand up. I have chosen to go with because I refused to be tied to Videotron’s crappy policy which I think is abusive. No contract, period. But that meant I had to go with Bell for my phoneline and pay a lot more than I would have done if I had gone with Videotron, because I pay just as much as their 3-service package without the cable. But why would I need the cable anyway, I stopped watching telli a long time ago as I just can’t stand stupid and mind-retarding reality tv shows which is all that seems to be broadcast nowadays…yes, cable would have offered a better selection of tv shows, but i can always rent them at my local independant video store, or as previously mentioned, download them. And I seem to find more time for my social life.

    In 4 years I have paid a lot more than most of the people I know who switched from Bell to Videotron because they offered cheaper services. I guess that’s just what Videotron was waiting for, and now since most people are with them, they can enforce their infrigement policy and laugh, as people prefer paying less than having their rights removed.

    Yes I have paid a lot more, but at the end of the day, freedom has a certain price and I cannot be happier of my choice now. By the way, Distributel have started a tv ad campaign for their high speed internet and phone service. I am thinking about switching meself, might be worth taking a look: 😀

    ***YES WE CAN!***

  48. Reality check
    What a lot of people, even here in these commentaries seem to have a problem grasping, is that in Quebec (moslty Montreal), you have 2 basic infrastructures: BELL telephone networking and Videotron Cable networking. Since the physical infrastructure belongs to them, any other ISP ends up needing to go through their network as for one offers ADSL (Phone line based BELL Network) and Cable (Videotron Network). There are, no other physical infrastructures that provide ADSL or Cable. Some regions of Quebec have other providers that have their own infrastructures but Bell is slowly reaching these places, whereas there are still infrigement laws for more than one Cable provider in a certain area.

    So when you go with Acanac, / Uniserve, Radioactif, or any other Quebec ISP, you end up going through Bell network at some point.

    Let me remind all of you about the nice Throttling going on on P2P and torrent on ADSL ISPs. Why are all ISPs affected? Well, fairly easy: they all go through BELL Networks and Bell Throttles speeds between 4pm and 2am.

    Note that some ISPs have bypassed this throttling by using MLPPP on their servers. So regardless of the throttling Bell does, it goes through. I can only name two ISPs that currently does this (Velcom / TekSavvy) as I am unfamiliar with any other. Heard rumors about Acanac.

    I hope this helped someone.

  49. rereality check
    O-B1 nailed it. Quebec has 2 monopolies. Bell for ADSL and Videotron for Cable. You can go with any reseller to improve your price, customer service, tech support, etc, but when big daddy decides it’s time to throttle torrents and/or monitor and police your content, rest assured that all the resellers will be subject to this. So far, the CRTC has supported Bell’s move to throttle torrents (even though they have presented no evidence of network congestion) and only criticized that they should have given more notice.

  50. Take the activist path…
    Get back at Quebecor / Videotron, and let them know about it!

    What to do:

    First upgrade to a faster package and completely unlock wifi with a name like “WIFI GRATUIT”. Then stop paying until they cut you off, which’ll take up to 3 months. Then call them to let them know it was deliberate behavior in protest of their policies, and that you will gladly settle a discounted invoice and return as a customer once, and only once, they become a responsible and respectable company.

    Then get other people to do the same. This is what I call a “graduated response” to their corporate greed and irresponsibility.

  51. telcos a pseudo-comunist feudo in Canada
    basically title of my post said it all “telcos a pseudo-comunist feudo in Canada” and CRTC just the dictator

  52. Pierre-Marc B says:

    The end of internet
    I’m quite concerned by the news – I would imagine they’d be breaking some laws actually looking into what we are doing with our bandwidth… the details given in the letter received by “A Videotron Customer” shows that the tracker URL was one of Denis Stalker – from what I managed to understand in the past years downloading torrent is to avoid torrents from this guy – it’s usually fake data and he might even post your IP to ISPs, like videotron. This is a longshot but possible. In any case it is terrible and there should clearly be laws preventing them from doing such an error. I’d like to see their method of detecting copyright infrigement; Torrents can be used for legal data (see BBC, Vuze (well most of Vuze), etc)

  53. Re: Activist path
    Well that’s no solution. They’ll pull out their greedy lawyers after you for breach of contract and non-payment. Videotron will not back-out unless their is a major and (i insist on MAJOR) part of its customer pool that will cancel their account based on the 3 strike policy. Hell we can’t even do a decent boycott on the petrolium industry, how do you want to push that to the fan of “Star Academie” glueded to the tube each week.

  54. The real surprise
    “That any ISP could demonstrate such hostility toward its own customers …” Michael, I don’t think they’re demonstrating hostility, any more than a telco could be accused of doing so if they disconnected a customer for abusing their phone service. I’m much more surprised that any ISP would willingly involve themselves in the role of policing their customers for copyright infringement. Surely this would be a nightmare for them at an operational and bureaucratic level – something that could eat so far into their profits as to make it the last thing they would want. This part confuses me a great deal. Managing network capacity and reliability is one thing – managing what physically gets transported over the network is altogether different.

  55. Re: Activist path
    Seb J. That’s exactly the point. Just like civil disobedience is used to protest certain laws, by explicitly breaking that law while claiming it’s done in protest of that very law. It’s very easy to deal with one person doing it. But like a strike, when it becomes a generalized behavior, there is a true incentive to make concessions and in this case stop acting like an invincible corporation.

    The client/victim can argue that the new TOS are removed enough from the original contract to consist bad faith from the company and thus invalidates the contract. This provides ground to abandon the contract or suspend payments until good faith is demonstrated by the company. If they threaten to sue, the victim must threaten to counter sue for attempted racketeering in the form of locking the victim in a contract and then making unreasonable changes to the terms previously agreed upon at the expense of the victim.

    The sad part about this is that companies rely on exactly this type of behavior to redesign their policies. Before pushing an agenda, they measure the cost to their reputation, the cost in lost clientele, the cost in lawsuits, against the increase in cash flow, protection of their media businesses, and general control/power. They will push as far as they can, in bad faith, solely for profit, until the general response yields a cost risk above the gain potential.

    Here’s what the guy in the boardroom said: Ok, we’ll give them MORE for LESS to steal them from the competitors. Once we have them, and the competitor is no longer a threat, we will change existing contracts, or laws, to give them LESS for MORE.

    Remember, their sole objective is to increase profits, and that is, at anyone else’s expense. That’s precisely the mandate given to the many psychologists and mathematicians hired by business development and marketing functions of large com/media corporations. Give less and take more.

    In any case, power to the people.

  56. Bonne chance! says:

    Can’t turn a blind eye either
    I agree that policing the nature of the content transiting through one’s network could soon turn into an administrative and logistical nightmare.

    Having said that, if 95% of highway traffic involved illegal trade and clogged the road network beyond its operating capacity, restraining measures would have to be implemented somehow. I mean, we wouldn’t just tell the government to widen the roads at everyone’s expense to help the smugglers, would we?

    It seems to me that net neutrality and internet freedom are currently just semantic flags of convenience aimed at blaming ISPs for wanting to free their infrastructure from the illegal trade that puts such a strain on it. As we speak, what’s eating up most of their bandwidth consists of illegal exchanges of copyrighted materials.

    This widespread pirates-are-people-too-and-it’s-none-of-your-business attitude does not strike me as very realistic from a business standpoint. ISPs are private businesses hoping to make a profit; their role is to make money, not to feed the addictions of their customers to free stuff obtained through piracy. Can we seriously ask them to just shut up and simply expand their network’s capacity to allow for more illegal traffic?

  57. Yes, we can! Yes, YOU CAN! Take action!
    I love the “YES WE CAN post”, but here is another action that YOU CAN take. And quite an EASY one.

    I am working at a place in an industrial zone (Montreal). Because I am using public transit, I take both “Métro” and “24 heures” free newspapers and bring them to work, so that those who come by car can read them at lunch.

    But after this Quebecor hostility towards its customers and the Internet, I can no longer stay neutral (pun intended). So, I am NO LONGER taking “24 heures”, a Quebecor newspaper, for others to read. Wonder whether anyone will miss it.

  58. Smugglers FTW says:

    Widen the roads for smugglers!
    “I mean, we wouldn’t just tell the government to widen the roads at everyone’s expense to help the smugglers, would we?”

    I definitely would, just to be cynical towards the government. I actually have a better idea for solving the crisis: completely cut the budget for border and customs controls.

    You see, trust depends on mutuality. The government passes anti-consumer copyright laws because the lobbies and the government do not trust the consumers. And because of that, I trust smugglers more than the state. After all, with smugglers, consumers have more choice. You just need to be sure that you are not buying chinese counterfeit crap (whose supply has gone up due to “Dollarama mentality” of an average person).

  59. Alberta bound says:

    It seems cut and dry, if you do not like policies in an area and they actually control all forms of media there than either press to oust those policies through political and democratic ways or move to a more fair means of democracy. Strange thou how people end up moving west for jobs and even thou they where devout liberal for most of their lives and then turn conservative. Why is that?

  60. Bonne chance! says:

    Free riders must remain an exception
    @Smugglers FTW
    I admire your overall optimism when it comes to self-regulation and your unshakable confidence in some sort of innate consumer morality. However, I share none of it.

    What you seem to be advocating is an all-carrots-and-no-stick approach. I don’t think that’s sustainable in the real world and in the long run. Down the road, someone’s got to pay for the infrastructure, and businesses are bound to be unwilling to finance consumers’ addiction to free stuff.

    Once people know they can get away with anything, they will have a go at anything, regardless of whom the costs of their excesses will end up being passed to.

    We both know that nothing’s actually free. Sometimes you can get away with not paying your fair share, but that shouldn’t become the rule. No one wants a world of free riders. One free rider is cute, but a majority of free riders relying on a minority of revenue-generating fools is systemically unbearable.

  61. vaudevillian says:

    They said any use of P2P from what I got(those poor french WoW players). So if your IP shows up on a P2P list your boned! Since most Trackers are polluting there list. Your IP will end up there.

    I hope that all trackers list every videotron block of IP’s on their list. That way no one can get booted. Wont it be nice when no one can be booted.

  62. Oh yeah… lets have all the bigots come out for some frenchy-bashing.
    Back to your fucking caves morons.

    To the people actually concerned with the problem and who wanna fight this monster… vote with your feet and find someone else. Ban their products for their competitors and mostly… make this political.

    Anytime you have an opportunity to mention your voting intentions… talk about Net Neutrality.

  63. North of 49 says:

    Real-world counter example
    In Vancouver, as in Montreal, there are only two real choices for broadband: ADSL from Telus or cable from your cable TV provider, which in most of Metro Vancouver is Shaw Cable.

    We have been with Shaw for about 7 years, and fortunately for us they seem to have a philosophy of making money via good (actually often excellent) customer service, rather than the customer-as-sucker/customer-as-criminal philosophy displayed by Quebecor, Telus, Bell and Videotron.

    Shaw recently upgraded its infrastructure to boost our download speed from 5.0 Mbps to 7.5. (Mmm… maybe. Seems faster, anyhow). Didn’t cost subscribers a cent. Shaw has never, to my knowledge, indulged in traffic shaping or throttling. Nor have I heard of any notice-on-notice actions. (Doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened, of course.)

    Their online and phone-in support is stellar, always (in my experience, anyway) going the extra mile for the customer, even to helping fix problems with, say, Norton Antivirus, that strictly speaking aren’t their responsibility at all.

    They offer a first-rate firewall, anti-virus and spyware package, comparable to Norton or MacAfee, free to every subscriber. We switched to it from Norton Internet Security in 2002 and never regretted it. Their reliability is very, very high: in seven years with them we have had only two or three outages, none lasting more than half a day.

    I’m relating all this simply to point out that it is perfectly possible for an ISP to make big money without attacking their customer base, without accusing their customers of criminal behaviour, without snooping and meddling and in general acting like arrogant overlords.

    So if the ultimate justification for Quebecor, Videotron, Bell and Telus’s behaviour is profits, Shaw’s example shoots that argument down.

  64. Maroan-Denmark says:

    Whats the next step??
    Im horrified to see that ISPs in Quebec think it will be very natural to play the major’s game. Forbidding every thing and surveying everybody sound more and more like Orwells “1984” doesnt it? The reason why right now New Zealand is stopping its actions is the fact that people have reacted very strongly against the new laws, showing black spots instead of ads in many homepage (professionals as well as amateurs) among some of the taken actions. Allez lez quebecois, ne desesperez pas, mais faites des actions qui demontreront que ce n est pas les majors qui decident, mais vous les clients!

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