CFTPA Warns Against Targeting P2P in Copyright Reform

The Canadian Film and Television Production Association's copyright consultation submission includes the following comment that warns against targeting P2P as part of copyright reform:

The CFTPA submits that it is almost a truism to state that the success of new business models for audiovisual content on the Internet depends on it remaining an open-access platform that is an effective vehicle for the distribution of authorized content. Typically, Peer to Peer (P2P) file sharing has been, and remains, one of the primary vehicles for the distribution of unauthorized audiovisual content. It therefore could be argued that content providers, including Canadian independent producers, would benefit from measures that would have the effect of targeting P2P applications.

The CFTPA notes, however, that P2P file sharing is also being used for the distribution of authorized content on the Internet. Likely the most well-known such example is the CBC's attempted distribution of its Next Great Prime Minister program using Bit Torrent. In addition, a number of independent producers are also using Bit Torrent and similar P2P applications as the primary means for distributing original digital content to their audiences…

The Association therefore considers that amendments to the Copyright Act aimed at reducing the proliferation of unauthorized copyrighted material on the Internet must be fashioned in a manner that deters infringing behaviour without either choking off legitimate forms of content distribution and/or targeting specific applications or protocols.


  1. Laurel L. Russwurm says:

    Glad to see an organization like this one acknowledging that “P2P file sharing is also being used for the distribution of authorized content on the Internet”
    The fledgling Pirate Party of Canada recently created a p2p file sharing service freely available “Canadian Pirate Tracker” to help Canadian recording artists freely disseminate their works to the public using BitTorrents (which can be found at This will certainly empower Canadian musicians and allow a lot more of them to be heard.

    I am impressed that CFTPA has actually looked at p2p rather than falling for the “all p2p ia bad” propaganda circulated by certain telecom carriers. It’s certainly nice to see.

    The new release of Ubuntu later this month will also be done via p2p. (How can anything that liberates computer users from Microsoft Windows be bad!)

  2. Finally
    It seems not enough people or groups are pointing out the legitimate and legal uses of P2P, mainly BitTorrent. As Laurel mentioned I tend to download all my Linux distros via Linux trackers, a favourite band runs its own tracker to distribute live shows and unreleased material to their community and not only are there third party trackers for legal game content patches, but many companies uses P2P/Torrent software for deploying patches and content for their games.

  3. Blizzard uses BitTorrent
    Among the many companies that use P2P, Blizzard is probably the largest. Their automatic update distribution is based on BitTorrent. How else would you disseminate 600MB of content to over a million people all at the same time?

    P2P isn’t the problem, copyright is. Let’s adjust both the scope and enforcement of copyright, rather than trash perfectly good and useful technologies.

  4. James C said “How else would you disseminate 600MB of content to over a million people all at the same time”

    Well considering that P2P is often throttled by the big ISPs and that a good caching strategy seems more effective in distributing content I’d say P2P perhaps may not be the best, but the point is that technology should be appreciated for it’s merits and not vilified because it was too good at distributing certain classes of content.

    P2P’s biggest value is reducing the delivery cost of the primary distributor of the content… something that is extremely valuable to small content producers and distributors whom have relatively small budgets.

    …and yes, it’s good to hear someone on the content side with a reasonably balanced response.

  5. CFTPA Warns Against Targeting P2P in Copyright Reform
    WHAT PERCENTAGE if P2P use is used for authorized content? Most likely a very small percentage. Most of P2P use is not authorized.