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TELUS Backs Bell Coalition’s Website Blocking Plan: “Right Direction” for Canada

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Bell and its coalition of media partners in FairPlay Canada, have gained a powerful and expected ally: TELUS.

While Rogers is part of FairPlay Canada, the remaining member of the ‘Big 3’–TELUS–was notably missing until now, as it recently filed a submission to the CRTC in support of the coalition, details University of Ottawa law professor, Michael Geist.

Telus fairplay canada

In the 10-page TELUS submission dated March 29, 2018, the company explains “copyright law expertise is not what is required to implement the proposed regime.” But Geist replies this opinion is “wholly inconsistent with the experience in other jurisdictions, where copyright is a key part of a copyright blocking analysis.”

TELUS also writes over-blocking of websites could be an issue, but says the CRTC can easily reverse accidental blocks. The company also says there are no issues in regards to net neutrality with the website blocking proposal, because all ISPs would be involved with website blocking.

The telco concludes with the following:

In TELUS’ view, FairPlay Canada’s proposed regime is a step in the right direction for Canada. The Commission has never shied away from showing leadership in the fight against the unlawful use of communications networks, as evidenced by the significant efforts it has deployed in the fight against spam and intrusive calls, and its recently-announced participation in a global initiative to fight illegitimate online marketing activities. FairPlay Canada’s proposal provides yet another avenue for the Commission to demonstrate its commitment to the integrity of Canada’s communications networks.

Geist’s takedown of the TELUS submission? He says it “relies on remarkably weak and somewhat head-scratching analysis to arrive at its conclusion that the proposal meets the necessary legal standards.”

According to non-profit Open Media, over 100,000 Canadians have spoken out against FairPlay Canada and its plan to block piracy websites.

Click here to read his entire take on the TELUS filing in support of FairPlay Canada. Last month, Geist detailed a 17-part takedown on why the website blocking proposal was flawed.

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  • Nick_Abby

    the Big 3 are just upset that the world has moved on from their monopoly on ripping off their customers and forcing them to pay astronomical bills and they are lashing out in any direction they can to recoup costs.. I’m fairly certain Piracy is not the problem. it’s an outdated model of delivering media that people have finally had enough of and are dropping them in droves for other more cost effective delivery methods such as netflix and a population that is embracing media like Youtube, Twitch and other streaming platforms.. These oldschool companies do not understand how media is consumed today and they do not know how to properly react and adapt to the changing platform that they used to control so heavily.

  • Taylor Lightfoot

    3 letters… V P N.

    Bypass any “block” garbage they try to do. That’s one of the main purposes of a VPN. Unrestricted access and a little bit of privacy… Waste of time&money to even attempt to implement.

  • Munchma Koutchey

    Do you think I want a corporation telling ME what is the right direction for Canada? Since when did Telus count when it comes to the Canadian identity or to the Canadian social fabric?

  • Gregory durling

    They want this stopped due to the amount if money they are loosing. Take money out of the equation and not one of these big companies would have an issue. Here is a idea lower your prices and more people will stay. However the answer is not yo remove Canadians choices that is illegal..

  • Privacy is a right in Canada

    I have been using a quality VPN provider for a few years and consider it the best money spent on tech. Shaw/Telus/Bell have no business or right to decide what I see or visit on the internet in the same way that they have no right to open my mail.

  • Gleb A

    I don’t think you understand what “fair play” is and what kind of block it actually is. You should read up on net neutrality. Simply put – the content will be blocked at the ISP level before even reaching your residence. Think of it as ISP will have a full time parental controls enabled on you. VPN will do absolutely nothing in such case, as the traffic is throttled before it gets to you. I think it’s the lack of understanding and education that prevents this from going big within the majority of population.

  • Brenda

    I doubt if lowering their prices would help. Most of us want better content.

    When I told my provider that I was cancelling the cable portion after the deal on a fibre package expired, they offered me cable for a whole year at an additional cost of around $5 a month. I refused. There was simply nothing I wanted to watch on cable and the black box was taking up space under the TV set.

  • Brenda

    I wonder what executives in the big media companies and the politicians who support them watch in their spare time. Do they know there’s a world beyond cable? Do they understand the threat they’re facing? If they do, they’re trying to manipulate the general public. If not, maybe it’s time they cut the cord.

  • raslucas

    Last night’s Canucks/Jays debacle is a perfect example of why they have no business making the arguments that piracy is a problem. If I was using a pirated TV service I would have caught the full game from start to finish (Canucks). Because I’m trying to use legal means (Sportsnet app on AppleTV) I had to catch the end of a boring as hell Jay’s game instead.

    Stop blaming everyone and everything else for your own incompetence.

    The same holds true for when Game of Thrones final season comes out. I’m willing to pay to watch on my AppleTV, but how? No, I’m not willing to pay $80 a month for the few things I care about on the old “Cable TV” model.

    They need to grow up.

  • raslucas

    Taylor is right, using a VPN would get around this actually. If you made a connection to a server in the US, it’s an encrypted connection so the ISPs wouldn’t be able to block anything.

  • Brenda

    I’m not sure about Game of Thones, but most shows are available on iTunes an hour or so after they air on cable. The iTunes library could be better though. I’ve actually had to buy a DVD or two in the past few years because some content distributor in Canada was holding on to the license and not streaming or broadcasting it anywhere. But those were fairly obscure foreign series. Will be loading up on iTunes cards next time I’m out of the country.

  • Bill Rapanos

    Depends where your VPN server is located. They could block entry of the offending traffic into Canada but you could obtain said traffic from another country and tunnel it back to Canada nicely encrypted and hidden from any Canadian ISP. The only bitch will be the slow bandwidth and subsequent buffering of the content you’ll be streaming.

  • Paul Adamson

    This cadre of companies should not get to decide what we can or cannot access in Canada without oversight. This decision takes Telus down a peg for me. Though sadly, that means there’s no telco I can use that doesn’t support this illegal filtering effort. Disappointing.

  • Tom W

    In short, they want zero competition so pricing collusion can continue.

  • X Ram

    We are screwed if these companies win this one, this is a Canadian version of getting rid of net neutrality in Canada and more!

  • TheLouisXXI

    They want those banned too!

  • Mike

    The goal is censorship. To prevent ordinary people access to information or rally against certain politicians and corporations. Whether the excuse is fake news, piracy, mccarythism, the goal is to silence and retard.
    Never let corporations or parties in power to censor or block or ban. If someone is doing something genuinely illegal, get a warrant and go to trial. Case by case.

  • KiwiBri

    Have a recommendation For a service?

  • Rob Gillan

    It’s all about money dude that’s all everything is about

  • thea5architect

    I’ve just started using a VPN, these clowns won’t sensor me. If I were anyone I’d Star investing in VPN stock right away.

  • thea5architect

    Too late I’m already subscribed to one haha

  • Jack

    And politicians pass laws killing off competition thus making them more money.

  • Luciano Lavoie

    I agree that paying for channels you don’t watch to get the one channel you want is a bit dumb. The CRTC should implement an “À la carte” with distributors where you would pay for only the channels you actually watch. Now I agree to block websites to watch everything for free on android boxes and such. When doing so you take away the bread and butter of employees that work on all those shows that you watch. What if you work retail or service and there is a business right next door to yours which gives away for free what you are selling (be a product or a service). Then your boss has to let you go because of the store next door is giving away the exact same product as you are trying to sell. I’m sure you have a mortgage or rent that is due at one point in the next few weeks, a car payment, you need clothes on your back, you need food on your plate, maybe you have kids who need most of that as well? How do you like paying 300$ to go to your favorite singer’s concert in town? If you have kids, how do you like teaching them to steal content instead of abiding by the law and paying for something?

  • Bink

    Would a VPN stop sites from being blocked for you if they do go through with this?

  • Bill___A

    If they succeed in getting this in place, and block anything but what they are intending, this is likely going to backfire badly. I remember using “filters” on firewalls and they just didn’t work very well…blocking the wrong thing. I disagree with piracy, but at the same time, it isn’t my problem and I don’t want to pay for any firewalls and I don’t want any legitimate sites blocked.

    They should focus on allowing people to pay for what they want, rather than being forced to finance gazillions of other channels that they don’t want – and that would be a much better solution. The channels that people don’t choose, can go out of business and the channels people do choose can do well. Right now, a lot of money is taken to pay for things that are not wanted by customers. Furthermore, anything that’s available over the air for free should NOT be getting money from the cable bills.

    How about we try this rather than some great firewall…

  • Typhon Targaia

    I’ve been using private internet access. It’s pretty good and great value. Used Nordvpn in the past too. Both are good.

  • KiwiBri

    thanks for the information.

  • Dave Wayde

    Canadians need to fight this to the bitter end. This is the first step by the media to control our freedom…and it’s very scary.

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