CRTC Website-Blocking System Pushed by Bell, Rogers Media, CBC and More to End Piracy [u]


Back in December, a draft proposal prepared by Bell and a coalition of other media companies was seen, which urged the CRTC to blacklist piracy websites. Many interpreted this as ending net neutrality in Canada, as the proposal would see Internet service providers comply with this non-profit organization created, known as the Internet Piracy Review Agency (IPRA).

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Today, we now know what Bell and other media companies have been planning, as the coalition known as FairPlay Canada has been announced. This coalition filed an application with the CRTC today includes the following companies:

  • Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television
  • Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)
  • Association québecoise de l’industrie du disque, du spectacle, et de la video (ADISQ)
  • Asian Television Network (ATN)
  • Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM)
  • Bell
  • Canadian Association of Film Distributors and Exporters (CAFDE)
  • CBC / Radio-Canada
  • les Cinémas Ciné Entreprise Inc.
  • Cinémas Guzzo
  • Cineplex
  • Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA)
  • Cogeco Connexion
  • Corus
  • Directors Guild of Canada (DGC)
  • DHX Media
  • Entertainment One
  • Ethnic Channels Group
  • Fairchild Media Group
  • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)
  • Landmark Cinemas
  • Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE)
  • Movie Theatre Association of Canada (MTAC)
  • Quebecor
  • Rogers Media
  • Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB)
  • TIFF
  • Unifor
  • Union des artistes (UDA)

FairPlay Canada argues 630,000 Canadian jobs are at stake because of piracy, and these cultural industries helped contribute nearly $55 billion to the Canadian economy. But when it comes to the commercial value of movie, music and software piracy, that total is $216 billion, according to 2015 data from the International Chamber of Commerce. In 2016, there were 1.88 billion visits to piracy sites in Canada.

Here’s how FairPlay Canada sees the non-profit IPRA will work:

1. A complaint is submitted to the IPRA regarding a blatant piracy website stealing content.

2. IPRA reviews evidence from all parties,holds a hearing if required, and makes a recommendation to the CRTC.

3. CRTC considers the evidence and recommendation and, if it agrees, requires ISPs to disable access to the site.

FairPlay Canada says “consistent with the principles of net neutrality, ISPs never act unilaterally,” as the latter will be following decisions made by the CRTC.

According to the organization, “More and more Canadians are embracing the consumption of creative content online, but international piracy websites are taking advantage of that trend. Online piracy websites continue to profit off the millions of dollars in advertising and subscriptions they can attract by stealing and hosting content illegally. This takes away from payments that would support the people who create the content, which means less great content is being made for your enjoyment.”

Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media, said in a press release “Bell is pleased to work with our partners across the industry and the CRTC on this important step in ensuring the long-term viability of the Canadian creative sector.”

“We’re all for new ways of watching content, but piracy means that the content creators don’t get paid for their work. We believe this proposal represents a balanced and proven approach that goes after the people who illegally rebroadcast content,” said Rick Brace, President, Rogers Media

Check out the FairPlay Canada video below, which emphasizes website-blocking solutions:

What do you think about the proposal by FairPlay Canada to block piracy websites in Canada? With the popularity of VPN services, can piracy actually be stopped?


  • FragilityG4

    I don’t have an opinion on this. I see both sides and both sides are right and both sides are wrong. I tend to lean to the pirates side more as I can’t afford to pay for everything me kids need plus Lars’ $100,000 painting on his million dollar house wall… hmm, I guess I do have an opinion.

  • Chartrand Michel

    for the price i pay montly for my connection it included piracy if i want.
    It’s always been the point of paying so much money for internet it’s World wide web …

  • Joe

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: if I could pirate a house/apartment, I would gladly do that instead. Almost everybody would.

    Sure piracy sucks for certain industries, but the consumer is getting squeezed from all sides these days. Either keep looking the other way or sooner or later we’re going to have a communist revolution on our hands.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    If it’s a reasonable price, the people who can afford it will generally pay and those who can’t won’t. If the price is not reasonable, more of those who would have paid will pirate. Bell Et al. have the perfect balance right now where the vast majority of people are paying them and those who would never pay still get to see the movies or whatever and help advertise the movies by talking about them. They are just shooting themselves in the foot by destabilizing the balance. Just as Joe says below, if Bell and their friends keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer and they keep squeezing – then they’ll be the first up against the wall when the revolution comes.

  • Arrgh, avast ye mateys

    Look at what has happened to the music industry. With digital downloads and streaming services now being affordable piracy has dropped through to the basement. The large telco/cable companies are still over charging and until they get smart or have a company like Apple create competition piracy will remain a going concern.
    This just smacks of greed from Rogers, Bell, etc.

  • Larry

    Interesting that Shaw, Telus and Eastlink haven’t signed on.

  • Widohmaker

    Any kind of censorship is a slippery slope.

  • IAmTaka

    They also are a bunch of liars. Spotify and apple music have pretty much killed the music piracy industry all except the loseless crowd. Why? because spotify and apple music don’t offer loseless. This whole people will pirate things because they’re bad people is false. They pirate because it’s often easier to get the content than through legal means.

  • IAmTaka

    I’ll drop dead before I give bell the money they are asking for cable. If bell came out with a service similar to spotify in the sense it’s an online sub for tv shows. At $30-$40 I’d jump in line to purchase it. They are just too greedy to change.

  • Bill___A

    I don’t use pirated media and yet I get subjected to the “private copying levy”. Why is that? because somebody unfairly decided to penalize EVERYONE whether they were guilty or not. They didn’t seem to care that I was backing up data or installing licensed software. All they wanted was their money.
    Was and is it unfair? yes.
    Why isn’t this being repealed? We should get all our money back, this was a “guilty until proven innocent” theft.

    As to their current piracy issues? I could care less. This is a group of people who basically stole from me and many other innocent Canadians with their levy, simply because they think their greed trumps everything. I shall continue to pay for the media I consume, but at the same time, I cannot be supportive of a group who would punish the innocent.

    630,000 jobs? Give me a break. Most of the content is foreign and for those of us that pay for it, this results in a foreign exchange loss since money goes outside of Canada…

  • Kotep

    Its 2018. Unless you are a dictatorship, you can’t stop the technology train.

  • jer

    Most likely the land you live on here was pirated years ago from the natives, just like commercial advertiser’s knowingly or negligently target illegal websites for profit and only the users are ever criminalized.

  • Daniel

    You can’t stop piracy. They have been trying to for decades. Remember when the Academy came out with those special DVD players for their members that were “unhackable”? They got hacked and they DVDs were splashed all over the internet. Simply put, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

  • erth

    i think you have to realize, they will continue to make arguments until they have all of our money. that is all they want. we will pirate, they will cry and attach a levy which will be approved by the government because the government gets a piece as well. this is an endless civil war. we should get used to this until we don’t need cable anymore. i suggest building your own netflix at home with plex. and use a vpn to hide your digital steps.

  • Brenda

    Instead of responding to what consumers want, the media companies expect the CRTC to help them continue to operate according to outmoded business models.

    I regularly get email from Cineplex about renting or buying a movie. The last time a film I actually wanted to see was on their list, I checked iTunes and, guess what, I could get the same film cheaper and easier from Apple.

    Profits have been declining year after year for Cineplex yet they continue to screen movies the public doesn’t want, to give some of the better films (especially foreign ones) a short run because of poor turnouts the first few weeks, to expect moviegoers to use their poorly designed web site and apps, and to charge high prices for unhealthy food inside the theatres (forcing many to smuggle it in). To make things worse, they’re now forcing us to choose our seats in advance in UltraAVX theatre (not a good idea if you’re going with a group of friends) and banning children from some theatres so they can serve overpriced alcoholic drinks.

  • David Feinberg

    I remember the days that all television content was free. Broadcasters, in order to succeed, had to sell advertising. With the advent of cable, the broadcasters found an easy way to make money. Why try to do the work of raising money to pay our way when all we have to do is charge the consumer? The broadcasters created a whole bunch of networks that could never succeed in their own, so the broadcasters could charge more money for networks that few of us ever watch. Also, broadcasters can make enormous mistakes, i.e. Rogers terrible overpayment for NHL Hockey, a show that many don’t watch, and leave the consumer holding the bag. They can make terrible financial mistakes, pay themselves and their share holders huge sums of money and squeeze the customer for all they’re worth.

    Yes, it is true that some some networks and jobs will be lost, but those things should never have been created in the first place if they could not have profitably been monetized exclusive of the customer. I for one am tired of paying an exorbitant amount to the fat cats while their services gets worse and worse.

  • NuclearMayhem

    You know. If they spent all that money that they keep spending on this junk on making content available in all the formats that people collect maybe there would be less piracy. Even if they don’t want to sell physical copies offering copies of the shows in digital on the common services would help.

    So many shows I would love to buy on iTunes but they’re missing due to content holders making sure the content is only available on their streaming service or cable.

    In many cases there is nowhere to legally buy a copy of the things people want so they have to resort to getting it elsewhere.

  • Micheal De Raemaeker

    Sure, give them the ability to block “pirate websites”, but the code monkeys will just find ways to circumvent your blocks, to which you will always be playing catch up.

    If you give them the power to indiscriminately block ‘pirate’ sites, what’s to stop them from blocking other sites too? Oh sure, they may throttle or restrict access to their competitors sites, but then they’ll try and extort money out of other services. Want to watch movies? Sure, you can watch a virtually infinite amount with RoD, Netflix they’ll allow but they’ll throttle streaming speeds, but cut out Hulu and Crackle because they didnt fork over as much as Netflix did.

    You see this, and try to voice your disapproval on Facebook, but you find yourself blocked. Why? They just introduced a social media add-on to theirplans – to which your now $100 bi-weekly basic Internet plan does not include. You try and launch a lawsuit but the top lawyers find it more profitable of fight FOR bell/Rogers/etc than against- so you can only get a spunky up and comer lawyer who’s primary experience is watching senior lawyers work, and the years of law school, while the company you’re trying to sue has an army of lawyers available at their beck and call.

    Somehow you get it before the courta, but the justice is married to/banging/is friends with/related to a senior exec.

    You give these jerk off pencil pushers in power suits an inch and they’ll take a mile. Block these clowns while the ball is still in our court, otherwise we’ll see a sh**show not unlike what’s currently happening in the states.