Shaw argues in favour of internet service providers blocking copyright-infringing sites

The Canadian telecom provided this opinion in a document to the CRTC

An image showing the Shaw Communications logo

Canadian telecom player Shaw Communications has taken a stance supporting internet service providers (ISP) who want to block websites that infringe on Canadian copyrights.

As it stands, a 2016 CRTC decision already determined that ISPs were prohibited from blocking access to specific websites without seeking the commission’s approval first.

Acknowledging this earlier CRTC decision, a December 1st, 2017 intervention notice submitted to the CRTC by Shaw provided the opinion that ISPs should be allowed to seek court orders without requiring the CRTC’s oversight.

“Shaw submits that the CRTC should consider using its authority under section 35 to approve court orders for ISPs to block access to online services infringing Canadian copyright law,” reads an excerpt from the Shaw intervention document.

Shaw further posits that blocking access to online sources that infringe on Canadian copyright “responds to the ‘economic and social requirements of [users] of telecommunication services.’”

“It would be a significant impediment to the future economic growth of Canada’s creative sector, as well as to the promotion and development of Canadian content and legitimate Canadian distribution platforms, if rightsholders were denied access to an effective tool to combat online piracy because the CRTC prevented ISPs from complying with court orders,” reads another excerpt from the Shaw document.

Shaw’s document was submitted to the CRTC mere days before a Canadaland report revealed that national service provider Bell was in the process of generating interest and support for a coalition that would task the CRTC with establishing an anti-piracy not-for-profit organization.

The Canadaland report said that national service provider Rogers, theatre chain Cineplex and Quebec theatre chain Cinema Guzzo were also involved in the coalition, but a Rogers spokesperson confirmed to MobileSyrup that the company was reviewing the proposal documents.

MobileSyrup has reached out to Shaw for comment. This story will be updated with a response.

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