Canada’s federal government has issued a formal response to an application filing from FairPlay Canada, an anti-piracy coalition comprised of organizations like Bell and Rogers Media.
In an email to MobileSyrup, Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) minister Navdeep Bains reaffirmed the federal government’s commitment to net neutrality, while also highlighting the fact that Canada’s legal copyright framework already enumerates provisions designed to protect owners of intellectual property.
“Our Government supports an open Internet where Canadians have the ability to access the content of their choice in accordance to Canadian laws,” said Bains, in an emailed statement to MobileSyrup. “In other words, our Government believes that all legal content must be treated equally by internet service providers (ISPs). That’s why our government has a strong net neutrality framework in place through the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).”
Bains further clarified that the CRTC functions as an independent regulator, continuing to maintain his department’s commitment to protecting copyright.
“I understand that the CRTC has received this proposal and will review it as the independent regulator,” said Bains. “We [ISED] are committed to maintaining one of the best intellectual property and copyright frameworks in the world to support creativity and innovation to the benefit of artists, creators, consumers and all.”
FairPlay Canada, a coalition comprised of over 25 Canadian media companies, filed its petition to the CRTC today, in order to establish an independent body which would identify websites “blatantly engaged” in content theft.
The group hopes to be able to convince the CRTC to force telecoms to block access to websites trafficking in pirated content.
The FairPlay Canada coalition contains members like Bell, Rogers Media and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Individuals like University of Ottawa law professor Michael Geist, as well as Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) director of privacy, technology and surveillance project Brenda McPhail have spoken out against FairPlay Canada’s CRTC application.