Canada's SOPA moment: Canadian telco giants pushing for site blocking without court orders

Originally published at:

SOPA may be a distant memory for the Internet community, but Canada now finds itself in its own SOPA moment. Telecom giant Bell leads a coalition of companies and associations in seeking support for a wide-ranging website blocking plan that could have similarly harmful effects on the Internet, representing a set-back for privacy, freedom of expression, and net neutrality. While that need not be the choice - Canada’s Copyright Act already features some of the world’s toughest anti-piracy laws - the government and the CRTC, Canada’s telecom regulator, are faced with deciding on the merits of a website blocking plan that is best described as a disproportionate, unconstitutional proposal sorely lacking in due process.


They haven’t yet made the case that some sites should legitimately be blocked. Sure, there’s a very small amount of content that’s outlawed because it causes naughty thoughts. But we have yet to come up with a useful definition of “copyright reasons,” which is why we fall back on the letting the corporations call the shots. You don’t like it? Fine, just hire more lawyers than Disney.

Until we have a useful international consensus, any web-blocking system is certain to be abused. If that doesn’t worry you, remember we live in a world where fascism exists.


Yes, I suppose just getting them to give you the chicken coop is far more efficient than getting the keys to it.

I have been arguing with folks in the industry here in Canada for at least a couple of decades now and it never ceases to amaze me how they willfully delude themselves into thinking this can be contained like some little bubble that will only do good for their business and continually harp about the “artists must be paid”. Hell - even my own performers union, ACTRA, jumped aboard in their usual knee-jerk fashion, proclaiming this would be good for ensuring payments to their members. When you point out the derivative effects of things like this and SOPA and whatever other bullshit name they want to attach to these proposals (this one’s called “Fair Play”) they mutter tripe like “We see no evidence it would ever be abused.” and you just want to either wring their necks or just go home and continually smash the refrigerator door against your skull. ACTRA did the same thing earlier when they came out in support of the former Harper regime’s Bill C-61 (a copyright reform bill that was co-written by the US Ambassador and the MPAA and pretty much just DMCA North) and then (sort of) walked back their support when they finally got tired of everybody (including me) calling them a bunch of well intentioned but dim-witted fat-headed asshats.

After all these years and all these efforts (on both sides) you’d think people in the industry (let alone the general public) would have something more than a clue that it’s a shitty idea to let somebody else decide what you can see, hear and say. For cryin’ out frickin’ loud! Our very own Marshall McLuhan (in his 1964 book Understanding Media) said:

“Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our eyes and ears and nerves, we don’t really have any rights left. Leasing our eyes and ears and nerves to commercial interests is like handing over the common speech to a private corporation, or like giving the earth’s atmosphere to a company as a monopoly.”.

He said that over 50 years ago - 50 fucking years - and we’re STILL arguing about it today. I fucking hate it. Worse still, I know full well this shit ain’t gonna stop anytime soon. The business sociopaths who belong to the MBA cult (and I know this because I’ve done business with these empty greed husks) will not stop. Remember Kyle Reese in the Terminator, describing what a Terminator is?

That’s what these short-sighted nickel-licking corporate crack-snackers are like. Like the Wolf in The Three Little PIgs. If they can’t get what they want by knocking at the front door, they try the back door, then they try the window, and on and on and on. Different names, different packaging, same old bullshit excuses and same old damaging relentless greed.

My apologies for the rant but I’ve been dealing with some very exceptional people here who I consider to be friends and I am appalled at their lack of insight into the very basics of this stuff. They should know better. And I’m old and I’m tired and I’m fucking fed up with it all.

So I’m gonna go make myself another cup of coffee and then stick pins in a few dolls.



I called my member of parliament (Bardish Chagger) and I was apparently the first one to call her about this?

Additionally, I’m a bit confused on how to leave a comment CRTC website. I see a list of “interventions” other people have left, but I don’t know how to leave my own comment. Does anyone know what the button is that I’m missing?

1 Like

I was confused about how to submit to the CRTC too.

To submit a comment, go to this page:

Ctrl-F for piracy.

Click the Submit button in that row.


“But the comment section was on display . . .”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a torch.”
“Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the place to comment, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Seanny123, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard.”


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.