Is piracy truly a problem?
Piracy is a problem and it’s getting worse. In 2016, there were 1.88 billion visits to illegal piracy sites in Canada. International piracy websites are profiting from millions of dollars in advertising and subscriptions based on hosting stolen content undermining both the creation of uniquely Canadian cultural content and the work of thousands of Canadians employed in those industries.
Is this an attack on net neutrality?
The proposal has nothing to do with net neutrality. In fact, the coalition strongly supports net neutrality and the free flow of legal content on the Internet. What we want to stop are illegal acts of online piracy that deny Canadian creators fair compensation for their work.
Isn’t there a danger that legal websites will be targeted / affected?
Applications would only target blatant piracy sites, and anyone who thinks they may be impacted would have recourse to object through the established process. Courts that have reviewed similar regimes in other countries have found that they are effective and that there is no evidence of over-blocking.
Objections could occur through the IPRA process, as well as through the oversight of the CRTC itself, and judicial review by the Federal Court of Appeal.
Why do we need a new agency?
The current tools aren’t working and need to be modernized. The agency would be independent and work with the CRTC to identify blatant piracy sites. Final decisions will rest with the CRTC, and be reviewable by the Federal Court of Appeal. The FairPlay Canada proposal puts the independent regulator in charge – private companies would have no ability to unilaterally disable access to a site. The CRTC will make the final decisions, while the IPRA will be able to develop expertise and provide all parties with a more expeditious, and efficient, and less costly, process.