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CRTC Refusal to Block Websites is Fair Result

CRTC concludes it has no jurisdiction to grant “FairPlay” coalition request to restrict access to “piracy” websites

OTTAWA – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today welcomed the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) decision to deny an application to require and authorize Internet Service Providers (“ISPs”) to block online access to websites engaged in alleged copyright infringement.

“The CRTC correctly concluded that it is not the appropriate body to decide matters of copyright policy”, said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel at PIAC. “Consumers now can trust that the regulator will concentrate on connecting people on the internet and not on censoring, filtering or blocking what Canadians can access.”

According to the decision, Canadian telecommunications policy encourages “the development of an orderly, reliable, affordable and efficient telecommunications infrastructure”. The CRTC clarified that the proposed “anti-piracy” regime would not directly achieve these goals. The CRTC added that the Telecommunications Act does not deal with copyright, nor its enforcement, and that if this issue is so important that it requires extraordinary efforts by an administrative body like the CRTC, and website blocking decisions to be made without judicial oversight, that clear legislative direction would be needed.

For more information please contact:

John Lawford
Executive Director & General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
(613) 562-4002 ×25
lawford@piac.ca
www.piac.ca

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