CIRA Opposes Blocking Order In Canadian Piracy Case, Warning Of Dangers

CIRA, the .ca registry, has filed an intervention in a Canadian pirate site blocking appeal, along with a Canadian public interest technology law clinic, according to a report in TorrentFreak this week.

According to the TorrentFreak report, “the groups argue that the blocking injunction sidelines the telecoms regulator and disrupts the balance struck by the Copyright Act. In addition, they believe that user rights, including freedom of expression, should be carefully considered.”

“Last year Canada’s Federal Court approved the first pirate site blocking order in the country.”

The case came about “following a complaint from major media companies Rogers, Bell and TVA, the Court ordered several major ISPs to block access to the domains and IP-addresses of pirate IPTV service GoldTV.”

“There was little opposition from Internet providers, except for TekSavvy, which quickly announced that it would appeal the ruling. The blocking injunction threatens the open Internet to advance the interests of a few powerful media conglomerates, the company said.”

“Soon after, the landmark case also drew the interest of several third parties. This included copyright holder groups, which argued in favour of site blocking, but also the Canadian domain registry (CIRA) and … CIPPIC, which both oppose the blocking order.” CIPPIC is the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), Canada’s first and only public interest technology law clinic, based at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law.

“Two months ago, the Federal Court allowed these parties to officially intervene but ruled that several of them must pair up to file joint pleadings. This was also the case for CIPPIC and CIRA, which submitted their intervention memorandum this week.

“The groups argue that the process through which the blocking order was established in Canada was not correct. CIPPIC, for example, says that it disrupts the carefully constructed enforcement regime of Canada’s Copyright Act, by tipping the scale in favour of copyright holders.”

The article goes on to say “for its part, CIRA highlights that Canada’s Telecommunications law was disregarded by the court. The domain registry notes that blocking orders are indeed a copyright matter. However, it adds that the far-reaching blocking requirement does require approval from the CRTC, Canada’s telecoms regulator.”

To read the complete TorrentFreak report, click here.

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