February 07, 2018
What is FairPlay Canada?
FairPlay Canada is a proposal to the CRTC aimed at stopping piracy operations engaged in 'blatant and overwhelming' theft of intellectual property based on the web. The initiative is supported by at least 29 leading industry groups including the DGC, ACTRA, IATSE, the WGC, TIFF, The Academy, UDA, AQPM, the CMPA, Unifor and CBC-RadioCanada, along with private distributors, broadcasters and theatrical exhibitors.
Does this proposal match the traditional values and priorities of the DGC?
Absolutely, *yes*. This proposal is based on core values that the Guild has always upheld - fairness, freedom of expression and creators' rights. The proposal seeks to modernize federal telecommunications and broadcasting policies to uphold these core values on new platforms and reinforce new principles such as Net Neutrality that have become equally important to many creators. In fact, in addition to action on copyright, FairPlay Canada includes an unprecedented industry-wide commitment to Net Neutrality.
"FairPlay is about a simple principle. Canadian creators should be paid for their work like anyone else. We need to modernize our laws and take on this new generation of piracy sites, raking in millions trafficking in content stolen from Canadian creators." – Tim Southam, President, Directors Guild of Canada
How does this plan work?
The FairPlay Canada proposal is targeted at a new generation of large-scale intellectual property theft. These services are not traditional user-driven "peer-to-peer" sharing sites, but massive pirated streaming services raking in millions of dollars selling stolen content to users and are often linked in organized crime. As these services frequently operate outside Canada, the existing reforms to our copyright laws undertaken in 2012 do not provide tools to effectively shutdown these operations.
The FairPlay Canada plan calls on the CRTC to establish a new complaints process - giving Canadian creators and rights holders a new option for addressing these blatant and egregious foreign copyright violators.
Under the proposal, the CRTC would create an independent review agency, arms length from broadcasters and telecom companies, with a governance structure comprised not only of industry partners, but users, consumers, educators, distributors, right holders and creators. This review agency would consider complaints and make recommendations to the CRTC.
If, and only if, the CRTC agrees that an operator constitutes a blatant, overwhelming or structural violator in distributing stolen intellectual property, would Canadian ISPs be ordered to block access to that service. Not only would the CRTC have to agree, but even the CRTC decisions would be subject to appeal and reversal by the Federal Court.
Where can I learn more?