CRTC extends comment period for FairPlay anti-piracy application

CRTC website

Canada’s telecom regulator wants to give everyone time to comment on the anti-piracy proposal made by a Bell-led coalition called FairPlay Canada.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has extended the comments period on the FairPlay application until March 29th, 2018. Reply comments may be filed by April 23rd, 2018.

The regulator also noted that it would “determine at a later time” if a further process is warranted and in what form.

The extension was given after the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) filed a letter requesting extra time for interested parties to provide comprehensive responses to the matters raised by FairPlay Canada.

The FairPlay Canada was submitted on January 29th, by a group of more than 25 organizations including Bell, Rogers, Quebecor and the CBC.

The coalition proposes establishing an independent agency called the Independent Piracy Review Agency (IPRA), which would identify websites “blatantly engaged” in content theft.

According to FairPlay Canada’s suggestion, the CRTC would then require telecoms to “take measures to prevent such sites from reaching Canadians” — in other words, blocking those sites from the public.

Those involved in the coalition state it’s the only way to reduce online piracy.

Critics of the proposal take issue with the lack of judicial oversight and think the creation of such an agency could be a slippery slope that leads to undue censorship and challenges net neutrality.

Source: CRTC