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Opinion

Stopping online piracy is not censorship

By Alan McQuinn, Daniel Castro      

A new proposal to block Canadians from accessing websites that engage in piracy, while imposing safeguards to protect users’ digital rights, is balanced and pragmatic.

University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist has warned that a proposed system to block websites that engage in piracy 'raises serious due-process concerns,' and threatens to 'gradually expand into demands for blocking of a wide range of other content.' The Hill Times file photograph

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is considering a proposal to block Canadians from accessing websites that “blatantly, overwhelming, or structurally engage in piracy.” The proposal expands on successful efforts in other countries to address the growing problem of online piracy, while imposing extraordinary safeguards to protect users’ digital rights. In short, it is a balanced and pragmatic attempt to address online piracy that has garnered support from a diverse group of stakeholders, including broadcasters, distributors, media companies, internet service providers (ISPs), and artists in the film, TV, and music industries. Yet for some of the most extreme digital activists, any attempt at addressing copyright infringement, is a step too far.

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