OTTAWA – MARCH 23, 2021 – On March 24 and 25, the Federal Court of Appeal will hear oral arguments in the case of TekSavvy Solutions v. Bell Media Inc. et al. concerning mandatory website blocking. In 2019, a lower court decision ordered internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to a series of streaming websites doing business as “GoldTV”. The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) will be amongst the interveners appearing before the court.
Representatives from CIRA will be available for questions from reporters before and following the court proceedings.
Who: Jeremy de Beer and Bram Abramson, counsel for CIRA.
What: Appeal of Federal Court of Canada website blocking decision ordering ISPs to block access to certain websites (Court File Number A-440-19).
Where: The hearing will be held virtually.
When: March 24, 2020 beginning at 9:30am ET.
- In July 2019, a group of broadcasting companies including Groupe TVA, Bell, and Rogers filed a lawsuit against IPTV provider GoldTV for alleged copyright infringement.
- In November 2019, the Federal Court of Canada issued Canada’s first-ever website blocking injunction that required certain ISPs in Canada to block identifiers related to GoldTV, including GoldTV.ca. The blocking injunction was issued under the Copyright Act, but engaged issues related to the Telecommunications Act.
- In response, Chatham-based independent ISP TekSavvy Solutions appealed to the Federal Court of Appeal.
- In June 2020, CIRA requested and was granted leave to intervene. In August 2020, as ordered by the Court, CIRA submitted its argument jointly with the Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC).
- CIRA and CIPPIC’s submissions on ISP blocking offer the Federal Court of Appeal perspective on Canadian and international copyright and telecommunications law.
- At issue is whether court-ordered website blocking in Canada is proportionate and consistent with the principles of copyright and telecommunications law and international practices.
“Orders about blocking different parts of the internet — and how those parts fit together — have become a major policy issue in Canada. Over the past few years, we have seen requests for various kinds of blocking come before the courts, the CRTC, and provincial legislatures. As the only organization in the country tasked with managing the .CA domain on behalf of Canadians, CIRA has built unique and extensive experience in the governance and technical operation of the internet. We are pleased to assist the court by sharing our expertise and look forward to answering their questions at the hearing.”
-Byron Holland, CIRA’s president and CEO
About the Canadian Internet Registration Authority
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is the national not-for-profit best known for managing the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. CIRA also develops technologies and services—such as CIRA DNS Firewall and CIRA Canadian Shield—that help support its goal of building a better online Canada. In the course of our work, CIRA develops and implement policies for the .CA domain that support Canada’s internet community and represent the .CA registry internationally.