A CANADIAN FEDERAL COURT has decided that the country's ISPs should be blocking an internet pirate TV station, Reclaim The Net reports.
The site in question is GoldTV. Unlike its legitimate namesake in the UK which specialises in back-to-back reruns of Only Fools and Horses, GoldTV provided more modern, more desirable content to those happy to see rights holders' earnings fall.
The judge concluded that such a block wouldn't affect freedom of expression or net neutrality, so Canada's IPs have been ordered to block access to GoldTV within 15 days. Some are likely more onboard with the idea than others. Bell, Rogers and Videotron all have cable TV as part of their portfolio, so have a not particularly vested interest in seeing IPTV stations go down the tubes.
One unhappy ISP, however, is TekSavvy, which told TorrentFreak that the move was squarely in that typical unhappy middle ground of government tech intervention, where it's a heady mix of draconian, expensive and ineffective - see also the porn block.
"If the plaintiffs were successful in obtaining a site-blocking order in this case, there is no question that they would use it as a precedent to obtain other site-blocking orders, whether in respect of copyright infringement or otherwise.
"TekSavvy could be faced with hundreds and even thousands of websites to block and monitor, exponentially increasing the costs of operating and maintaining a site-blocking system and overwhelming TekSavvy's capacity."
Interestingly the judge presiding the case was alive to the patchy nature of ISP site blocking. Judge Patrick Gleeson said: "It's clear from the evidence that site-blocking will not eliminate user access to infringing services. However, the evidence does establish that in those jurisdictions where site-blocking measures have been implemented there has been a significant reduction in visits to infringing websites."
Site blocking via ISPs has been a fixture in the UK for some time. Despite this, the word "piracy" is still available to look up in the dictionary today. µ
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