Canadian IP Lobby Calls For SOPA North, Complete With Website Blocking And Secondary Liability

from the weren't-they-paying-attention? dept

The Canadian IP Council, one of the country’s biggest intellectual property lobbying groups, has just released its policy roadmap (pdf) for the coming years, and the list of goals and recommendations is disturbingly ambitious. The document focuses primarily on counterfeiting and trademark issues, but its list of remedies amounts to a Canadian SOPA that would see ISPs regulated, websites blocked and personal data shared with infringement-snooping private watchdogs. Michael Geist has posted a thorough, itemized takedown of the many ridiculous assertions in the document, which is well worth reading in its entirety, but here are a few key points:

There is a recommendation for new laws adding substantial secondary liability for copyright and trademark infringement, and laws encouraging the creation of private mechanisms of cooperation between rightsholders and service providers. The stated goals of these recommendations are clear in their SOPA-esque desire that rightsholders be able to quickly and quietly shut down anything they don’t like online, preferably without having to go through the courts at all:

SOPA may be dead in the U.S., but the IP lobby is anxious to revive it in Canada. SOPA targeted ISPs with website blocking as well as measures focused on payment intermediaries and online advertising networks. In addition to the quote above that even targets resolving search queries, the report states:

The existence of remedies that include blocking orders, domain seizure and contributory liability are useful tools to encourage the cooperation of intermediaries who do not wish to be involved in the illicit activity.

It adds that:

positive relationships between rights holders and these intermediaries, including online payment processors, search engines, Internet service providers, online advertisers, online retailers, web auction sites, web hosting providers, domain name system (DNS) registries and social media platforms, can provide the basis for cooperation in the prevention of counterfeit distribution. This relationship requires the support of government.

The report also asks for the criminalization of all sorts of things involving counterfeiting, but as Geist points out, what this represents is an attempt to shift all the costs of what is traditionally a private action onto the public. They want the government to enforce their IP rights for them:

The report has several recommendations that would require the government to spend millions of dollars enforcing private rights. The criminalization of intellectual property discussed above is designed to increase public enforcement of private rights. Unlike the current system, which typically requires rights holders to assert their rights through civil litigation (an approach that has recently yielded million dollar awards), the move toward criminal provisions would require government prosecutors to act on behalf on rights holders. This represents a huge enforcement subsidy. Moreover, the report recommends:

1. The government must encourage enforcement officials to seek strong remedies in the case of IPR infringements and ensure prosecutors exploit the full range of remedies available to them, including the proceeds of crime regime.

2. Develop a team of properly funded and dedicated enforcement professionals in order to effectively face the challenges presented by counterfeiting in the digital age. In the absence of such a team, it will be impossible to respond to the challenges of small shipments of counterfeit product delivered online, and Canada will not be effectively positioned to partner with our international counterparts in tackling multinational operations.

3. Create an interagency intellectual property council consisting of senior officials from various government departments, including the Department of Justice and the RCMP, with the mandate to develop public education programs, initiatives for law enforcement and policy.

4. Establish a specialized IP crime task force to guide and lead anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy enforcement efforts in Canada.

The creation of new agencies, task forces, enforcement teams, and education programs are all part of a systemic effort to shift costs to the public.

The document also leans heavily on ACTA, often misrepresenting its recommendations as requirements, and ignoring the fact that ACTA is facing significant backlash in the EU. In America, the SOPA protests and the growing internet movement have succeeded in getting a lot of intellectual property groups to back off from their most draconian requests for things like website blocking—but such is apparently not the case in Canada, if the IP Council isn’t even the least bit bashful about pushing such an extreme position.

Filed Under: , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Canadian IP Lobby Calls For SOPA North, Complete With Website Blocking And Secondary Liability”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Chilly8 says:

A Canadian version of SOPA would not have as much of an effect on the world, as it would have, if PIPA and SOPA had been passed in the USA.

A lot of the major websites that SOPA would have affected, such as Google, Justin TV, YouTube, or Facebook, are all in the USA, so they are only subject to US laws.

No matter what kind of laws are passed in Canada, they do not apply to US-based websites. While such websites could certainly be blocked in Canada, under their proposals, the operators of these sites are not subject to prosecution under Canadian laws, as long as they follow all US laws. US-based websites are not subject to Canadian laws, period!!!

Likewise, I could set up a public VPN on my US-based servers, and would be not subject to prosecution in Canada. As long as I followed DMCA takedown procedures, Canada would be unable to do anything to me, if I did set up a proxy or VPN to bypass their blocking.

Anonymous Coward says:


It’s true that a Canadian law wouldn’t have much of a direct effect, but you have to remember that the lobbyists pushing for things like SOPA are all about working for incremental change.

Again and again, we’ve seen it happen where one country imposes stricter and more draconian IP laws than its neighbors have. Once that happens, the lobbyists begin talking about the need to “standardize” international IP laws, which inevitably translates into “all other countries should adopt equally strict laws”. It’s happened with the US, it’s happened with France, they tried to make it work with Australia….the list goes on and on. As I understand it, a big part of the push for stricter legislation in Canada is based on the notion that they’re somehow “softer” on piracy than the US.

I fully agree that international IP law is complicated enough, without having to handle dozens of conflicting rule sets — but when standardizing those laws inevitably means increasing penalties and enforcement, rather than throwing out the more absurd provisions, we have a problem. In that sense, I’m intensely concerned about this Canadian bill, even though it’s unlikely to directly affect my net access in any way.

Chilly8 says:

I think the fact that a Canadian version SOPA would not have nearly the worldwide impact that any US version would have, could be why Canada is their next battleground.

Because none of the major “streaming” providers, like Justin TV, YouTube, or the numerous sites hosting booleg streams of TV shows and sports events are hosted in Canada, they might not bring up the huge amounts of protests that SOPA did.

I do think that Canadian version of SOPA, when it is introduced, will be largely overlooked by most SOPA protesters, becuase it will not have that much of an impact outside of Canada.

This is why proposed policies like the “SOPA North”, or bill C-11 will not come anyhwheres near to drawing the howls of protest that have come from SOPA, PIPA, or CISPA, in the USA.

Pierre Canuck says:

Canada is being "ruled and ruined" by Evil Fascist Scumbags

Stephen Harper is an evil fascist dickhead extreme right-wing ball-sucking lowlife Republican wannabe asshole and a total fucking embarrassment to Canada. He wasn’t born – his mother had an abortion and it lived.

He and the rest of his Reform/Alliance cabal are evil extremist fat tar-sucking shitheads (I’m looking at you Fat Windbag Baird and lowlife scum sucker Nazi wannabe Toews) and are all enemies of the Canadian people.

Anonymous Coward says:

There is one answer I know of that will kill all this if people felt strongly enough about it. Simply go on boycott and quit buying anything at all with major label involvement. The plummet in income could not be missed by those far over stepping their bounds as a signal enough is enough.

Even if a boycott does not occur today, it’s written in their future as the younger generation no longer thinks much of tv and music as buying shiny discs.

For myself, I started on the path of boycott with sue’em all. I’m not likely to return to buying music ever as I never hear new stuff anymore. Multiply that by a couple of million people and the message will arrive in a manner that can not be ignored…and piracy will not be the answer to that one.

Beech (profile) says:

Hey, these guys are NOT idiots. They are a bunch of rich bastards who got where they are by having a lot of business sense, the problem is that the way business, and even the world, works is changing, making their traditional business acumen obsolete. Bills like this are the way things have worked for a long, long time. Step one, get a bill introduced which favors you to an insane degree. if it passes, great. if not, “compromise” to get what still amounts to a pretty sweet deal. If I were to ask the government for a billion dollars, but met with resistance and only ended up getting a few million, guess what? Its a few million more than i started with.

Basically, this isnt about getting censorship in Canada, but its a nice side-effect. Dollars to doughnuts if/when this bill gets passed lobbyists will be right back at it in DC. “hey look, even those sissy maple-tree-hugging, flannel-wearing canuks are more strict on “cyber-crime” than the US. Mr Congress Critter, are you really going to let canada be more ANYTHING than the USA? Because the way I remember it, USA is number 1.”

Of course, if the bill doesn’t pass in Canada it will just be reintroduced in another form a few months down the road. Over and over til it gets passed, then more bills asking for even more.

gorehound (profile) says:


I have been Boycotting the MAFIAA for years now.I will only buy physical used stuff and refuse to use Netflix,Itunes, ETC as MAFIAA will get income off that.I cut my Cable more than 7 years ago.I regularly post to my facebook these News Stories so the fans of my Art and my friends will be aware.
MAFIAA will never ever get a dime off me and I will never miss them nor do I care about anything they are putting out.As much as I love Scifi and the old Alien Films I will not go and pay in a Theater so to see Prometheus.
Frak Off Hollywood !!! The Day I see a National Boycott of you I will be so happy inside !!!
You are Censored from my Wallet for Life !

Anonymous Coward says:

The report also asks for the criminalization of all sorts of things involving counterfeiting, but as Geist points out, what this represents is an attempt to shift all the costs of what is traditionally a private action onto the public. They want the government to enforce their IP rights for them:

I wonder if the author wasn’t part of the snivelathon about private right of action under SOPA. So basically you people don’t want the government enforcing IP law, nor the rights holder. Got it.

Anonymous Coward says:


“I wonder if the author wasn’t part of the snivelathon about private right of action under SOPA. So basically you people don’t want the government enforcing IP law, nor the rights holder. Got it.”

As opposed to the “wah wah wah piracy defend us wah wah wah” of your side of the aisle, right?

It’s okay when you cry about imaginary sales and jobs, but when people legitimately raise concerns about overly broad bills (which aren’t even needed as recent due process abuse and violations and seizures has shown us) that’s a “snivelathon”? Bit of a hypocrite and over exaggerator aren’t you?

Also, people have no problem with the rights holders enforcing their rights. It’s when they’re attempts to do so encroaches on OUR rights (you know, the customers whose money you would be nothing without) that we have a problem.

Ditto when you try and get the government to do your work for you, using OUR tax dollars. (See previous bit about encroaching on our rights as well. Same thing, asking others to do your job for you all at our expense.)

We have no problem with them enforcing their rights as copyright holders, as long as they do so using their own funds (and not ours), and while respecting the rights of others (as they expect us to respect theirs), and while doing so within the bounds of the law (not twisting and abusing the law and the government as they see fit), and respecting the laws of other countries (as they expect them to respect their rights as copyright holders and the laws of the U.S.).

But leave it to a troll to try and twist things around. People like you are part of the problem.

Anonymous Coward says:


SOPA required an adversarial hearing where the website could appear and defend itself against a complaint by the rights holder . It got shouted down by people like you. So now you have what you have, the government using ProIP to enforce IP law. Not exactly the rights holder’s fault is it? Maybe you should have thought about that back in January.

Anonymous Coward says:


Actually, I’m not much of a shouter. So it didn’t get shouted down by people like me. It was however a bad piece of law, as first written by people like you. And because it was so horribly written in it’s original form (and not as publicized after the fact), it got shut down by concerned citizens. You know, those people whose money you need. Those same people whose rights you are very much ready to trample on.

And sorry to say, things are what they are now because of the rights holders, so yeah… it is their fault. Or would you like to discuss the Dajaz1 seizure based on the word of the RIAA, who never provided the evidence the government was waiting for them to provide til eventually the site was given back? Or would you like to discuss the “wah wah piracy do something wah wah we’re dying wah wah”. Because I’m pretty sure all the bitching and whining wasn’t coming from regular citizens.

And I see. So you acknowledge that even without badly written laws, the government is acting like the Gestapo on behalf of copyright holders? Nice, so finally we get a little acknowledgement from your side as to their true intentions. Do as they please, but demand others follow the law. I stand by my previous statement regarding you being a hypocrite.

Snarky comments are my forte. If you’d like to discuss things reasonably you’d be much better off. Otherwise I’ll keep throwing things your way and making you and your kind look like the douchebags you all are and have been for some time now. Your side’s sense of entitlement is far worse than anything I’ve ever seen from the file sharing crowd.

You want others to offer solutions to your problems. You want others to come up with business models that earn you the same as previous models. You want others to do your enforcement for you. You want others to foot the bill for said enforcement. You want others to do without their rights for you. And so on and so forth. Yeah, the pirates are the real freeloaders and entitled bunch. /s

Anonymous Coward says:


Really? That’s what you go too? I DO NOT download a thing. I prefer to do without. I rarely go to the theater (I only go when my girlfriend really wants to see something). In fact, the only media I consume AND PAY FOR is books and comic books. I purchase maybe a cd every 2 or 3 years from the handful of artists I like.

It’s assumptions like that that turn customers against you. You think they’re all thieves and treat them as such and they tell you to fuck off.

I stand by my statement, the sense of entitlement your side has is far worse and greater than anything I’ve seen from people who do file share. Of which I am not one.

But nice try with the bad assumption/insult. See, again, it’s comments like that that quickly show your true colors. I point out what your side’s up to, you call me a pirate. Rather than rebut my statements. Tsk tsk. Weren’t you ever taught how to properly debate? It should be the first thing they teach you in “How To Shill/Troll 101”.

Anonymous Coward says:


Freeloading is very much not my forte, just as not disputing a thing I say is yours.

Assumptions are your specialty quite obviously. But also quite obviously, not correct ones. About as far off the mark as they can get.

Obviously angry troll is obviously angry. “Grr. You’re a freeloading no good pirating thief! Grrr!” That’s you. Lol.

Atkray (profile) says:


Your “right” is something that We The People granted to you for a limited time out of the goodness of our hearts. You have chosen to take advantage of the generally benign nature of people and are like the proverbial camel that is now displacing us from our own tent.

Keep pushing, the storm from SOPA was nothing.

Spoiler ALERT!!!!!

In this version the camel is shot and killed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Times have changed our kids.
Our Kids are getting worse!
They wont obey their parents
They just want to fart and curse!
should we blame the government or blame society?
or should we blame the images on TV?

NO! blame Canada, blame Canada
with all their beady little eyes
an’ flapping heads so full of lies
blame Canada, blame Canada
we need to form a full assault, its Canada’s fault

don’t blame me for my son Stan
he say that darn cartoon and now he’s off to join the clan!
and my boy Eric once had MY picture on his shelf
but now when I see him he tells me to fuck myself

well, blame Canada, blame Canada
it seems that everything’s gone wrong
since Canada came along
blame Canada, blame Canada
they’re not even a real country, anyway

my son could’ve been a doctor or a lawyer it’s true
instead he burned up like a piggy on a barbecue

should we blame the matches, should we blame the fire?
or the doctors who allowed him to expire?


Blame Canada, blame Canada
with their hockey hullabaloo
and their bitch Anne Murray too
Blame Canada, shame on Canada!
the smut we must stop
The trash we must smash
laughter and fun
must all be undone
we must blame them and cause a fuss
before someone thinks of blaming us!!!

Anonymous Coward says:


Your “right” is something that We The People granted to you for a limited time out of the goodness of our hearts.

Itshay, how much of the massive amount of music and motion pictures illegally downloaded is stuff that would fall within a copyright period of say… 30 years? I believe most of it. People can’t even wait a week to see a show legally much less a decade. SO stop acting like shortening copyright terms would even slow infringing down.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

This is getting ridiculous.

None of this is government policy nor has it been enacted into law here.

Very unlike, say, the United Kingdom where most of it already is. So perhaps the UK should abandon the Union Jack and apply for statehood?

Now that that is out of the way. Our federal government is wonderful at yapping about what we need to do and our international commitments (ACTA) but they’re not all that rapid on acting on things like reports from this collection of lunatics.

I’m no fan of Stephen Harper’s policies and politics but he does take good care of that part of his base that might wander off if he pushes this kind of thing too far and this report is too, too,too far. It’s his voters who fall into the broad category of those most likely to download pirated software or to seek out counterfeit meds or even go looking for fake fashions.

He’s also sensitive to what has happened in the States with regard to SOPA/PIPA, currently in Europe with ACTA, the leaks from TPP and the slowly increasing resistance to it around the Pacific Rim. He wants to stay Prime Minister for the long term and not risk it all on a throw of the dice to do what this group wants him to do Even his training as an economist would let him easily catch the smell of bad economic policy around this should he follow this group’s demands.

Bit of a bully that he is he’ll use it to get what he wants from the Opposition in the house but as far as anything concrete I seriously doubt it.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Itshay, how much of the massive amount of music and motion pictures illegally downloaded is stuff that would fall within a copyright period of say… 30 years? I believe most of it. People can’t even wait a week to see a show legally much less a decade. SO stop acting like shortening copyright terms would even slow infringing down.”

People do not repsect the copyright law because it does not make sense. It has started as a simple concept to regulate book commerce and since then it has mutated due to greed and corruption.

Now we have an incredible complex set of rules applied to most activities we do online. And when you do step on someone else’s intagible property you are up for some insanely high fines.

People were creating music, songs, paintings, and other forms of art long before copyright was invented. And they will continue to do so long after the copyright is abolished. Everything about copyright goes against the human nature of sharing and disseminating knowledge.

Anonymous Coward says:


Do I have to bring up my example again?

I want a legitimate copy of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s first CD so I can listen to “Stop Dragging My Car Around” on my CD player. I got a friend who went over to the States to study to help me get copies. She asked for “Weird Al” CDs to buy when she was there; she was laughed at. And now I can only listen to the songs on Youtube which makes the RIAA wet their pants at night.

tl;dr, your point sucks.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:


This isn’t a bill before the House. It’s a report from the Canadian IP Council, a group who are regularly ignored by policy makers because they’re so off in la-la land most of the time. And the House is near ready to rise for the summer which means MPs will be back in their ridings. If this gets out, even if just into the tech community for now, the MPs will get an earful particularly MPs from the Ottawa, Metro Toronto and Metro Vancouver regions where the kind of thing that sunk SOPA would cost the Tories seats in the House in the next election.

Nor does site blocking, messing with DNS or a whole lot of other things on the shopping list of the Canadian IP Council make a lot of sense technically or things Canada has jurisdiction over.

For now, this is just a shopping list by one group. And keep in mind that Parliament just passed a bill updating Canadian copyright and patent law this past winter as the SOPA/PIPA revolt was gaining steam in the States. The PM and the Minister in charge of that bill both noted the revolt and made it clear that nothing like that was under consideration here.

There is a long list of things with higher priority on the list of things for the House to do when it gets back in the fall than to do much of anything with this report.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:


This story is a report on a shopping list report that the Canadian IP Council wants. There is no bill in front of the Commons remotely near this. Nor is there likely to be in the foreseeable future.

There was a new copyright act passed in this past winter while all the SOPA hubub was going on in the States. The Government took notice of the hubub and assured the opposition at the time that the new copyright bill, flawed as it was and now is as the law of the land, was as far as they were going.

While some in the Tory caucus may be tempted to follow the suggestions in the report I find it hard to believe that Harper’s inner cabinet would be so stupid as to try to adopt anything this draconian.

Keep in mind though that this is a report written by a lobby group, there is no bill in the Commons to bring any part of this report alive as legislation.

abc gum says:


“You’ve got a unique talent at criticizing without ever offering solutions.”

You desire a solution to your lack of empathy? Sorry, that is not my field.

More likely, your flippant response was mindlessly selected from a grab bag and therefore lacked any forethought.

Furthermore, can someone explain the “you must have a solution before you can point out problems” mentality? It is simply ridiculous and yet some people continue to use it.

Anonymous Coward With A Unique Writing Style says:


“Furthermore, can someone explain the “you must have a solution before you can point out problems” mentality? It is simply ridiculous and yet some people continue to use it.”

It’s the standard AC response. Demand solutions for their problems, yet ignore any that require them to change or any that aren’t criminalizing the consumers or advocating for the restriction of or lessening of other people’s rights/consumer rights.

Honestly, how many ideas has Mike suggested? How many have we, the rest of us posting, suggested? Tons.

Literally, the easiest and surest way to beat infringement is to give the people what they want. Access to movies/music/tv shows/etc. as quickly as possible, in a variety of formats, with no restrictions (regional or otherwise, ala DRM) and in as convenient a manner as possible. Hell, studies have shown that works and lessens infringement in a “so fast it’ll make your head spin” manner as possible. Yet they don’t pursue it. Why?

I demand an answer to that from the shills/trolls. Why must we come up with solutions to their problems? And why don’t they pursue the one where they give the people what they want? (Doesn’t have to be free, especially not in light of the success of Netflix and Spotify and iTunes, which clearly show people will pay for products delivered conveniently.)

TtfnJohn (profile) says:


Thanks for the correction.

The thing is that C-11 has no provisions that I can find that are similar to what is proposed by the council.

I was under the impression that it had passed the Commons but all the same, at this point, there is nothing based on this report, as yet.

Giest does headline his post the group’s position as a post Bill C-11 playbook which is partly where I took my erroneous statement from. I should have read deeper but I thought I read it completely through.

Thanks again, for the correction. But C-11 doesn’t contain any of these provisions.

In no way does that mean that we Canucks can let our guard down. Bits and pieces of this may find its way in either in the House or Senate or in regulations which is something Harper is fond of.

Still there is no bill based on this post C-11 shopping list.

I’d have to wager, as well, that a great deal of this shopping list would find itself in trouble with the Charter.

Leigh Beadon (profile) says:


For sure – none of the stuff in this document is in a bill yet.

C-11’s biggest problem is digital locks – which is catching up with the DMCA, not moving into SOPA territory – and it actually has some pretty /good/ provisions in it too

However, virtually all of the stuff in this document was lobbied for in C-11, by this group and others, and some of the SOPA-esque provisions were present in earlier drafts of the bill. Basically this “post C-11 playbook” means “how to get all the stuff we wanted but didn’t get in C-11”

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...