Freedom in Canada: It's doesn't exist and heres why

In the United States there exists the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act (OCILLA). A federal law that creates a conditional safe harbor for online service providers (OSP) (a group which includes internet service providers (ISP)) and other Internet intermediaries by shielding them for their own acts of direct copyright infringement (when they make unauthorized copies) as well as shielding them from potential secondary liability for the infringing acts of others.

Under Canadian law there is no safe harbour protection for even community based platforms from abuse by web site visitors. A safe harbor is a provision of a statute or a regulation that specifies that certain conduct will be deemed not to violate a given rule and Canada just doesn't have such a safe harbour for sites and services where by which some users may sometimes violate Copyright. Without such a law the site operators become liable for the acts of Copyright infringement committed by its users.

When proponents of Copyright began advocating for the introduction of Copyright law the argument for it was as a temporary suspension of the freedom and right of communication that everyone naturally has. This temporary limitation was a 7-year limit and was sold to the public as being for the purpose of promoting the arts and sciences for the public benefit. Upon lapse of the 7-years your right to communications was restored. Since the 1700s Copyright has been extended again and again as the result of Disney. Each time Copyrights on Micky Mouse were to expire Disney lobbied for and got an extension to the length of time works were protected by Copyright. Today works covered by Copyright are unlikely to ever fall into the public domain and can exceed 100 years.

A recent Canadian case involving a free software repository for TV addons has brought new light to the damage that Copyright proponents routinely do to the publics rights and freedoms.

TV ADDONS consists of a site hosting thousands of free software projects. It is being sued by Canada’s biggest telecom providers: Bell, Videotron, Rogers and TVA. In civil court, it is not uncommon for the party with the greatest resources to prevail, since civil court does not offer the same legal protections as are afforded under the criminal justice system.

The way Copyright law works every comment that is posted online is by default under Copyright from the moment it is created. By loading a web site with comments you are technically infringing someones Copyright unless you otherwise have prior authorization.

In the case of TV ADDONs the hosted plug-ins don't actually infringe Copyright. TV ADDONs is authorized to host these ADDONS by the Copyright holders. The problem is that many of these ADDONs provide access to the internet which contains infringing materials. The attack on TV ADDONs and/or the ADDONS themselves is like attacking Mozilla for producing the Firefox web browser because Firefox contains links to Google and from Google you can locate infringing content.

You might be wondering how a web site like TV ADDONs or a plug-in developer is even supposed to know whether a particular link that an ADDON is scraping is authorized by the Copyright holder or not? There is no central database of sites authorized to stream specific protected content after all and while sites like YouTube routinely distribute unauthorized material the vast majority of it is published by small-time creators who have legitimate free speech rights to communicate there content with the public. On top of this less than 1% of the ADDONs being distributed by TV ADDONs are even accused of scraping links to content that are infringing and just because some of the links may be infringing doesn't mean that all the links are. Just as some links that you can access via Google using Firefox are infringing that doesn't mean that all links are.

Canada should aspire to be a country that fosters innovation. Not one that allows big corporations to take the little guy out. Unfortunately Canada's politicians have been intimidating and hindering freedom in Canada for a very long time. Today all of the countries major ISPs have censorship filters and politicians have gone from demanding censorship of arguably disturbing content to political content to gambling sites to piracy.

If this wasn't bad enough Google, YouTube, Apple, Microsoft and others have been bowing to the pressure of politicians and entertainment industry lobbyists to voluntarily censor content at the destruction of everyone else's right to communicate. The filters don't work and routinely prevent the public at large from posting communications and videos. These expensive filters will pick up everything from white noise as being copyright to indecipherable background music that someone might be playing in the background such as when a reporter is interviewing someone on the street.

If you are interested in helping support the cause of freedom in Canada, possibly all the way to the Supreme Court, consider making a donation to TV ADDONS's legal defense fund. Donations can be made via Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, and Bitcoin Cash as well as via more traditional payment networks such as major Credit Cards, PayPal or even Gift Cards.

TVADDONS legal defense fund has been depleted! Please help by making a donation at GoFundME