An appeal to reverse a ruling on the blocking of an IPTV Website has been denied by the Canadian Federal Court of Appeals.
TekSavvy, a well-known Internet Service Provider, appealed a ruling made in 2018 that forced the company to block access to IPTV Provider GoldTV.
The “site-blocking order” was the first of its kind and was met with backlash from ISP’s and various 3rd parties.
TekSavvy, among others, made the argument that this type of ruling could lead to hundreds or thousands of similar situations.
The company pointed out that site-blocking measures violate net neutrality and freedom of expression.
This case made major news in Canada as many others saw it as a win for copyright holders.
The decision to force ISP’s to block GoldTV’s website was made by Judge Patrick Gleeson.
Judge Gleeson noted that site blocking is not foolproof as users can still access websites with a VPN or other workaround.
However, he did say that blocking access to the GoldTV website was enough to make a difference:
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.
I am satisfied that a site-blocking order is an effective means of limiting access to GoldTV Services
TekSavvy’s appeal stated that this blocking order threatens the open internet and isn’t listed in Canada’s Copyright Act.
Other various companies including the Canadian Domain Registry (CIRA) and the University of Ottowa’s legal clinic opposed the blockade alongside TekSavvy.
CLICK HERE for CIRA Press Release
The appeal however was dismissed by Justice George Locke stating that GoldTV is undoubtedly infringing the plaintiffs’ copyrights.
And after failing to stop the service itself, the site-blocking injunction is the necessary alternative.
Having found no error in the Judge’s conclusion that the Federal Court has the power to grant a site-blocking order, and having likewise found no error in his analysis of the applicable legal test, I conclude that this Court should not interfere with the Judge’s decision.
– Justice George R. Locke
This could be a monumental decision that affects other court orders and lawsuits in the future.
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