Federal Court Issues Site-Blocking Order for ISPs
Art Law

Federal Court Issues Site-Blocking Order for ISPs

In Bell Media Inc. v. GoldTV.Biz , 2019 FC 1432, the Federal Court dealt with a novel motion in Canada for a “site-blocking order”. The broadcasting company plaintiffs sought an interlocutory mandatory injunction against the innocent third-party Internet Service Providers (ISPs) seeking to compel the ISPs "to take steps to block their customers from accessing websites and Internet services operated by the anonymous Defendants." The plaintiffs allege that the defendants are infringing copyright by operating unauthorized subscription services that provide subscribers access to the plaintiff’s programming content over the Internet. The innocent third-party respondents are the major Canadian ISPs and most of them consented to the motion. TekSavvy raised a number of objections including that the dispute falls within the specialized expertise and mandate of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and in this circumstance, "although the Court may have jurisdiction, in a narrow sense, the Court should decline to exercise that jurisdiction." The plaintiffs had previously obtained a preliminary injunction against the anonymous defendants but had not been able to identify them. The requirements and safeguards to compel innocent third parties to identify defendants (a Norwich order) are well established. 1 The requirements and safeguards to compel […]

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