Would you put the same toll operator in charge of both the roads and who may be visited via their use?

Bell wants the right to block websites in the absence of legal process, putting the onus on startup website operators to take on the largest media corporation in the country to defend their legal and fair use of materials, as opposed to the status quo which requires the largest media corporation in the country (or any other IP holder) to first demonstrate that fair use is exceeded prior to a documented governmental action to legitimize the block.

Some people do not intuitively understand what a threat it is to competitive forces (which underlie gains in society-wide well-being), not to mention the serious threat to political and expressive freedom in general, if the largest media corporation in the country is given the right to block any website in a manner that puts the onus on the little guy to take on big guys to defend the legality of their usage.

The Canadian government has stated that it supports net neutrality, i.e., it will not give this right to Bell and more generally will not follow the current path being taken in the USA. It has stated that it will not take a regulatory approach to protecting net neutrality because it would prefer to take a more entrenched approach via legislation. However, that gives loads and loads of time for people with deep pockets to try to massage public opinion in favour of giving vertically integrated oligopolists the right to censor anyone, with the onus on the small operator to prove otherwise.

To understand some of the absurdities which may arise from this, one could research about Youtube content producers who find their materials¬†automatically taken down by software monitoring, and, on their Youtube income,¬†must take on some of the biggest firms in history just to get a half a hearing regarding the legality of their “Fair Use”.

Monopolies = bad. Especially vertically integrated ones.

To avoid too-easy pathways to fascist corporate censorship in combination with a similarly-motivated future (?) government, one can only hope that the present government will take action that roughly matches what reassurances have been transmitted to date.

Open Media is an organization with capacity for action on this front. Regarding efforts that will be ongoing in the USA, EFF would be the top organization to a) be generally informed on this issue and b) support action in defense of the interests of everyday people with regard to an internet that is not governed by corporate censorship.

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