Counterarguments to Internet censorship in Canada is everywhere. Apparently, Bell is ironically issuing a few themselves.
Fairplay Canada has received their share of blows lately over their proposal to censor the Internet. Earlier, we reported on the suggestion that the censorship proposal could be subject to a Charter challenge. After that, Canadians were found to be issuing their own submissions to the Canadian regulator slamming the censorship proposal. That, of course, calls into question the social license of Internet censorship. Another blow came when an industry-wide study was released countering the suggestion that Canadians are tuning out of legitimate sources and tuning in to copyright infringing sources.
While it might be expected that other blows might be forthcoming, few could have predicted where the next blow would originate. Last year, it was revealed that Bell Canada is one of the big corporations leading the charge to bring proposals on Internet censorship in Canada. They specifically recommended no judicial oversight as well. As such, they have been labelled as one of the lead proponents for the censorship scheme. So it may come as a surprise that Bell itself ultimately delivered the latest blow to Internet censorship.
During a quarterly conference call, Bell executives discussed how they are adding customers to their TV service and that overall declines in previous years are slowing.
Additionally, executives stated that they are aware of cord cutting, however, their Internet based services are expanding. These comments coincide with the findings of that earlier study we mentioned.
The revelations here represent a huge credibility blow for the push towards Internet censorship. This is because proposals hinge on the idea that Canadians are flocking to infringing sources online and opting out of paying for content legally. Here, Bell executives are basically laying out why this isn’t the case. As such, this leads to credibility problems for lobbyists because they can be seen as pushing a proposal based on unfounded claims.
Additionally, it puts other lobbyists who are not from Bell in a tight spot because it casts suspicion on the movement as a whole. If one of the lead proponents is being seen as telling one story to one audience and a completely different story to others, how can others pushing a similar agenda be trusted?
At this stage, those supporting Internet censorship are finding themselves in a huge hole. With the latest blow coming from one of their own, it’s going to be very difficult to dig themselves out of it.