Canada ISPs not subject to content rules, court says

February 9, 2012

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Categories: Old News

Source: Jameson Berkow, National Post

Canadian providers of Internet service are not “broadcasting undertakings,” the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Thursday, and will therefore not be required to help finance Canadian content.

Upholding a 2010 decision from the Federal Court of Appeal, the country’s highest court said ISPs cannot be subject to the Broadcasting Act of 1991 because they have no control over the content they distribute. The ruling ends a years-old dispute over whether ISPs that deliver movies and television shows over their networks should be regulated as conventional broadcasters as well as telecommunications providers.

“It would have brought an additional layer of regulation to services which had never been treated as broadcasters” if the ruling had been different, said Jay Kerr-Wilson, a partner in the Ottawa offices of Fasken Martineau Dumoulin LLP who specializes in communications law, noting the decision was in line with his expectations.

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