Why Unifor supports FairPlay Canada


Fairplay Canada is a coalition of Canadian content creators and several other unions including Unifor, ACTRA, IATSE, and the Director’s Guild.

Unifor is a proud supporter of the FairPlay proposal because immediate action is needed to protect hundreds of local media sector jobs from overseas piracy websites. There is a dire need to protect cultural content and stop the theft of an estimated $500 million worth of illegal steaming and downloads of shows and films.

Did you know that in 2016 Canadians made 1.88 billion visits to piracy sites.

This call to action is not about internet censorship and it is not about net neutrality. It is about the creation of an Independent Piracy Review Agency, under the CRTC that would be able to block the most blatant piracy sites that operate illegally, overseas, out of the jurisdiction of Canadian authorities.

Twenty other countries already protect their cultural content this way.

With mechanisms in places such as Great Britain, France, South Korea, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Greece and Denmark, censorship has not been the outcome.

FairPlay Canada’s application to the CRTC  is not about going after individual Canadian internet users.

The application clearly points the target at offshore websites, through a complaint based process “if the evidence presented establishes that it is blatantly, overwhelmingly, or structurally engaged in piracy.”

Fairplay Canada also supports the free flow of legal, affordable content on the Internet. It’s the illegal content that is stolen and streamed that has a very real and direct impact on our 12,000 hard-working members in the media sector.

What we have already seen in Canada is that when employers lose millions as most popular shows and movies are stolen, the cuts trickle down direct to jobs and workers. We have seen this in local news rooms cuts from coast to coast to coast, all across Canada.

So for TV and movie fans who may be used to watching whatever they want for free, this won’t be easy.

As Unifor’s Media Director Howard Law explained in his blog, “Movie-theft is not a victimless crime.”

You need to pay to play. Too many good union jobs and families depend on it.