Bell, Rogers, CBC join group seeking to have CRTC find and block content pirates

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Prominent members of Canada's entertainment industry are calling for a new federal agency to locate and shut down websites that are portals for illegally obtained video and audio content.

Bell Canada, Rogers Communications Inc., Quebecor Inc., Cineplex Inc., the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and several other organizations have banded together to create FairPlay Canada.

They argue that Canadian jobs are at risk because consumers can get access to TV shows, movies and music from websites that don't pay for the content that they stream to consumers.

They want the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to use its power as a regulator to require Canadian internet service providers to shut down access to the pirated material.

They also want the CRTC to set up an independent agency to help locate the pirate websites.

The CRTC is in the final weeks of public consultations about the distribution of music, TV and other content via the internet.

The agency has set Feb. 13 as a deadline for final comments in order to submit its report to the federal cabinet by June 1.