The Closing of the Net  "original and valuable"  Times Higher Education

A leaked document   which  is believed to be a US-led  Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement reveals proposals to punish downloaders to a greater extent than any existing proposals in the EU. The document details, for example, criminal sanctions for 'significant wilful infringements without motivation for financial gain'  - this would appear to mean that anyone downloading too many files could be branded a criminal, even if the files were only for personal use. That is considerably heavier than   the proposed EU legislation, already controversial, which would  criminalise only commmercial infringers. 

 The proposed new Trade Agreement was presented last October by US Trade Representative Susan Schwab, to representatives of the European Commission, Australia, Canada, Japan and other governments. It would also mandate proposals for ISPs  to police content at the behest of content companies, and would force them to divulge personal information identifying alleged infringers - on the basis of "effective notification of a claimed infringement". 

Not only is this  in breach of existing EU  data protection legislation, it would also appear to break a fundamental

principle of European law, to be innocent until proven guilty - and to put the law outside the realm of the courts and into the private hands of the content-owning companies.  Is this private security on the Internet? And does it support any interests except those companies whose balance-sheet assets consist of very large  content libraries?

I'd be happy if someone could provide a different interpretation. 

 The document appeared last Friday on the whistleblower website 'wikileaks' and is already causing consternation for the strength of its proposals.  


The FFII website is covering the details of the analysis of these proposals, and is ongoing work. 







The Copyright Enforcement Enigma tells the story of the 2009 Telecoms Package and how the copyright industries tried to hijack it.

'accurate and absorbing account of the story of the Telecoms Package' -Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology

'...a must read for those interested in knowing in depth about copyright enforcement and Internet.' -Journal of Intellectual Property Rights.  

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten, European expert on Internet policy and Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She is an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on Cross-border flow of Internet traffic and Internet freedom (MSI-INT). She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012. Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy. Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

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