Article Image
IPFS News Link • Internet

Secret Copyright Treaty: ACTA "internet enforcement" chapter leaks

Someone has uploaded a PDF to a Google Group that is claimed to be the proposal for Internet copyright enforcement that the USA has put forward for ACTA, the secret copyright treaty whose seventh round of negotiations just concluded in Guadalajara, Mexico. This reads like it probably is genuine treaty language, and if it is the real US proposal, it is the first time that this material has ever been visible to the public. According to my source, the US proposal is the current version of the treaty as of the conclusion of the Mexico round. I've read it through a few times and it reads a lot like DMCA-plus. It contains, for example, a duty to technology firms to shut down infringement where they have "actual knowledge" that such is taking place. This argument was put forward in the Grokster case, and as Fred von Lohmann argued then, this is a potentially deadly burden to place on technology companies: in the offline world Xerox has "actual knowledge" that its technology is routinely used to infringe copyright at Kinko's outlets around the world -- should that create a duty to stop providing sales and service to Kinko's? This also includes takedown procedures for trademark infringement, as well as the existing procedures against copyright infringement. Since trademark infringement is a lot harder for a service provider to adjudicate (and since things that might be trademark infringement take place every time you do something as innocuous as taking a photo of a street-scene that contains hundreds or thousands of trademarks), this sounds like a potential disaster to me.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ross Wolf (28231)
Entered on:

The buried footnote forcing ISPs to terminate customers who've been accused -- but not convicted -- of copyright infringement—along with their families and others who happen to share their net connection would be a "Provocateur’s Dream." For a government agent or others to cause the shutdown of a political group or human right’s website or their members communicating, they would need only post at a website "material" alleged to infringe on a copyright; or email infringed copyright material to an organization in expectation members would forward it by email or post that information. Agent provocateurs would have a field day if this is approved under ACTA subsequently strangling the exchange of information.