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ACTA terms may force ISP anti-piracy, 3 strikes rules

updated 11:35 am EST, Wed November 4, 2009

ACTA may force tight global restrictions

A leaked set of proposals for the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement (ACTA) suggests the international deal will require harsh online anti-piracy measures. The draft will reportedly force Internet providers in all member states to actively police copyright on their networks. To qualify for safe harbor and reduce their liability, the ISPs would also have to implement "gradual response" rules like France's three-strike law that initially warn and eventually punish those said pirating content, likely forcing them offline.

Alongside these, ACTA will purportedly attempt to globalize laws like the US' Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which bans bypassing copyright and has been criticized for violating fair use principles. RealNetworks' RealDVD has been one of the frequent examples of flaws with the rule as studios have accused Real of violating the DMCA by copying DVDs to the hard drive despite preserving copy protection and is intended only to consolidate a user's movie library.

The terms if passed would be controversial as they would require many countries to strip ISPs of significant liability exemptions and ask them to monitor content in a way that may violate privacy as well as regional policies, such as the EU's own protections for providers. It would also sidestep discussions of whether the Internet is considered a basic utility and risk cutting off those accused of infringement without enough legal protections to dispute any claims.

Negotiations for ACTA begin today in Seoul, South Korea but have already been attacked for their highly secretive approach. All countries involved have been bound to keep the details secret, and in the US the deal has been labeled an executive agreement that prevents Congress from monitoring and potentially influencing the content of the trade pact.

by MacNN Staff



  1. lolcat789

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is a lot like


  1. Zaren

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Part of the terms of this agreement allow for criminal charges to be brought against someone for printing copies of cd artwork. This means that if you were to make a backup copy of a cd, downloading the album art and printing it to put in the jewel case is a criminal act. Not that this is the goal, mind you; the intent is to have more charges to bring against serious counterfeiters. But the fact remains that this sort of activity would be illegal.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No it's not . . .

    . . . like 1984 - unless you haven't read the book, and have no idea what a totalitarian state is.

    It completely trivializes freedom of speech - the freedom to express your opinion without persecution by the state - when you equate it with the freedom to download other people's recordings / writings.

    (Ironically, the countries with nicely lax copyright - like Russia and China - do have a problem with freedom of speech. Entertainment is the opium of the masses - a point Huxley understood better than Orwell).

    I'm not saying this is right - I don't like global bodies like the WTO or ACTA dictating policies on countries, especially discussions held behind closed doors - that's a threat to democracy - but then so is the Internet - what is technically feasible is done, regardless of respect for local laws.

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh great, just what we need...

    A Kyoto Agreement for cyberspace and intellectual property. Why don't we just do away with the illusion and make the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund the three arms of a world-wide corporate state now? It would save us all the misery of the slide down the slippery slope.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    They've got to keep the details secret. If it were public, the lobbying arm of the copyright holders would get involved and start making changes that would adversely affect the fair-use parts of the agreement.

    There are pro-sumer parts of the agreement after all. I'm sure all that's being leaked are the 'negative' aspects of the agreement, probably by the counterfieting arm of the Chinese gov't to try to stop the act from getting passed.

    Oh, and if you don't like it, let your gov't representatives know about it.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    We'll just have to build our own internet; with blackjack and hookers.

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