EFF says it's everything they feared...
Remember the ACTA? The international anti-piracy agreement being hashed out in private between governments and the entertainment industry? The one the EFF sued to try and get information about but the Obama Administration classified as a state secret
? Canadian Law Professor Michael Geist says bits and pieces are leaking out
, and the law does indeed revolve around forcing ISPs into the role of Internet copyright nannies -- an expensive and likely futile endeavor. According to the EFF, the ACTA is everything they feared it would be
The safe harbors in the US Copyright law require ISPs to adopt and reasonably implement a policy for termination of "repeat infringers" "in appropriate circumstances". US law currently gives ISPs considerable flexibility to determine what are "appropriate circumstances" justifying the termination of a customer's Internet account. If the leak reports are correct, this would no longer be true. Instead, ISPs would be required to automatically terminate a customer upon a rightsholders' repeat allegation of copyright infringement at a particular IP address.
According to the EFF, the new trade agreement would expose ISPs to third party liability for failing to terminate the broadband accounts of customers who trade in pirated files -- obviously taking the idea of "three strikes" globally with force. The laws have numerous other problems explained by the EFF, including taking our rather dysfunctional DMCA policies and making them the global gold standard. Again, it's important to keep in mind that this is all something the public and independent experts have been given no
ability to give input on.
"There is simply no reason for ACTA, at all," chimes in Mike Masnick at Techdirt
. "It is nothing but an attempt by the entertainment industry to put massive restrictions on the internet, place liability on lots of third parties, and do nothing to push themselves to adapt to a changing marketplace with new business models."