ACTA Dies but Intellectual Property Issues Remain for Online Business

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The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is dead, but intellectual property issues online remain. Businesses owners whose companies rely upon content may understand the importance of safeguarding the material they create, however some argue that Internet freedom is at stake. Your business’s freedom might be at stake too.

As Good as Done

Killing ACTA. The European Parliament vote was an overwhelming 478 to 39 against the controversial trade agreement that some say was created to safeguard intellectual property on the Internet. But critics say the agreement also opened the door for unfounded claims against many, possibly your business too. Torrent Freak

Intellectual property lines. With the defeat of ACTA by the European Parliament, it’s become clear that online freedom and privacy remain important issues to the public, to businesses, and to your customers. The question is what will be the next step for defining intellectual property online. TechDirt

A New Hope

Copyright treaty seeks balance. Those advocating Internet freedom say a renegotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership will call for balance of intellectual property rights with exceptions and limitations for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. The exceptions are imperative for the freedom of communication necessary to do business on the Internet. Ars Technica

Entrepreneurs fight for freedom. Online business leaders are among the group who are fighting for the Internet to remain open and free. To this end, they have declared a set of guiding principles they say will help protect these rights, including the freedom to operate your business as you see fit. The Verge

Guarding innovation. One of the most important reasons to keep the Internet free, say some, is the need to protect innovation. Not surprisingly, innovation is a tremendously important activity for business, whether online or not. Here are two declarations that may protect future innovation on the Web. Computerworld

Causes for Concern

Be careful where you link. But those fighting against seemingly impractical rulings on Internet copyright cases may not want to celebrate victory just yet. Witness the case of 24-year-old Richard O’Dwyer who may be extradited to the US. His crime: linking to other sites that hosted copyrighted material. CNET

Internet innovator could be jailed. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has launched an unprecedented petition to save O’Dwyer. Could misguided cases built on intellectual property rights potentially imprison the next great online entrepreneur? The Guardian

Why this case matters. O’Dwyer’s Website was targeted because he is allegedly guilty of secondary “infringement by inducing” others to post copyrighted content. But if everyone fears linking to your site, and you fear linking to others, it’s clear the free exchange of information upon which online business and innovation are based will disappear. Gigaom

Community Cautions

Woz weighs in. And just in case you’re wondering how one of the founding fathers of computer-based business feels about this whole intellectual property thing, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has expressed his own concerns over the charges against Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. Wozniak feels the case against Megaupload opens the door for holding all site operators responsible for what users share. The Associated Press

Twitter jitters. Even 140 characters is sufficient to infringe on intellectual property, it seems. The microblogging platform issued its own transparency report mirroring one by Google showing the number of copyright related takedown notices the site has received and the number the number of information requests from the government. The New Web

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One Reaction

  1. I particularly like the article about entrepreneurs fighting for freedom. As much as I can understand the need for some businesses to protect their content, I also think the internet needs the kind of freedom it currently has to keep it vibrant. I also think it is a good idea to start deciding what is right on our own, rather than let politicians decide for us. Go entrepreneurs!

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