Internet service providers (ISPs) and their customers could soon be subject to a takedown and potential criminal penalties similar to the DMCA request process.
According to a chapter of the final version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TTPA) leaked by Wikileaks, several new criminal penalties will be enforced in the countries that are part of this deal. These include the U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Brunei, and Malaysia.
Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, an ISP has been defined as “a provider of online services for the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications, between or among points specified by a user, of material of the user’s.”
By that definition, an ISP would also refer to cloud storage companies like Dropbox and Mega who would be required to prevent “unauthorized storage and transmission” of pirated materials such as movies, books, music and other content.
According to the leaked Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement document, member countries would have to form a legal framework that will require ISPs to reveal the infringer’s identity to safeguard the interests of the copywright holder.
It goes on to add that criminal and civil penalties could be enforced on those who strip out information for copyright management such as watermarks in digital images.
The document also says that devices used to produce infringing copies can be seized and destroyed by the authorities.
Bone of Contention
The leaked chapter has already started drawing criticism from many copyright experts and activists who are questioning the provisions and their future impact.
For example, once the agreement gets sanctioned, the copyright term will be set to the life of the author plus 70 years. In case of countries like Canada, this would extend the present term by 20 years.
Canadian law professor Michael Geist calls this a step backward and says this “change might cost the Canadian public more than $100 million per year.”
A bigger concern is the vague provision that says countries should encourage ISPs to remove or disable content if a court considers it as copyright infringement. In other words, a foreign court order could be used to block content in other countries. This will have serious implications for content creators who could find their work being taken down without a review, even when competitors make baseless accusations about infringing content.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is yet to be ratified by each member country’s local government before it becomes official, which means there will be more dissenting voices yet to be heard.
Wikileaks Photo via Shutterstock
I knew that they will do it sooner or later – moderate the Internet in some form or way. I just don’t know how they will do it. But I guess they have to because the Internet has now become a very important part of people’s lives.
I see the intent, but as pointed out in the article, there seems to be many opportunities for abuse. They need to be careful here and use language that is limiting, not all-encompassing.
To show how serious the TPP problems are and copyright claims from blood sucking individuals I noticed one of my daughters videos on youtube had a matched content copyright claim. Copyright gives them a share of the advertising revenue as I understand.
This was her own personal video and obviously no one but her could claim copyright but some blood sucking parasite has been squatting and earning money on her efforts. To the credit of Youtube they removed the claim with a few minutes of examining it but still that video had been there for three years.
Now they want to expand these copyright claims to any country? I can see every criminal in the world rubbing their hands with glee. The ISP’s and websites will have a nightmare on their hands trying to deal with all of this. Resolutions could take months if not years.
The TPP is written by corporations for corporations (read media & drug interests) that will cost consumers untold billions feeding these parasites.