legal battles for copyright control in the US will lead to big brother

Posted on November 15, 2009

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according to read write web, the US is looking at putting in place a law that will force ISPs to disconnect people who have violated copyright. In essence, i have no issue with this (except that its difficult to uphold) as it will protect copyright to some extent for those that want to keep on using that business model.  There is a risk of this being used for other purposes though as what forms a real infringement versus an excuse to gather information or curtail free speech. for example, if i put up a picture of mickey mouse which i am selling illegally (or monetizing through advertising) than disney has teh right to shut me down. However, if i am commenting that i think mickey mouse is an object of imperilaism, can disney shut me down for using their trademark?

the proposed bill goes one step further, if you download illegal material, you can be switched off the net. this makes the definition of “illegal” even trickeir, and begs to ask if we have a pretty strong body of law around libel and copyright, do we really need to have a very draconian and citizen unfriendly set of laws for the digital world?

the good news is that the US seem to be pretty much on its own. the EU has just passed a law that protects users rights on-line – so back to teh drawing board big brother.

read write web story

EU new telecoms law

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