Hollywood and the technology business often butt heads. The latest skirmish was over the "Stop Online Piracy Act," a measure some might say was well intentioned but an overly-blunt instrument. That isn’t to say content piracy is a non-issue.
But there was concern in many quarters that the bill would have forced Internet service providers and application providers to act as content police under circumstances where a broad chilling effect would have been seen.
The growing battle over Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement will be the next fight.
Technology and copyright interests often clash because copyright holders fear that new technologies will disrupt existing business models and undermine intellectual property rights by enabling new forms of piracy. It is a legitimate concern, though some would say quite often overblown.
For some, the issue with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is less the severity and danger of its provisions than the practical implications for Internet service providers and application providers who would have to act as content police.
For others, the rougher edges, in terms of criminal liability, were softened while still adding a new level of cost, uncertainty and potential legal exposure in many parts of the Internet ecosystem.
Some say the agreements were negotiated largely in secret and also are being put into place by executive fiat, without lawful assent of lawmaking bodies.
Countries such as India have expressed concern that it conflicts with the TRIPS Agreement. Other elements of the agreement increase the standards in the WIPO Internet Treaties and the commercial scale definition at the WTO. The agreement adds new criminal provisions, pressures ISPs to take greater action, and heightens border measures. There remains ongoing debate as to whether the substance of ACTA requires legislative change in many signatory countries (a somewhat dated site on many ACTA issues here).
Beyond the substantive concerns, the ACTA process remains a major issue as it sets a dangerous precedent for international intellectual property agreements. Here’s lots of background on ACTA
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO East 2012, taking place Jan. 31-Feb. 3 2012, in Miami, FL. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. For more information on registering for ITEXPO registration click here.
Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO. Follow us on Twitter.
I am going to admit to being surprised by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's (FCCs) Open Internet decision. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's new n…
After months of debate and the collection of comments from four million Americans, the Federal Communications Commission today voted on - and approved…
In what could be a match made in cord cutter heaven, Frontier Communications said it will bundle the TiVo Roamio OTA DVR with its high-speed data serv…
Ever since computers started connecting to each other, people have been thinking about how to keep information on them secure. As the Internet evolved…
Over the past few months, there has been a lot of uncertainty surrounding the broadband industry in the United States due to Title II reclassification…