The controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) has once again leaked. The freshly leaked details re-confirms some of human rights and activists worst fears about the Intellectual Property chapter. We go in-depth into this secretive agreement to show what (if any) has changed and what remains on this secret agreement between countries around the world.
There may be many news stories that surface on broadcast media in your area. However, what is not likely to appear in local newspapers or mainstream news broadcast is the latest revelations coming from the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (or, as it is commonly referred to, the TPP in short). Major multinational corporations have direct access to it along with top negotiators who represent each individual country involved, but common citizens and even elected members of government are shut out of the process. How do we have access to some details of this agreement? It’s all thanks to Wikileaks which released a leaked copy of the updated draft agreement. We present to you full coverage of what is in this agreement as we read the details ourselves. For better referencing, we shall refer to the PDF version of this leaked copy.
Rightsholders have said for years that the Internet is little more than a vehicle for “stolen” merchandise. Still, few rightsholders these days are willing to take such a direct approach to stop file-sharing as Sabam has recently. The Belgium rightsholder organization is suing ISPs for selling access to the Internet without paying royalties to copyright holders.
The three strikes law concept has been falling on hard times in these last few months. The only country we haven’t heard about much that has implemented a three strikes law is South Korea. Now we have. Apparently, the laws have resulted in numerous takedown requests, multiple suspensions and little in the way of results when it comes to stopping piracy. Human rights organizations are calling on the government to re-examine the laws due to, in part, possible violations of human rights.
Hailed as the be-all, end-all solution to stopping Internet piracy, rightsholders from major multinational corporations have been trying to push the three strikes law in multiple countries over the last few years. A few countries caved from the the lobbying pressure and implemented such laws to keep the foreign corporations happy. It seemed that implementation meant that the laws were successful for these rightsholders as they pressured other countries to follow suit because of this new “international standard” for stopping piracy. Yet, what were the results of these laws? Did it slow down piracy in the end? Are music sales exploding on the charts? Unfortunately, it seems that everywhere such a law or policy was implemented, failure ensued.
Another person in New Zealand was fined under the New Zealand Three Strikes Law (or Skynet). This time, it was a member of the armed forces accused of downloading unauthorized works. He was fined $255.97 after receiving his third strike notice. The problem? He was serving his country in Afghanistan when the alleged infringement took place.
One of the many general criticisms of the three strikes law anywhere is that it would snag innocent people. In New Zealand, the Three Strikes law is guilt upon accusation, so it could even fine innocent people. That’s what happened to a soldier who was serving a tour in Afghanistan. He returned to New Zealand only to find that he received his third strike for copyright infringement. He was subsequently fined $255.97 because his guilt was simply presumed.
Some media outlets are picking a fight with the Australian government thanks to proposed laws that would increase oversight in the media. The government’s move was triggered by the phone hacking scandal in Britain. While a lot of attention was focused on regulations, the debate has taken a bizarre twist in which media executives are calling for a three strikes law “similar” to France, New Zealand, and the US.
Could Australia be the next targeted country to face intense lobbying to implement a three strikes law? That appears to be a real possibility if the latest reports are any indication. The Financial Review is reporting that Foztel CEO Richard Freudenstein is demanding that the Australian government put in place a three strikes law that is “similar” to France, the US and New Zealand. From the report:
Last week, a report suggested that the government agency HADOPI was gearing up to combine website blocking, three strikes laws, search engine demotion and the cutting off of forms of revenue as a means to try and put the squeeze on piracy. Drew Wilson offers his opinion on the matter.
One thing I’ve been noticing lately is the fact that a number of implementations and variations of a three strikes law have been going sideways. The US six strike policy through the Copyright Alert System become a security disaster for users, the French variation shows that after implementation of the three strikes law only saw the continued slide of music sales, and the New Zealand variation has become little more than a money losing prospect. I think that when the music industry pushed the three strikes law, they hoped that one variation or another would prove to be some sort of magic bullet to fix all the industry woes. Now that every single one of these variations are starting to go sideways, the industry is becoming desperate and are wanting to prop this policy up with something – anything – just to try and prove that this policy is worth pursuing in other countries.
The Copyright Alert System rolled out last week and the system has a lot to be desired in terms of protecting the users security (among other things). Many are unhappy about it and, recently, one group hacked an ISP over it.
Time Warner Cable’s support website was defaced last week. The defacement was carried out by a group calling themselves “Nullcrew”. From Web Pro News:
The UK is under an increasingly dark cloud of censorship these days. A court decision has made ISPs in the country block three more BitTorrent websites. As Internet censorship grows in the country, so does the backlash. Both the Pirate Party and the digital rights organization Open Rights Group are speaking out against the latest developments.
The Guardian reported that file-sharing websites KickAss Torrents (KAT), H33t, and Fenopy have been ordered to be blocked by a UK court after legal complaints by the major foreign record labels. The latest crackdown isn’t going unchallenged, however.
Last week, we pointed to a report that the US Copyright Alert System was beginning to roll out this week. Now that it has, we’ve seen how alerts will be sent to users and it’s far worse than we originally thought.
Ars Technica able to obtain screenshots of what an alert looks like for Comcast users. What we originally thought was that the alerts would be sent via e-mail to the subscribers. We thought this because that was how DMCA notices are sent out. Instead, they will be injected into the users web browser session and shown when the user receives a strike. An excerpt from Ars Technica:
We’ve been covering the different countries the IIPA (International Intellectual Property Alliance) wants on their piracy watchlist. So far, the submissions were either demanding everything and the kitchen sink, had a host of problems in their logic or both. The submission about Italy is no exception to this. We explore why.
The biggest thing that stuck out for us when it came to why the IIPA wants Italy on the special 301 report is the fact that Italy has privacy laws. Enforcement of copyright laws can occur with user privacy – particularly with a notice-and-notice regime. Unfortunately, it seems that the IIPA wants to trash the privacy laws in favor of laws found in the United States. This is unfortunate, but considering who we’re dealing with, not entirely surprising. Here’s one mention of the privacy laws: