Added: Saturday, October 29th, 2016
The US Trade Representative received annual “notorious markets” submissions from a number of copyright holder groups, using them in the Special 301 report, which lists the threats to various copyright industries. The report normally includes well-known piracy websites, but now intermediaries are also increasingly added to the mix. For instance, this year domain name registrars were identified as possible piracy facilitators, along with hosting providers and CDN provider Cloudflare.
However, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition believes that the inclusion of these tech firms is a dangerous development and outlines these concerns to the USTR. The Coalition warned that if the anti-piracy associations had their way, the entire web could have been put at risk. The problem is that the anti-piracy agencies “vilify” specific technologies instead of the marketplaces – for instance, MPAA claims that Cloudflare is a service creating “obstacles to enforcement” by helping pirate websites to “hide”, but the IIC says that this is inappropriate, as technologies themselves cannot be bad actors.
Besides, the tech firms also argue that the submissions reveal a misinterpretation of the domain name registrars’ obligations under the Registrar Accreditation Agreement. The entertainment industry groups would like domain registrars to immediately suspend domain names accused of copyright violation, but most of them refuse to do so without a court order. The Coalition says that the vilification of technology and misconstruing of the Agreement are aimed at forcing the web infrastructure companies to act as intermediaries in IP disputes, although this is not the way to fight copyright infringement and not the purpose of the Special 301 process.
The tech firms emphasize that billions of dollars are at stake if the US Government steers policies in the wrong direction, because creating regulatory hurdles to the industry’s progress will impact the overall economy dependent on the Internet infrastructure industry.
Thanks to TorrentFreak for providing the source of the article.
Date: Saturday, October 29th, 2016