Posts Tagged Safe Harbors

PIPA SOPA ACTA and TPP Designed to Eliminate Safe Harbors

Back in 2000 Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This was pre Napster. There was a provision in the DMCA called Safe Harbors that would shield providers from lawsuits if they registered with the copyright office and removed any material that copyright holders complained about. This provision was hotly contested by Hollywood, the media, newspapers and other content creators but the provision made it in just barely as a compromise. How important was that provision? If it had not passed it would have killed the Internet as we know it in its infancy. There would be no Facebook, Google, Youtube, blogs, Twitter, Flickr or any sites that allow user generated content.

Since then Hollywood, the music industry, and the media have vowed to either eliminate Safe Harbors completely or render it meaningless. Bills such as SOPA and PIPA are designed to do just that. Now we have ACTA and TPP and other international agreements that are designed to do the same thing without any input from the public, effected industries, or civil liberties groups and even sidestep Congress and government bodies around the world.

The gist of the matter is if we lose Safe Harbors we have lost the Internet.

Next week negotiations will be held in Hollywood for TPP (Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership). Negotiations will be secret with no public input. Hollywood will be well represented but no tech, internet companies, or civil liberties groups have been invited to participate.

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