Sunday, July 29, 2007


I have picked up Debora J Halbert's Resisting Intellectual Property Rights again after a week of Self-ish pleasure reading a novel. Reading Halbert has raised a few thoughts of the IPRED2 proposal I wrote about a few days ago. This quote from Halbert

"The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is Congress' attempt to apply copyright to the Internet. The DCMA makes it illegal to link to a site that may violate copyright. Thus server providers may be prosecuted for copyright infringement if they allow pirated materials to appear on their sites. The DCMA provides "safe harbor" protection for "unknowing" infringers, a phrase that became important in the Napster litigation. Critics contend that the DCMA ignores the public interest and is another step towards privatizing the Internet and allowing copyright to be used as a tool for censorship." (Halbert 73).

From my readings of IPRED2 there seems to be a marked degree of harmony between the EU Directive proposing the "attempting, aiding or abetting and inciting such infringements, are treated as criminal offences" and the DMCA, which is now law in the USA, making the committing of an act that allows for copyright infringement an offence in itself. The threat of possible infringement increases the power of copyright holders as they can threaten with a cease and desist order and then avoid the test provided by a court case. An atmosphere of fear builds upon the threat of litigation.

There is a petition online:

We believe that IPRED2's new criminal sanctions pose a risk to legitimate business and respect for individual freedoms in the EU.

We ask that the European Parliament approve amendments that would remove the new crimes of "aiding, abetting, or inciting" and limit the directive to combat only trademark counterfeiting and true commercial-scale copyright piracy.


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