“At this point, many of us are looking for a positive outcome after the contentious battle that was SOPA. For music companies, getting intermediaries like ISPs to take on some responsibilities in addressing user behavior is probably more cost effective and less brand-damaging than other enforcement tactics. For musicians, it comes down to whether the policy helps protect their rights without compromising what they find useful about the internet. With CAS, we’ll probably have to wait-and-see.”
In fact, the system seems to have had some impact on infringement without taking an overly punitive approach. We’ve waited for over a year now to see results, and it looks as if CAS might actually be working, though success remains a matter of definition. For example, a decrease in piracy may also have a lot to do with an increase in legitimate services where convenience and attractive price points converge. On the other hand, the “educational” focus of CAS may play a role in driving users to licensed platforms.
Having had time to digest a 100+ page report on digital copyright policy, we can report back that this “green paper” covers a range of issues around copyright and technology with an understanding of the complexities for creators. The report is a product of the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force (IPTF) with input from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). We wouldn’t say that the green paper is a good beach read — and not just because it’s after Labor Day — but it does lay out very clearly the challenges and opportunities of the digital marketplace.
Of course, we’re mostly concerned about how these issues impact musicians and composers. This is why we’re also delighted to announce that one of the contributors to this report, Shira Perlmutter, Chief Policy Officer and Director of International Affairs at USPTO, is going to give a keynote at the Future of Music Summit (Oct. 28-29, Georgetown University, Washington, DC). Don’t miss the chance to hear from the horse’s mouth about how executive branch agencies are dealing with the issues that impact YOUR livelihood — registration is open now (with a limited number of musician scholarships available)!
by FMC Policy Intern Cody Duncan image: Môsieur J., under Creative Commons license
In June 2013, we discussed an emerging report that the French government was considering repealing portions of its HADOPI law, commonly referred to as “three-strikes.” The report suggested, among other things, eliminating the most aggressive (and controversial) portion of its anti-piracy provisions, which subjected users to suspension of Internet service after two infringement violations. While French officials were quick to point out that the report was merely a report of suggestions, it now appears that the suggestions were taken seriously, and the proposed changes have been enacted.
Post authored by Policy Intern Cody Duncan and Legal Intern Satie Munn
As reported by the New York Times, it appears that the French government is taking steps to make changes to HADOPI (known by its French acronym) — the agency charged with enforcing the country’s “three strikes” anti-piracy regime.
In an effort to crack down on digital media piracy, France passed legislation in 2009 imposing substantial penalties on citizens who engage in illegal file sharing. Under this legislation, users receive two warnings regarding their alleged unlawful behavior with a third offense potentially resulting in suspension of their internet service for two months to a year.
Four years later, the law (as it stands) may be in jeopardy. If reports are to be believed, French President François Hollande intends to shutter HADOPI and reduce the penalties associated with digital media piracy. One report prepared for the government suggests implementing a €60 ($78) fine for repeat offenders rather than disconnecting their Internet access. The French minister in charge of Internet policy, Fleur Pellerin, supports such a change, saying, “Today, it’s not possible to cut off Internet access. It’s something like cutting off water.”
FMC’s Casey Rae will participate in a panel discussion on digital copyright enforcement during the World Creators Summit in Washington, DC from June 4-5 (our session is at 11:30 AM on Wednesday, June 5). Interestingly, the conversation also includes Sarah Jacquier, Director of Legal Affairs of HADOPI. This is in addition to Jill Lesser, Director, Centre for Copyright Information; Satoshi Watanabe, Deputy General Manager of General Affairs Bureau, JASRAC. Helienne Lindvall, songwriter, musician and Music & Media Columnist for The Guardian, will moderate.
What if there was a copyright enforcement policy and the Internet didn’t break?
In July of 2011, several Internet Service Providers announced a “Memorandum of Understanding” with major entertainment industry groups. In this memorandum, ISPs agreed to implement a “graduated response” program to educate and potentially penalize internet users suspected of sharing or downloading unauthorized copyrighted material. Fast-forward to last week, when the Copyright Alert System (CAS) was officially activated under the auspices of the newly-formed Center for Copyright Information (CCI). read more
In July of 2011, several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) announced a “Memorandum of Understanding” with the major content industries. In essence, the ISPs agreed to implement a “graduated response” policy to educate and potentially penalize internet users sharing or downloading unauthorized content. Our initial statment on the Copyright Alert System (CAS) lives here. read more