MPAA to Obama: censor the Internet, kick people off the Internet, break other countries' Internet

Tim Jones of the Electronic Frontier Foundation has some good commentary on the news that the MPAA has asked Obama to spy on the entire Internet, and to establish a system where being accused of copyright infringement would result in loss of your Internet connection (and your VoIP line, your access to your university, your lifeline to your parents in the old country, your means of participating in civic life, your means of fighting your parking ticket, etc etc etc). The MPAA also wants Obama to lean on other countries (notably Canada!) and force them to adopt US copyright laws.
Here, the MPAA is advocating for a number of things, the most problematic of which is a "three strikes" internet termination policy. This would require ISPs to terminate customers' internet accounts upon a rights-holder's repeat allegation of copyright ingfringement. This could be done potentially without any due process or judicial review. A three-strikes policy was recently adopted by legislation in France, where all ISPs are now banned from providing blacklisted citizens with internet access for up to one year.

Because three-strikes policies do not guarantee due process or judicial oversight of whether the accusations of copyright infringement are valid, they effectively grant the content industry the ability to exile any individual they want from the internet. Lest we forget, there is a history of innocents getting caught up in these anti-piracy dragnets. (Copyfighter Cory Doctorow has wondered what would happen if the MPAA's erroneous notices were subject to a similar three-strikes law.)

Thankfully, members of the European Parliament vehemently rejected these measures, resolving that "The cut of Internet access is a disproportionate measure regarding the objectives. It is a sanction with powerful effects, which could have profound repercussions in a society where access to the Internet is an imperative right for social inclusion." Let's hope the US government's decisions on this are as wise.

MPAA Asks Obama for More Copyright Surveillance of the Internet


  1. Remember when copyright infringement was a matter of civil law rather than criminal law?

    Now look at how extreme the MPAA suggests copyright enforcement should be externalized to government and other unrelated industries. The MPAA would probably favor capital punishment for copyright infringement if they thought they could get it passed into law.

  2. What would happen to all those people who share their internet on wireless networks? Who is responsible then? The people who so kindly share their internet connection with others or just the individual with 3 strikes. MPAA is DUMB. does not think this thoroughly, just because you can force the ISP to not provide internet service to an individual, does not mean that the individual cannot get it somewhere else. lol… France…

  3. This WON’T happen. The track record as it stands is that the MPAA has had to redefine and redraw the lines every time they find something ‘infringing’. Fuck THAT shit. You want to watch a movie you didn’t pay for? FINE, go ahead and sue that person. But to cut you off from the net for life is like shooting the horse that brings the mail. They are actually shooting themselves in the foot. Instead of finding a viable way to transmit their content in a user friendly manner, they would rather cut off access to ALL content.


  4. 1) Of course, this is utterly reprehensible, and that the MPAA should be disbanded, tarred, feathered, and run out of the country on a rail (or imprisoned).

    2) It is YOUR responsibility to research ALL media you might purchase, and if you find that you are going to purchase anything from any company in any way affiliated with the MPAA or RIAA, to BOYCOTT THEM FOREVER and go to any means to not give the MPAA a penny. If this means never going to the movies again, then don’t go. If this means pirating all of your media or buying it second hand, do that. Hollywood movies are junk anyway, and services like Jamendo, Magnatunes and others provide plenty of interesting, non-evil-affiliated tunes to tickle your ear lobes. Additionally, it is YOUR responsibility to impress the importance of this to those around you you have influence on.

    3) I’ve not been very impressed with Obama so far. But this whole revealing the requests and petitions of lobbying groups is the single best thing that the fledgling administration has done. Keep it up!

  5. Please note that in France, the law hasn’t been voted yet. It still has to pass through some processes before it is applicated (besides, the European Union Council pointed several problems in the law and the french government is now trying to speed the process in order to bypass Europe advice).

    I think it’s important to note it because what you’re saying (or the MPAA I guess) looks exactly like the arguments that were used to convince the french senators to vote for it: “we’ll do it as a lot of other countries already do it” although the examples given referred to countries that were experimenting this kind of system or planning to test it (IIRC, it was said that this “three-strikes” system was already the norm in UK and Australia: in UK it has been experimented by some ISP and a lot of problems arose recently – i.e. with Atari/Davenport Lyons ; I’m not sure about Australia: I’ve read there were plans for experimentations, please correct me if I’m wrong).

    Here in France, a lot of people are fighting against this law project.

  6. And the response from the Obama camp is….? Hopefully they’ve suggested that the MPAA involve themselves in anatomically difficult self-stimulation, but I’d like to hear what they have issued as a public response.

  7. If Clinton’s presidency is any indication of Obama’s; and he does seem to be taking a good portion of that cabinet. I think that its likely that at least some of this will come forth, particularly the bit about leaning on Canada. Remember the DMCA came about during Clinton.

  8. He’s got the tools thanks to Bush and our elected lowlifes in Congress. Now he just needs the talent. Then it’s ‘Milluh Time’.

  9. Wow, the Eurpoean Parliament’s decision was incredibly insightful.

    While I don’t doubt Obama’s own insightfulness, will this even be an issue that he decides? It seems most of these matters are dealt with by other delegates who won’t necessarily share his same understanding and intelligence.

  10. #8 dude, let the man take office first before you judge his effectivess! :p


    I dont think this will go anywhere. He and his team are clearly net-savvy and they know better.

  11. Cnsrng th ntrnt… lk hw ll rfrncs nd cmmnts bt Blgjvch wr scrbbd ff bm’s wbst? r lk hw rtcls wth rfrnc t mtngs btwn bm nd Blgjvch wr dltd frm th Chcg Nwsppr wbsts?

    Th Bsh cln ws wrng fr dng ths clndstn crp, nd th sm hlds tr fr bm.

    1. ConsiderThis,

      You seem to have some confusion about the topic of this post. Or are you just here to push your personal political agenda?

  12. Antinous,
    Yes I am here to push my own political agenda. And that agenda is no censorship. Thanks for asking :) Wasn’t that what the topic was about? If I also said I thought the MPAA was a bunch of greedy slimbags would that help? Cause I do. Anyone who hates Big Brother should hate it in all areas.

    I would buy 20 vowels if I could but my post got the vowels knocked out of it. Odd?… How does that happen? Who do I make my check out to for those vowels?

  13. Why would anyone subject themselves to something controlled by the MPAA, free or paid?

    Corporate shill propaganda should rot on the shelves.

  14. Wow. that’s all i can say. Screw the MPAA; if they had invented the Internet, i suppose it would be a diferent story, but really? YOU ASSHOLES lost the race to the web, get over it. The MPAA will NEVER take over the web. THE RIAA can suck it also. unbelievable.

  15. @zyodei

    what you said really hit the spot with me! I think the MPAA AND RIAA have manipulated the arts scene for far too long. They’re worse than the mob.

  16. @zyodei

    what you said really hit the spot with me! I think the MPAA AND RIAA have manipulated the arts scene for far too long. They’re worse than the mob.

  17. I wonder if the MPAA understands the depth of feeling they are dealing with. Right now they are unpopular. Do they understand what an actual war would mean?

  18. Well, fortunately for us all, Obama isn’t the guy in charge of making law; Congress is. However, by making this position paper explicitly public and amenable to discussion, Obama has done us all a huge service.

    I like that.

    Our President-to-be understands that his employers are us, not the moneyed elite. I think I’m gonna be able to get used to this.

    But back to the point — what Obama has done here is to get discussion of MPAA’s position out and public. They’ll never get this past Congress now. Because I really think that at this point, Congress has realized we’re watching.

    Takuan @30, I like the way you think.

  19. it is important the MPAA understand the way we think. Perhaps a black hat missive – delivered to every Blackberry in LA.

  20. Access to free, uncensored internet (and by extension, information) should be a fundamental right in society. The MPAA is a threat to progress.

  21. The central conflict is anchored in rights. I was taught that conduct interacted with one’s moral obligations to secure “social rights” As in the social right of freedom FROM association. I hold that producers of *ANY* material held as having value have moral obligations. Among those moral obligations are ones to not associate with dubious associations.Such as RIAA. The recent proven impossible lawsuits sort of make RIAA’s Ethical hygiene equally dubious. Freedom OF association should inherently include freedom FROM association.

    Thus the “freedom from association” concept should allow any person creating music to not associate with RIAA. Sadly the whole viability of RIAA lies in performers lacking the ethics to de-associate from RIAA. Doing so En Masse might be a rather potent veto the performers hold over RIAA…

  22. Access to free, uncensored internet (and by extension, information) should be a fundamental right in society. The MPAA is a threat to progress.

    “Access” is something of a weasel word. I think we can derive it from Freedom of Speech. You have a right to read anything that anyone else willingly shares with you, but publishers are not obliged to provide you with free books to stock your personal library.

    But if it were not for the FCC, we could have software defined cognitive radio for wireless community mesh networking that would ostensibly make bandwidth free as long as you can afford the radio for your computer. (c.f. open spectrum, by David Weinberger, by Larry Lessig, by David Reed)

    An analogy would be if everyone who owns a television set could also use it to transmit their own personal television channel. Or, just as the end-to-end principle design of the Internet has given rise to weblogs and citizen journalism. (c.f. Earth Intelligence Network, Robert Steele)

  23. Who needs these big companies. I will be happy viewing content created by independants. Lets see we have bands that post thier music on thier own web sites with some tracks free and others for a small fee. They are fed up with the money the record industry takes from them.

    We have independant net shows on youtube and Veoh. Even some documentries are posted on these venues legally. We even have Mogulus who allow people to create and broadcast live shows.

    Then we have people using the creative commons licencing to distribute thier music.

    With all this happeing I can see an end to expensive big block buster movies and the tradtional way of selling music.

  24. The MPAA / RIAA are in bed with other institutions… guess who.

    The whole concept of tracking copyright infringement by spying on everyone on the Internet is really a way to push through monitoring and spying mechanisms other agencies would like to see in place, but cannot get the US Citizens to swallow very easily. If it is all done under the guise of deterring copyright infringement to protect the starving record labels and movie distributors, then most people will just along.

    Whats next… we have to lock down the Internet from all that Free Speech messiness so we can “Save the Childrenz” from harm.

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