You've got nine days left to file comments for Victoria Espinel, the Obama administration's new copyright enforcement czar, and her department's inquiry on how the US should best enforce copyrights. Given that the president himself has spoken out in favor of the secret and sinister Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (AKA ACTA -- a punishing copyright treaty that seeks to expand the American DMCA and push it around the world), and that he plans to bring it down by executive order, without an act of Congress, this is especially urgent.
The good folks at Public Knowledge have worked up a tool to help you file comments, along with a good, easy-to-follow briefing on issues that Ms Espinel needs to hear about.
The Joint Strategic Plan should carefully examine the basis for claims of losses due to infringement, and measure credible accounts of those losses against all of the consequences of proposed enforcement measures, good and bad.
Measures like cutting off Internet access in response to alleged copyright infringement can do more harm than good. Internet connections are not merely entertainment or luxuries; they provide vital communication links, often including basic phone service. This is even more clearly unfair in cases where users are falsely or mistakenly accused.
Internet service providers should not be required or asked to violate users' privacy in the name of copyright enforcement beyond the scope of the law. Efforts to require or recommend that ISPs inspect users' communications should not be part of the Joint Strategic Plan.
The “Freedom of Panorama” is the right to take pictures in public spaces, even if you incidentally capture copyrighted works, from building facades to public sculptures to images on t-shirts and ads — and on July 9, the EU will vote whether to abolish it.
This is the day that Congress votes on whether to give “fast track authority” on the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership, ending any meaningful debate about a treaty that will prohibit America from passing environmental, labor and Internet laws that interfere with multinational corporate profits.
Ed from the Open Rights Group writes, “The Conservatives have won an absolute majority in the General Election. The Home Secretary Theresa May has already said that she will use this majority to pass a new Snoopers’ Charter.”
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