German Vargas Lleras, the Colombian Minister of Interior and Justice, has proposed a new fast-track copyright bill that will require ISPs to spy on, disconnect and censor their users in the name of protecting copyright. The bill was introduced without any public consultation or debate -- rather, it is to be rammed through Congress without meaningful scrutiny from Colombians. Fundación Karisma has launched a campaign to get the government to conduct public inquiries into the proposal:
Since amending Copyright law was part of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) agenda between Colombia and the U.S., it should come as no surprise that the bill is similar in many ways to the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act introduced in Title II of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). Also France's anti-privacy/liberty law named HADOPI or Mexicos 'Three Strikes" approach, where controversy surrounds their adoption under domestic law. At first glance however the bill appears to implement its own features following the rules of both a take down and counter notice and domestic judicial procedure.
Concern is raised on topics such as abuse by copyright owners, ISP's indiscriminate removal of material, supression of freedom of speech, false claims of copyright infringement, amongst others. Worryngly though, Colombia's citizens were denied the right to study, discuss and generate public debate regarding the bill before it was put forth to Congress, although the Copyright authority had discussed the idea that there would be a space for public debate prior to the passing of the bill.
Colombia's Bill to deter copyright infringement on the Internet must undergo public scrutiny
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