Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 | Author:

From Wendy McElroy.com:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation reports that the secret negotiations for the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) are including draconian provisions:

…according to the leaks, ACTA member countries will be required to provide for third-party (Internet Intermediary) liability. This is not required by any of the major international IP treaties — not by the 1994 Trade Related Aspects of IP agreement, nor the WIPO Copyright and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty. However, US copyright owners have long sought this.

The “third party” here is your ISP. What this means is that if you share files on the Internet, your ISP can be held legally responsible, even though they’re only providing you a communications channel and not hosting the content. (This is like holding the phone company responsible if you read passages aloud from Atlas Shrugged during a phone call.) Predictable consequences: (1) ISPs will be required to monitor all of your Internet traffic; (2) ISPs will shut down your connection at the slightest hint of legal liability.

Read the rest here.

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