Copyright laws around the world are in the process of being re-written and in many cases they are a draconian move into the the past with us – the users – being made out to be the worst criminals in the world. With secret meetings being held by world governments in order to get the entertainment backed ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) passed there is an increasing push to increase Internet censorship and people’s access to the Internet being removed by accusations alone.
The newest country to fall in line with this is New Zealand whose new copyright law would see supposed file shares kicked offline based on accusations rather than court convictions. As part of the hearings around this new copyright law entertainment lawyers have been making the rounds telling everyone in the government that the backbone of the ability to take down illegal things on the Internet – otherwise known as the DMCA – isn’t that bad since bogus take downs are in fact very rare.
Enter Google who in written submissions and the numbers to back it up say that the exact opposite is the case (emphasis mine)
In its submission, Google notes that more than half (57%) of the takedown notices it has received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998, were sent by business targeting competitors and over one third (37%) of notices were not valid copyright claims.
As such, Google says “Section 92A puts users’ procedural and fundamental rights at risk, by threatening to terminate users’ internet access based on mere allegations and reverse the burden of proof onto a user to establish there was no infringement.”
It goes on to say, “Section 92A undermines the incredible social and economic benefits of the open and universally accessible internet, by providing for a remedy of account termination or disconnection that is disproportionate to the harm of copyright infringement online.”
The submission also takes issue with the claim that user education is stated as a “primary purpose” of the draft code, “but there is little reference to education about users’ rights, including limitations and exceptions enabling lawful use of copyright protected works, in addition to their obligations.”
Source: PC World Magazine – New Zealand
I may not be the biggest fan of Google but in this case I throw them the high five.