Conference demands ISP become copyright cops

An OECD communiqué from a Paris Internet conference has called for ISPs to enter into voluntary agreements with content owners to become copyright cops.

The call follows the realisation by the content makers that much of what it has been leaning on lawmakers to do, such as three strikes laws, violate human rights. Since crucifixion of file sharers is not an option, it is trying to make its actions appear a little nicer.

It is being called civilising the net, which usually means that internet users have to start taking politicians like the pint-sized French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the bunga bunga Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi seriously, or else.

The OECD held a “high-level meeting” of its own at its Parisian headquarters at which internet policy “best practices” were debated by a host of government leaders.

The communiqué waxes lyrical about freedom of speech on the Internet and letting users run applications of their choice. But it demands that ISPs become internet police. After all no government can afford to use too much tax payer cash in these trying times.

The communiqué said that sound Internet policy should encompass norms of responsibility that enable “private sector voluntary cooperation for the protection of intellectual property”.

It said that there needed to be lawful steps to address and deter infringement, and full respect to user and stakeholder rights and fair process.

It thinks the best way forward is in the form of “codes of conduct” hashed out in a “multi-stakeholder process.” While this sounds like the rules of a good barbeque where stakeholders must not jostle the hotdog sellers, it is a polite way of saying everyone must kick filesharers.

Codes are supposed to deal with fraudulent, malicious, misleading, and unfair practices taking place over the Internet.

What is amusing is that as payment for cracking down on material passing through their servers, ISPs would be relieved of legal liability. Which is somewhat amusing, as courts have consistently defended ISPs using the same legislation used to protect the post office.