US, EU cook up Stalinist copyright infringement rules

A draft document on copyright abuse on the net,  being set up by the US, the European Union and other countries will make internet service providers (ISPs) liable for illegal content.

According to Computerworld NZ and BoingBoing, the leak is from the anticounterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA) talks. Countries cooperating on the secret draft rules include the EU, the USA, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Singapore and the UAE.

ISPs will become responsible for copyright material subscribers share on the net unless they can prove they attempted to stop copyright being briefed.  ISPs will also be forced to close the accounts of customers that have been accused of copyright infringe – even if the allegations are not proved.

Computerworld, speaking to an unnamed EU source, reported that the bloc does not want to make a three strikes rule compulsory. He also said that the secrecy of the talks invites suspicion and Brussels wants to make it public.

The draft document, proposed by the US is in its seventh round and was produced at the end of the last version of talks in Mexico. The next round will be held in New Zealand in April.

Boing Boing has made available a copy of the enforcement procedures, here. The Computerworld NZ article is here.