Tag Archives: ccia

Tech Giants Warn U.S. Against EU Upload Filters and Site Blocking

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/tech-giants-warn-u-s-against-eu-upload-filters-and-site-blocking-200210/

Last year there were fierce protests against the EU Copyright Directive which, according to opponents, would result in broad upload filters on the web.

Despite this pushback, the directive passed, and individual EU member states are now working on implementing the text into local law.

This includes Article 17 (formerly Article 13), which requires many online services to license content from copyright holders. If that is not possible, these companies should ensure that infringing content is taken down and not re-uploaded to their services.

These new requirements are welcomed by rightsholders but many tech companies see them as a threat. This week, several industry groups issued a warning about the negative consequences in their submissions for the US Trade Representative’s Special 301 Report.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which includes Amazon, Cloudflare, Facebook, and Google as members, is one of the concerned groups. According to the CCIA, Article 17 will have significant consequences for both online services and users.

“Online services must implement filtering technologies in order to comply with the requirements under Article 17. While Article 17 avoids the word ‘filter’, practically speaking content-based filtering will be required if a service is to have any hope of achieving compliance,” the group writes.

CCIA notes that Article 17 will result in a ‘notice-and-staydown’ obligation. This goes against the current global standards that provide online services with a safe harbor against copyright infringements committed by users.

As a result, tech companies fear that they will no longer be able to operate freely in the EU. In some cases, that could mean that they can’t operate there at all. Contrary to claims from EU officials, CCIA believes that lawful activities carried out by users will be severely restricted.

Technically speaking, fair use including memes and parodies will still be allowed. However, since these copyright exceptions can’t be determined by automatic filters, services may choose to remove more content than they have to.

“Because algorithms used to monitor content on platforms cannot contextualize to determine whether the content was lawfully uploaded under one of the exceptions listed, the law requires platforms to err on the side of removing content,” CCIA writes.

This is exacerbated by the concern that copyright exceptions apply to users, but not to the platforms, the tech companies argue. This means that online services can still be held liable for content users have posted lawfully.

While it’s too late to stop the legislation now, CCIA urges the US Government to make EU member states aware of these concerns. Ideally, EU member states should ensure that the fallout from the new requirements is limited. For example, by requiring rightsholders to notify online services before they have to take action.

This criticism is shared by the Internet Association (IA), which includes many of the same tech companies as members.

“The EU Directive effectively requires internet services of all sizes to implement comprehensive content filtering systems, without regard for the inevitable consequences of such filtering,” IA writes.

In addition to the critique on Article 17, both industry groups also flagged various European website blocking schemes and orders as problematic. In particular, those that take place without any oversight from courts.

This includes Greece’s “Committee for Online Copyright Infringement” which issued various pirate site blockades after a similar attempt previously failed in court.

The IA and CCIA both mention Italy’s site-blocking efforts as well. This is administered by the Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM) which can require ISPs to block sites without a judicial process.

Finally, Russian piracy blocking efforts are mentioned too. These affect some of the tech companies directly, as it requires search engines to remove all links to
allegedly infringing websites within 24 hours.

“In practice, this law has resulted in overbroad removal and delisting requests for general-purpose websites that would not be subject to removal under Section 512 of the Copyright Act or other parts of U.S. copyright law,” IA writes.

The tech companies hope that the US Government will take its concerns into account. Aside from the EU-focused issues, the full requests of both CCIA and IA highlight a variety of concerns in other regions as well.

The CCIA’s submission to the USTR is available here (pdf) and the Internet Association’s submission can be found here (pdf).

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Tech Companies Warn U.S. Against Harmful Copyright Laws Worldwide

Post Syndicated from Ernesto original https://torrentfreak.com/tech-companies-warn-u-s-against-harmful-copyright-laws-worldwide-191109/

In recent years many countries around the world have tightened their copyright laws to curb the threat of online piracy.

These new regulations aim to help copyright holders, often by creating new obligations and restrictions for Internet service providers that host, link to, or just pass on infringing material.

Rightsholders are happy with these developments, but many Silicon Valley giants and other tech companies see the new laws as threats. This was made clear again this week by the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and the Internet Association.

The two groups both submitted stark warnings to the US Trade Representative (USTR). The submissions were sent in response to a request for comments in preparation for the Government’s yearly report on foreign trade barriers.

The CCIA, which includes prominent members such as Amazon, Cloudflare, Facebook, and Google, lists a wide variety of threats, several of which are copyright-related.

One of the main problems is the increased copyright liability for online intermediaries. In the US, online services have strong safe harbor protections that prevent them from being held liable for users’ infringements, but in other countries, this is no longer the case, CCIA warns.

“Countries are increasingly using outdated Internet service liability laws that impose substantial penalties on intermediaries that have had no role in the development of objectionable content. These practices deter investment and market entry, impeding legitimate online services,” CCIA writes.

These countries include France, Germany, India, Italy, and Vietnam. In Australia, for example, several US platforms are excluded from liability protections, which goes against the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement, CCIA notes.

Another major point of concern is the new EU Copyright Directive, which passed earlier this year. While individual member states have yet to implement it, it’s seen as a looming threat for US companies and users alike.

“[T]he recent EU Copyright Directive poses an immediate threat to Internet services and the obligations set out in the final text depart significantly from global norms. Laws made pursuant to the Directive will deter Internet service exports into the EU market due to significant costs of compliance,” CCIA writes.

“Despite claims from EU officials, lawful user activities will be severely restricted. EU officials are claiming that the new requirements would not affect lawful user activity such as sharing memes, alluding to the exceptions and limitations on quotation, criticism, review, and parody outlined in the text.”

The Internet Association also warns against the EU Copyright Directive in its submission. According to the group, which represents tech companies including Google, Reddit, Twitter, as well as Microsoft and Spotify, Europe’s plans are out of sync with US copyright law.

“The EU’s Copyright Directive directly conflicts with U.S. law and requires a broad range of U.S. consumer and enterprise firms to install filtering technologies, pay European organizations for activities that are entirely lawful under the U.S. copyright framework, and face direct liability for third-party content,” the Internet Association writes.

Aside from the EU plans, other countries such as Australia, Brazil, Colombia, India, and Ukraine are also proposing new “onerous” copyright liability proposals for Internet services. In many cases, these plans conflict with promises that were made under U.S. free trade agreements, the Internet Association writes.

“If the U.S. does not stand up for the U.S. copyright framework abroad, then U.S. innovators and exporters will suffer, and other countries will increasingly misuse copyright to limit market entry,” the group warns.

Both the CCIA and the Internet Archive urge the US Government to push back against these developments. They advise promoting strong and balanced copyright legislation, which doesn’t put US companies at risk when following US law.

While it makes sense that the US would back its owns laws and policies abroad, the comments made by both groups come at a time where changes to intermediary liability are on the agenda of local lawmakers as well.

Copyright holders see these foreign developments as inspiration, as they want increased liability for intermediaries. As such, MPAA recently asked lawmakers not to include current safe harbor language in future trade agreements.

This is also the advice of the House Judiciary Committee. While the committee isn’t taking a position on a future direction just yet, it wants to await current developments before porting current US liability exceptions into international deals.

The CCIA’s submission to the USTR is available here (pdf) and the Internet Association’s submission can be found here (pdf).

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.