Buried in the FCCs rules is a deeply problematic loophole. Open Internet principles, the FCC writes, "do not...apply to activities such as the unlawful distribution of copyrighted works."
For years, the entertainment industry has used that innocent-sounding phrase "unlawful distribution of copyrighted works" to pressure Internet service providers around the world to act as copyright cops to surveil the Internet for supposed copyright violations, and then censor or punish the accused users.
From the beginning, a central goal of the Net Neutrality movement has been to prevent corporations from interfering with the Internet in this way so why does the FCCs version of Net Neutrality specifically allow them to do so?
Go to the Real Net Neutrality petition to tell the FCC that if it wants to police the Internet, it first needs to demonstrate that it can protect Internet users and innovators by standing up to powerful industry lobbyists. Sign your name to demand that the copyright enforcement loophole be removed.
Here's the EFF petition.
And here is the FCC documentation FCC 09-93: In the Matter of Preserving the Open Internet Broadband Industry Practices ( ref and footnotes excluded )
Page 51 ~ 139. Third, we propose that broadband Internet access service providers would not violate the principles in taking reasonable steps to address unlawful conduct on the Internet. Specifically, we propose that broadband Internet access service providers may reasonably prevent the transfer of content that is unlawful. For example, as the possession of child pornography is unlawful, consistent with applicable law, it appears reasonable for a broadband Internet access service provider to refuse to transmit child pornography. Moreover, it is important to emphasize that open Internet principles apply only to lawful transfers of content. They do not, for example, apply to activities such as the unlawful distribution of copyrighted works, which has adverse consequences on the economy and the overall broadband ecosystem. In order for network openness obligations and appropriate enforcement of copyright laws to co-exist, it appears reasonable for a broadband Internet access service provider to refuse to transmit copyrighted material if the transfer of that material would violate applicable laws. Such a rule would be consistent with the Comcast Network Management Practices Order, in which the Commission stated that providers, consistent with federal policy, may block . . . transmissions that violate copyright law.
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