Illegal downloads could bar families from web for a year; New copyright

Greetings!  I’m Nico Trimoff, manager of transcription and accessibility services at
Today, I have an article which should be of particular interest to families with kids. 
I invite you now to read on and I wish you a very delightful day.
Illegal downloads could bar families from web for a year; New copyright
treaty contains harsh measures for violations;

Vito Pilieci
Edmonton Journal , Nov. 6, 2009
Canadian officials are taking part in negotiations for a top-secret
copyright treaty that could see families barred from the Internet for a year
if someone in the household is suspected of illegal downloads.
Under the worldwide rules of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement,
Internet service providers such as Bell and Rogers in Canada would be
required to become copyright police and filter out pirated material from
their networks, hand over the identities of customers believed to be
infringing copyrights and restrict the use of identity-blocking software.
ACTA would employ a three-strikes policy. People believed to be regularly
downloading copy-protected material, such as movie and music files, could
have their Internet connection severed for up to 12 months and forced to pay
a fine.
“It’s incredibly disproportionate. Three unproven allegations of
infringement will cut off Internet service for a year for an entire family,”
said Michael Geist, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and
e-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa.
“It’s not based on the individual user, it’s based on the connection,” added
Geist, who said he has received details of the proposals from people closely
associated with drafting the agreement.
The treaty, which is being pushed forward by the Office of the United States
Trade Representative, closely mimics the controversial Digital Millennium
Copyright Act that governs copyright issues in the U.S.
It puts in place measures that would make it illegal for consumers to make
backup copies of DVDs or other media with built-in copy-protection
Other provisions could make information on iPods, laptops and other personal
electronic devices illegal and force travellers to prove to border officials
that the content on such devices was acquired through legal channels.
The U.S. has been particularly vocal about Canada’s lack of copyright
reform. The U.S. Trade Representative placed Canada on its piracy “priority
watch list” earlier this year, labelling Canada a piracy haven alongside
Algeria, Indonesia, China and Russia.
After less than a week on the job, the new U.S. ambassador to Canada, David
Jacobson, scolded Canada for what he said were lax copyright laws.
The Canadian Copyright Act has not been amended since 1997, two years before
the Napster file-sharing site forever changed the way people obtain music
and movies online. An attempt to update the act in 2005 was abandoned, and
amendments proposed last year were stalled by a federal election.
The government now is polling citizens on copyright issues and collecting
opinions on how best to amend Canadian laws.
But the introduction of ACTA, which would force Canada to adopt
international copyright standards, would likely make those discussions
ACTA negotiations continue today in South Korea with representatives from
Canada, the European Commission, Japan, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia,
Mexico, Morocco, Singapore, the Republic of Korea and the United States.
According to the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade Canada, participants in the talks have confirmed “their
intention to conclude the agreement as soon as possible in 2010.”
Federal trade agreements do not require parliamentary approval. Only the
signature of a government representative is needed for an agreement to be
passed as law.
According to leaked documents, ACTA would operate under a governing body
overseen by a committee of representatives from member nations.

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About Donna Jodhan

Donna Jodhan is an award winning blind author, advocate, sight loss coach, blogger, podcast commentator, and accessibility specialist.
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