Three Strikes and You’re Off-line

by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

On November 3 members of the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), “a new intellectual property enforcement treaty,” met in Seoul, North Korea for a closed discussion of “enforcement in the digital realm.” According to a leaked memo from the conference, the United States is pushing for a Three Strikes/ Graduated Response policy and proactive policing of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to ensure that any digital copyright infringements are caught, stopped and punished.

Currently, ISP’s are capable of terminating a user’s internet license “in appropriate circumstances.” However, this power is rarely used.  Under the proposed ACTA agreement, “ISPs would be required to automatically terminate a customer upon a rightsholders’ repeat allegation of copyright infringement at a particular IP address,” according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an organization dedicated to protecting civil liberties in the digital world. No trial is necessary for this to occur.

In addition, the agreement would force websites such as YouTube and Flickr to police its uploaded material, checking for copyright violations before the material is released, a process that is economically stressful, to say the least.

Finally, members countries of ACTA will be required “to adopt both civil and criminal legal sanctions for copyright owners’ technological protection measures,” says the EFF. This would include banning technological advancements designed to work around the newly created copyright laws.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, November 3, 2009

“Leaked ACTA Internet Provisions: Three Strikes and Global DMCA”

Author: Gwen Hinze

Black Listed News, November 4, 2009

“Secret Copyright Treaty Leaks. It’s Bad. Very Bad.”–.html

Student Researchers: Trisha Himmelein and Emily Schuler

Faculty Instructor: Kevin Howley, Associate Professor of Media Studies, DePauw University

Evaluator: Brian Howard, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, DePauw University