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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Telecommunication Giant Talked About Copyright Law

After the so-called “three-strikes” regime has been implemented in New Zealand, some counterarguments against this law had been put on paper, and the first company to do that was the world’s leading telecommunication company Ericsson. The company has released a discussion paper to express their concerns about the approach.

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Ericsson claimed that to the extent that enforcement action of rights takes place, based on the evidence received from a copyright owner, the latter should bear responsibility for the consequences of such action, which included indemnifying the Internet service provider against any losses the ISP may suffer. Meanwhile, the company believes that outsourcing, for example, to Internet service providers of private property enforcement should be avoided, and all the sanctions should remain the prerogative of the courts, because only proper legal process is able to make sure that allegations are evaluated and punishments are imposed. However, the law bypasses established judicial proceedings, which can lead to the risk of bypassing the safeguards meant to ensure that law is enforced in an equitable way. In other words, Ericsson believes that the newly introduced copyright legislation is fairly unbalanced and only favours rights owners. The company has also made a proposal to reduce piracy by recommending the industry members to focus on making their material available in a timely, legal and, which is the most important, affordable way.

The report made by Ericsson was released almost a month before the AFACT against iiNet case – a lawsuit that had build the ground rules of copyright legislation back in Australia. In its appeal to the High Court, the ISP argued that the violation warnings provided by AFACT weren’t relevant enough to make them act properly. So, Judge Arthur Emmett, who has been working with the Federal Court of Australia, ruled that rights owners should be required to cover the expenses of the broadband providers if they had to act upon violation warnings.

In the meantime, the Attorney-General’s Department has recommended to examine a streamline piracy process in order to enforce copyright, disclosing some details of the proposal in a document published in October. However, this was the only and brief moment of transparency. Apparently, they have made a decision to leave the entire discussion with the industry.

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