RIGHTS ORGANISATION the Open Rights Group (ORG) has published rights holders' proposals for an internet service provider code of practice.
The Open Rights Group got its hands on the documentation by filing a freedom of information request. According to a statement from the group it shows how dangerous rights holders' ideas are.
"As well as containing some dangerous ideas, the proposals help emphasise that copyright enforcement policy is suffering from a severe democratic deficit. This whole process needs rebalancing so that it is based on a sound analysis and evidence, and operates through a transparent and open process," says the statement from Peter Bradwell of the ORG.
"Otherwise, just like as is happening with ACTA, DCMS are simply repeating mistakes we've seen so recently over SOPA and PIPA in the US.*
The documents released by the group are minutes of a meeting at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) that saw representatives from rights holders including the British Phonographic Industry, the Premier League and the Motion Picture Association wax lyrical on their perfect world and a perfect search and ISP industry.
This world would see internet firms delist web sites that make available unlicensed content in breach of copyright and promote others that subscribe to officially recognised licensing schemes. Web sites that are the subjects of court orders should also be delisted.
Other suggestions include improvements to "notice and takedown systems" that would ensure that "search engines do not encourage consumers towards illegal sites via suggested searches; related searches and suggested sites", and a ban on advertising illegal web sites and services.
According to Bradwell the DCMS would be wise to avoid being charmed by proposals like this, which he said could sleepwalk them into approving laws like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
"The Government is currently both absenting themselves from the process (by saying: 'we are just facilitating this discussion') whilst simultaneously threatening to legislate. That means that, at best, the process is being driven forward by the momentum given by this promise, or threat, of legislation. It's all speed, and no coherent direction," he said. "DCMS now need to show some leadership and channel this debate."
Last year the Open Rights Group warned that the DCMS, and its head, minister Ed Vaizey, were spending too much time talking to rights holders, and called for more transparency around the meetings that were being hold. µ
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