– Nations involved in talks around the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement
(ACTA) are "secretly" discussing the possibility of enacting
"three-strikes" measures that would sever the Internet connections of
repeat file-swappers, the Financial Times reports, citing leaked drafts of the
agreement. If ratified, the pact "would transform copyright law in the U.S. and European Union," analysts told FT.
EuroISPA, an Internet service provider (ISP)
trade group with 1,700 members, told FT that the three-strikes proposal is
"severe and wide-ranging, including the possibility of users being
disconnected from the Internet."
"Proposals include fines and
imprisonment for non-commercial file sharing, increasing the liability of
internet service providers for copyright infringements by their customers and
much more," Duke University law professor James Boyle told FT.
Diplomats involved in the talks told FT that the
ACTA can’t impose new legislation on signatories, but "could mandate new
obligations as far as punishing Internet users that breach existing laws."