New York
– 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."


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  1. This is going to make a lot of people angry, and I’m just one of ’em. The small damage done by illegal fire sharing is minuscule when compared to the chilling effect that such policies create, or even a single case of wrongful prosecution. What legal protections will the accused have, what right do industry lobbyists have to influence who gets to access the internet? They do not own the web, and they better stop acting like it…