UK ISPs v. US ISPs (was RE: Network Level Content Blocking)
lists at internetpolicyagency.com
Tue Jun 12 10:42:50 UTC 2007
In article <18029.40210.45583.17990 at world.std.com>, Barry Shein
<bzs at world.std.com> writes
>It'd be a lot easier if we could come up with separate terms for common
>law common carrier versis CA1934 telecommunications common carrier.
What you are looking for is probably a US equivalent of the European
Union's "Mere Conduit" law. It's a relatively new (doesn't have
historical baggage) law, and has the advantage of in effect being
negotiated with telcos and ISPs during the drafting. Additionally there
are sensible definitions for the liability of intermediaries in the
circumstances of caching and hosting.
The caching clause was particularly important from an operational point
of view, because the threat was that a different approach (as initially
promoted by rightsholders) would have either made caches an illegal
beach of copyright, or mandated that cache owners get a licence from all
copyright holders (perhaps through a central collecting agency set up
for the purpose). Luckily, sense prevailed.
Topical to the current discussion, and also of crucial operational
importance, a subsequent proposal in the UK for sysadmins to be
individually licensed in order to obtain immunity from reporting
illegal material found on their systems, was lobbied into a more general
amnesty for that kind of activity.
 Actually, no luck involved at all, just sustained lobbying via a
network of EU-based trade associations.
 A bit like seeing a gun in the street and on handing it into the
police being prosecuted for possession of an unlicenced firearm;
strictly true (if having it in your hand is the definition of
possession), but not in the public interest.
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