Three Strikes and You Are Disinternetted

I am learning more about the proposed (and terrifying) control of the European Internet by vested interests through ISP control. Since I’ve only known about this for 1 day forgive errors in the learning process..

Here’s a useful, recent, post explaining it.

In simple terms, if you infringe copyright three times you can be cut off from the Internet by your ISP. I don’t know for how long. Probably ever. Or at least as long as the foul-ups on credit ratings and gas bills to people with no gas.

This is the modern equivalent of having a hand cut off for stealing, or being transported to Australia.

So what’s the problem? None of us infringe copyright do we? We sit through those awful adverts from DVD rentals you wouldn’t steal from a pensioner – so don’t infringe our copyright.

I try to abide by copyright. But it’s technically hard. The copyright on many works is highly dubious. Anyone can add copyright notices to the public domain with a very good chance of making it stick. Publishers such as Wiley and ACS require their copyright to be added to supplemental scientific data. And they see the Shelley Batts case (Sued for 10 Data Points) – pursue those who copy this.

So it’s entirely possible that if I copy a graph or table of numbers or a spectrum from a Wiley paper I will be infringing ‘their’ copyright. Now all they have to do is tell the ISP to cut me off. I will have to argue with an ISP who has no knowledge or interest in the rights and wrongs and simply sees Copyright Wiley stamped on the document.

And it will get worse. Just like universal video cameras the front-line policing of the Internet could be through ISPs.

I will be a second-class citizen for the rest of my life.

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