BitTorrent tracker sites threatened by draft ACTA agreement

By EDRi · June 4, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

A new international trade agreement, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade
Agreement (ACTA), which is now under discussion might strengthen criminal
sanctions against BitTorrent tracker sites for exploiting copyright material

The tracker sites state they do not profit from Internet users sharing
music, movies and software, saying that the server and bandwidth costs are
supported by donations and advertising revenues. However, rights holder
organisations claim that BitTorrent administrators exploit copyright
material online and make a nice profit out of it.

A discussion paper that has been leaked online by Sunshine Media, the
company that runs the website, is under circulation now among
the US, EU, Canada, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, and Switzerland, on
the proposed ACTA. The paper includes “the types of provisions that could be
included in the agreement” and suggests “criminal sanctions to be applied to
(Intellectual Property Rights) infringements on a commercial scale (where
there are) significant willful infringements without motivation for
financial gain to such an extent as to prejudicially affect the copyright
owner (e.g. internet piracy)”.

The discussion paper states “deterrent-level” penalties should be applied by
the Governments against criminal copyright infringement, and it also
proposes powers to seize and destroy equipment. The ACTA proposal in the
case of simple filesharers accused of civil infringement is the possibility
of the rights holder of asking compensations “including measures to overcome
the problem of rights holders not being able to get sufficient compensation
due to difficulty in assessing the full extent of the damage”.

ISPs might face new sanctions as the ACTA will force them to hand over
personal information pertaining to “claimed infringement” or “alleged
infringers”. ACTA might also attempt to introduce “remedies against
circumvention of technological protection measures used by copyright owners
and the trafficking of circumvention devices”.

What the discussion paper also proposes is that ACTA create its own
governing body to be overseen by a committee made up of representatives from
member nations. According to a European Commission official, formal
negotiations on ACTA are expected to start this week in Geneva.

NGOs, such as IP Justice, heavily criticised the new negotiations: “After
the multilateral treaty’s scope and priorities are negotiated by the few
countries invited to participate in the early discussions, ACTA’s text will
be ‘locked’ and other countries who are later ‘invited’ to sign on to the
pact will not be able to re-negotiate its one-sided terms.”

Meanwhile, in UK, the Police has arrested six people for allegedly sharing
music files via the defunct BitTorrent tracker Apparently the 6
persons were detained in “in relation to uploading pre-release music”. was shutdown seven months ago in a Police raid at the Middlesbrough
home of its administrator.

International copyright talks seek BitTorrent-killer laws (27.05.2008)

Copyright deal could toughen rules governing info on iPods, computers

BitTorrent tracker Mininova faces legal action (19.05.2008)

Embattled ACTA Negotiations Next Week In Geneva; US Sees Signing This Year(30.05.2008)

UK cops arrest six alleged BitTorrent music uploaders (2.06.2008)