Organization Overseeing Six Strikes Agreement Between Labels And ISPs Includes Advisory Board To Try To Keep Tech Folks Happy
from the better-than-nothing dept
As we get closer to the RIAA/MPAA and the major ISPs rolling out their “voluntary” six strikes agreement, turning those ISPs into Hollywood’s private police force, details are finally coming out about the Center for Copyright Information (CCI), the organization that the RIAA/MPAA were setting up to manage the six strikes effort. In a move that’s at least slightly surprising, and shows that they realized they couldn’t completely one-side this entire thing, CCI will be run by Jill Lesser. Lesser was a managing director at The Glover Park Group (a lobbying firm), but also on the board of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), a group that is often on the correct side of these issues. That said, Glover Park was also one of the key lobbying firms that the MPAA used to promote SOPA.
However, lots of folks are pointing to the fact that CCI has also set up an advisory board with some familiar names of folks who have fought for consumer rights repeatedly. As Greg Sandoval reports at News.com:
CCI’s advisory board will include a large number of privacy and technology advocates, including Jerry Berman, chairman of the Internet Education Foundation and founder of the Center for Democracy and Technology; Marsali Hancock, president of iKeepSafe.org; Jules Polenetsky, director of the Future of Privacy Forum; and Gigi Sohn, president and CEO of Public Knowledge.
This is, at the very least, a nod to the fact that the entertainment industry can’t just completely control how this system works. Of course, it’s an open question how much power this advisory board will actually have, and how much of this is really window dressing. In fact, the actual power to run CCI is in the hands of a separate “board of directors” which is entirely made up of entertainment industry and ISP representatives.
The “good news” is that many of the folks on the advisory board are certainly not at all shy about making their voices heard if they feel they’re being ignored, and Public Knowledge’s Gigi Sohn is not one to go away quietly on these issues. As she told Sandoval:
“It was not an easy decision for me to join this Advisory Board,” Sohn said in a statement. “I did so because I saw the need to be an advocate for the rights of Internet users and to provide transparency.”
Sohn said that one of the first things she wants to see once CCI is up and running is to abolish any kind of service suspension.
“I will ask at the appropriate time,” Sohn said, “for the ISPs to promise not to interpret the agreement’s ‘temporary restriction’ provision as allowing for suspension of user Internet accounts.”
This whole thing will be worth watching closely, and I’m glad that at least a few good people are on the advisory board, but we’ll see what happens when the actual “strikes” start issuing.