Taiwan's Copyright Proposals Would Combine SOPA With A Dash Of The Great Firewall Of China

from the overkill-much? dept

You might have hoped that the extensive discussions that took place around SOPA a year or so ago would have warned off governments elsewhere from replicating some of the really bad ideas there, like DNS blocking, but it seems that Taiwan didn’t get the message, as Global Voices reports:

The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has recently proposed to amend the Copyright Act and provide legal justification of IP and DNS blocking at the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) level through a black list system. The government claims that the amendment is to stop the illegal sharing of copyright movies and music.

Although IPO has stressed that the Internet service providers will only block overseas online platforms which are “specifically designed for copyright infringement activities” or websites which have “obviously violated copyrights”, such as Megaupload, the authorities will target online platforms that enhance peer-to-peer transmission including Bit Torrent, Foxy, and FTP sharing.

Of course, as Techdirt readers know, there is no such thing as “obviously violated copyrights” — that’s what judges are for. The idea of of targeting technologies like BitTorrent and FTP is nothing less than an attack on aspects of the Internet itself. And as the article points out, the new powers are almost certain to be abused:

If the Taiwanese copyright amendment is implemented, the Island will have a mechanism that blocks and filters away “illegal websites” that host material that infringes copyright laws. This could be detrimental to sites like YouTube, where users regularly upload videos that may violate copyright laws. Although the company has a system for removing these videos, a law like this could lead to the site being blocked altogether.

The new measures will move Taiwan closer to China’s Great Firewall in terms of censorship, and will therefore probably be well-received on the mainland as a result. But there are surely better ways of improving relations between the two countries than instituting these kind of measures that won’t stop people sharing unauthorized copies online, but will damage the Internet, and not just in Taiwan.

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Comments on “Taiwan's Copyright Proposals Would Combine SOPA With A Dash Of The Great Firewall Of China”

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38 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

If DNS blocking is as simple as it sounds, then it is hardly effective at all. It will annoy the general public while not stopping any of what is claimed as the target.

Perhaps the real intent is to censor the general public while doing nothing to interfere with their biggest excuse for doing things that most people disagree with.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

We have DNS blocking in Denmark and given that some of them are only for specific ISPs I have had some problems reaching Grooveshark on some connections (2 companies block it – of which 1 has a courtorder – while several others do not). I have found 3 ways I can reliably get around it without any programming skills or paying for it…
So, yeah! DNS blocking is close to useless.

out_of_the_blue says:

For OBVIOUSLY violated copyrights, look at The Pirate Bay.

‘Of course, as Techdirt readers know, there is no such thing as “obviously violated copyrights” ‘ — AS TECHDIRT FANBOYS ASSERT. But in fact, ALL THE TIME on The Pirate Bay, it’s almost impossible to find an item NOT obviously copyright. Sites like Rapidshare and Mega(upload) are able to operate ONLY so long as pretend ignorance. — And that’s surely difficult! Because a glance at file name of recent movie and ten seconds looking at the video will confirm the obvious.

“nothing less than an attack on aspects of the Internet itself.” — SHEESH. Classic piratey assertion. No, it’s countering illegal uses of the internet.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: For OBVIOUSLY violated copyrights, look at The Pirate Bay.

Someone gets convicted of copyright infringement regardless of circumstances: The law is the law is the law.

Someone points out that you are innocent until proven guilty (that is, you must follow the law): But it’s so obvious that the guy is guilty. Just chop his head off already. What the hell are you waiting for? Do it, do it, DO IT!

Double standards much?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: For OBVIOUSLY violated copyrights, look at The Pirate Bay.

[i]”Because a glance at file name of recent movie and ten seconds looking at the video will confirm the obvious.”[/i]

It would take 572 days, 15 hours, 23 minutes and 20 seconds to go through 10 seconds of every single torrent on The Pirate Bay as of a few minutes ago when I started calculating.
That doesn’t include download time or time to search or time to read file names.
Who do you propose should do all this? Who would pay them?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: For OBVIOUSLY violated copyrights, look at The Pirate Bay.

I should add this since I don’t believe in common sense, but only torrents are uploaded to TPB servers. So even if a TPB ’employee’ or Copyright Police Force Raider were to go through all of the files on the TPB servers, they would STILL have to download the files to view them.

gorehound (profile) says:

Re: For OBVIOUSLY violated copyrights, look at The Pirate Bay.

Take your Meds ! My Legal Art is on TPB ! Go look for yourself Mr.Troll.I am Jordan Kratz and I share my Musical Art with the World.I also have a ton of Free Art which is all located at http://www.bigmeathammer.com
http://thepiratebay.sx/torrent/6419743/Big_Meat_Hammer_Please_Keep_Portland_Clean_and_Unreleased_Stuff

http://thepiratebay.sx/torrent/6389968/The_Transplants_Police_State_1976_-_1979

http://thepiratebay.sx/torrent/6389952/The_Lynn_Rebels_Gonna_Get_Wasted_LP

http://thepiratebay.sx/torrent/6389948/The_GoreHounds_Discography

http://thepiratebay.sx/torrent/6389939/Big_Meat_Hammer_Songs_From_The_Dinner_Table_LP

Go ahead and look Mr.Troll ! And take your Meds.You are a creep and a Troll and you are a LIAR !
I own this Art and I have the Right to let the World have it for Free.
Sharing is Caring ! I will never be a Sold-Out Greedy Musician.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: For OBVIOUSLY violated copyrights, look at The Pirate Bay.

While you may be right about gorehound’s stuff(I haven’t looked yet), The works I’ve enjoyed the most were given away for free so don’t assume that free = low quality since digital content’s naature allows for better products at lower cost to reproduce than physical goods.

In fact, most of the software I’ve paid for often doesn’t hold a candle to open source products in terms of reliablity & flexabilty.

Of course, the anti-sharing crowd called sita sings the blues terrible but every time I show it to normal people who don’t give a fuck about the sharing debate one way or the other love it.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: For OBVIOUSLY violated copyrights, look at The Pirate Bay.

I looked and it sucks. You make Marcus Carab look like a virtuoso. No wonder you give it away for free. Obviously, no one would pay for it.

Kind of telling how it’s always the copyright maximalists who insult artists around here.

And they want you to believe they support art?

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: For OBVIOUSLY violated copyrights, look at The Pirate Bay.

“it’s almost impossible to find an item NOT obviously copyright.”

Liar. You can find all sorts of legal content. Just becuase YOU don’t look for it, doesn’t mean it’s not there, but then IIRC you already admitted to infringing copyright yourself on one post a while ago.

“Because a glance at file name of recent movie and ten seconds looking at the video will confirm the obvious.”

Bullshit. If you think that’s all it takes, you just continued your game of whack-a-mole. The pirates will route around your crap quite easily (the file’s name need not reflect its contents, for example), while I’m sure you have no problem with the collateral damage for legal content this will cause. Partly because it all has to be automated (it’s too big a task for manual filtering), and you people have already shown you don’t care about the perfectly legal content you destroy with false automated notices.

“No, it’s countering illegal uses of the internet.”

While destroying all the legal ones at the same time. Guess why that’s not acceptable.

Not even a nugget of truth, as usual.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: For OBVIOUSLY violated copyrights, look at The Pirate Bay.

Because a glance at file name of recent movie and ten seconds looking at the video will confirm the obvious.

The file name means less than you might think. A lot of files bearing the name of movies aren’t that movie, and a lot of movies don’t have a file name indicating the title of the movie.

Also, you can’t tell if a movie if a copyright violation from looking at 10 seconds of it. It might have been authorized, or it might have been a legally permitted use of a clip, etc.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It’s like dajaz1 and rojadirecta.

It was pretty obvious that they were up to no good. Their sites even got splattered with the menacing federal logos and everything.

Except…the cases were dropped after like a year or so, with no explanation or apology whatsoever.

Oops…looks like “obvious” doesn’t carry as much weight as it used to…

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m a long-time Techdirt reader in Taiwan and it sickens me every time I notice how cozy this nation is with the US and how it bends over backwards to accommodate the US’ needs.

However, Taiwanese people pride themselves in being different from China and mainland Chinese. As a result Taiwanese people have little tolerance for any form of censorship. We have more than dozens of all-news channels for a country of 23 million. Taiwanese are obsessed with information-gathering and being up-to-date on the latest developments, so any censorship implementation will have a difficult time in parliament and will be met with fierce opposition.

I’m curious to see how this will play out but I have my doubts this will be a slam dunk.

Anonymous Coward says:

So, why did Taiwan and China separate exactly?

So, why exactly are Taiwan and China still separate nations exactly if Taiwan goes through with this?

-China is where the Communists won, and Taiwan is where the defeated Capitalists fled to after losing. Yet, you’d be hard pressed to find a better place then China with pure capitalism where you can do whatever the hell you want without having to worry much about regulations, or government fines for pollution and such your money making factories cause. So China isn’t really Communist anymore.

-Taiwan’s insist they have freedom there and China is a dictatorship. While that’s true about China, it won’t be true for much longer about Taiwan being free if they pass and implement their own Taiwan firewall.

So… if Taiwan insists on becoming more like China, and China already became more like Taiwan years ago… why are they still separate nations exactly?

Anonymous Coward says:

the really frightening thing here is the reason for wanting to bring this ridiculous proposal in. it’s ‘to stop the illegal sharing of copyright movies and music’! it’s not to stop anything that is earth-shatteringly important, like preventing terrorism (even though this sort of measure would not deter those that wanted to share something), preventing disease spreading, preventing secret information from being transferred from one company to another, or one country to another! it’s to prevent people sharing files!! fuck me, what an absolute piss poor reason to introduce such a high level block, one that always has collateral damage that causes unintended (usually) consequences to ‘legal’ sites. how the hell has movie and/or music files become so important as to have freedom and privacy removed to protect them. what a freakin joke this world has become!

Anonymous Coward says:

My answer here is the same as the one I’d post to the last story: “Innovators, Public Interest Groups & Open Access Supporters Pull Out Of Talks On EU Copyright In Protest.” (and in fact the two work well together to reinforce the point I’m about to make).

Governments are becoming increasingly irrelevant, as multinational corporations slowly consolidate their control of the world.

Anonymous Coward says:

After my comment yesterday (AC @ 6 AM) I got in touch with some friends and the IT guys at my office. Only one of them was aware of this proposal (it was an IT guy), and he joined the Facebook page protesting this measure (more than 40k already).

The biggest problem when it comes to online freedom is that most people don’t care about it. I stopped counting the times I am perplexed at how little most people know about online privacy – or, rather, the lack thereof – and how often they shrug their shoulders when confronted with the facts that all our online movements are watched by third parties. The answer: I do nothing wrong so I have nothing to fear *rolls eyes*

It is this general complacency that the IPO office is counting on: rarely do these protests have enough critical mass to influence parliament to actually stand up for the rights of the majority rather than the rights of the priviledged. This is true in most countries. The change of heart of the US Congress on SOPA is probably the exception rather than the rule.

While I am cautiously optimistic about the opposition here being strong enough to block this proposal, it is only a matter of time before one comes along that *will* get passed in parliament. The same thing is true in the US, EU, Japan and the rest of the world. These IP/Copyright groups are well-funded and have a longer breath than the protesters.

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