Howard Berman Concerned About Internet-Repressive Regimes, Except If They Help His Friends In Hollywood

from the mickey-mouse dept

We were just discussing the vast similarities between China's internet censorship and what is being proposed in ACTA -- but, of course, not everyone seems to realize those similarities. Nick Dynice points us to the news that Rep. Howard Berman (who represents Hollywood and is sometimes referred to as "the Representative from Disney" given his longstanding support for any law that increases the scope of copyright law) is apparently speaking out against "repressive internet regimes" such as those in China, while at the very same time being a strong supporter of ACTA which could push for very similar "secondary liability" rules for ISPs in the US that are the foundation of Chinese internet censorship.

Nick also points out how amusing it is that, at the same time, Berman, in his role as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has also been knocking China for not doing enough to stop copyright infringement online, complaining about their "weak and ineffectual" measures.

So, apparently, using secondary liability to stop stuff Berman wants stopped is good, but using it to stop stuff Berman doesn't want stopped is bad. But why is it that Howard Berman gets to decide when it's appropriate to force ISPs to block content and when it's not?
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Filed Under: acta, censorship, china, copyright, howard berman, internet, repression, three strikes

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Jan 2010 @ 8:42am

    It's consistent under certain conditions

    Like, if the goal is (as I suspect) to use "secondary liability" and "graduated response" as a choke-hold on not just file sharing but also on fair use and user-generated content (which no one ever seems to mention in this context, but which would be an obvious consequence of targeting services rather than the specific users who infringe--so obvious that it can't be anything but an explicit goal)--anyway, if that's one of the conditions and at the same time ensuring there is no censorship of the content Hollywood wants to sell to such a large market is the other condition, then this position makes sense.

    In other words, Hollywood wants Hollywood's content to be the only stuff that makes it through without any roadblocks. How is this not obvious, and why won't they just cop to it?

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