The past few years have seen the emergence of alarming trends in the online enforcement of intellectual property rights, including proposals to block sites, filter content, and disconnect users. These new approaches join a well-established arsenal of solutions to online copyright infringement that include notice-and-takedown mechanisms, technological protection measures, anti-circumvention provisions, and mass litigation against users of file sharing systems.
Behind these measures lies an increasingly complex set of interactions between online intermediaries, industry and governments, as well as potential for collateral damage to freedom of expression and other human rights. The Declaration on Enforcement & the Internet will focus on ways to frame discourse around online enforcement so that the public interest is better served, and on drafting concrete policy recommendations in line with that purpose. Some of the questions discussed will include:
- What procedural safeguards can be proposed to counter the trend in preemptive blocking and filtering of content, and to certify that due process and presumption of innocence are respected?
- What technological, legal and private ordering solutions would be able to preserve the architecture of the Internet against structural threats, such as attacks on network neutrality?
- Can we establish innovative and balanced approaches to ISP liability and secondary copyright infringement?
- How can data protection regimes and discourse on privacy be used to foster balanced enforcement practices?
- How to deal with indirectly related concerns, such as security and child protection, which are sometimes used as rationales for the adoption of disproportionate enforcement actions?
- What types of measures are likely to be proposed by the content industries in the context of online intellectual property enforcement, and how to ensure that these measures do not harm the public interest?
- Are there jurisdiction-specific issues that need attention?