New Copyright Alert System Does Not Need Any East German Olympic Judges

by Mike Wendy on April 4, 2012

The leadership for a voluntary industry plan to reduce online piracy was announced yesterday. The plan – known as the 6-Strikes graduated response plan and / or copyright alert system (CAS) – will be headed by techpol insider, Jill Lesser.

The CAS – which first seeks to educate, scold, and then “punish” file-sharing scofflaws – was developed with help by the White House, working with the Hollywood content community and ISPs.  Not surprisingly, it has received much criticism from the copyLeft / anti-property crowd as further legitimizing present international copyright protections, which many in that crowd believe to be immoral.

Yep. Immoral.

An interesting side announcement came from Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn.  She was appointed to sit on the CAS advisory board with other “consumer rights” advocates. It looks like a reluctant assignment, however, with Sohn noting:

It was not an easy decision for me to join this Advisory Board. I did so because I saw the need to be an advocate for the rights of Internet users and to provide transparency.


Here’s some transparency for ya’. It is well known that Public Knowledge despises copyrights. Not surprisingly, its financial supporters (like Google) seem hostile to the notion, too (it inteferes with how they make money). This same feeling appears to extend to PK’s board members also. In fact, one infamous PK board member – ex-Googler, former White House official and now Tumblr VP, Andrew McLaughlin – has admitted in at least one Tweet to have “argued against” the White House / Industry 6-strike plan while he was in the administration working on the initial blueprint for the CAS.

Working against a voluntary, industry-wide solution to online property theft – I mean, gimme a break.  I guess those Google habits die hard.

Anti SOPA, anti PIPA, anti ACTA, anti DRM, anti proprietary software code, anti incumbent communications networks, anti walled gardens, anti etc., etc., etc. It seems no policy which protects property is appropriate for Sohn and crew.

Content creators don’t need the proverbial East German judge, handicapping the performance of Olympic contestants. They’re looking for working solutions that prevent bread being ripped from their mouths by virtue of rampant, unabated Internet thieves. The edge community – which Sohn represents – must realize that if voluntary efforts such as the CAS fail, legislative and / or regulatory retribution is in the offing.  It cannot be avoided.

The CAS deserves a fighting chance to succeed.  IMHO – the East German judge should stay home if she’s there only to “Tonya Harding” the competition.  No one wins – not even the laurel-adorned edge community – if that happens.

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