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Content Filtering Ineffective, Harmful According to Public Knowledge Study

A report released today by Public Knowledge points out that their recent analysis indicates that filtering Internet content as advocated by media companies will not be effective and in fact harmful to the Internet. An accompanying 60-page whitepaper contains the full report including a number of reasons — some highlighted below — why the user of copyright filters should not be allowed, encouraged or mandated on U.S. Internet Service Provider (ISP) networks.

1. Copyright filters are both underinclusive and overinclusive. A copyright filter will fail to identify all unlawful or unwanted content while harming lawful uses of content.

2. Copyright filter processing will add latency. Copyright filters will slow ISP networks, discouraging use, innovation and investment and harming users, businesses and technology policy initiatives.

3. The implementation of copyright filters will result in a technological arms race. Users will act to circumvent the filters and the architects of the filters will find themselves caught in a costly, unwinnable arms race.

4. Copyright filters do not make economic sense. The monetary costs associated with copyright filtering far outweigh any perceived benefits.

5. Copyright filters will discourage investment in the Internet economy. Copyright filters will disrupt the Internet ecosystem, severely undermining our most promising engine for economic growth.

6. Copyright filters will harm free speech. Due to technological limitations, copyright filters will harm lawful, protected forms of speech such as parody and satire.

7. Copyright filters could undermine the safe harbor provisions that shield ISPs from liability. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), ISPs are shielded from liability for their users' actions. Copyright filters could undermine these safe harbors, which have allowed the Internet to become the most important communications medium of the modern era.

8. Copyright filtering could violate the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act. Copyright filtering could constitute unlawful interception under the Electronic Communications and Privacy Act (ECPA).

By CircleID Reporter – CircleID's internal staff reporting on news tips and developing stories. Do you have information the professional Internet community should be aware of? Contact us. Visit Page

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Comments

I sincerely hope there's no move to confuse copyright filtering (as above) and content filtering By Suresh Ramasubramanian  –  Jul 22, 2009 7:03 pm PDT

As the subject says.

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