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MPAA See User Privacy As 'Barrier' To Copyright Enforcement

Posted by: , 21:01 AEDT, Tue November 10, 2015

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The MPAA is worried that strengthened privacy rules in the EU will make it more difficult to sue copyright infringers there
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The MPAA has pointed to strengthening privacy laws in Europe as a key barrier to their anti-piracy efforts.

In their annual submission to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) detailing trade barriers that affect the core business of the movie industry, the MPAA has singled out changes to EU privacy laws as a major headache for their copyright enforcement actions.

In particular, the MPAA is displeased at how IP addresses are now considered private data by most EU states, which makes it difficult for the MPAA and their agents to force ISPs to give up subscriber information for alleged copyright infringers.

"Telecommunications operators and ISPs constantly invoke data protection rules to avoid any meaningful cooperation with the content sector," the MPAA writes.

"Such restrictive interpretations preclude meaningful cooperation with Internet intermediaries, such as telecommunications operators and ISPs, in particular cooperation to combat IP (Intellectual Property) theft."

The MPAA is also annoyed with the EU Court of Justice's decision to make data retention no longer mandatory, as Hollywood's copyright lobby believes data retention is "a very valuable tool for law enforcement". Without data retention laws, Internet companies can delete user logs for privacy reasons, thus making it more difficult for the MPAA to find the identities of infringers.

But as torrent news website TorrentFreak notes, the US currently doesn't have any mandatory data retention laws, so it is unknown why the MPAA believes the USTR is well placed to affect any change in the EU on this issue.


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