To what degree should Internet services be shielded from liability for the copyright infringements of their users? With the NAFTA negotiations underway this has become a hot topic once again. Content industry groups believe that these safe harbors should be tightened, while Internet law experts and advocacy groups want to expand US-style safe harbors to Mexico and Canada.
In order to make the NAFTA trade agreement ”work better”, Bell, Canada’s largest telecommunications company, is recommending that the Government commits to stronger intellectual property enforcement. The company envisions a system where all ISPs are required to block access to pirate sites, without court intervention.
The Re:Create Coalition is offering a strong counter view to recent demands from copyright groups, urging the US to add strong copyright protections to the NAFTA negotiations. The coalition argues that if strong copyright enforcement is a central issue, fair use and safe harbor protections should be included as well, to maintain a proper balance.
The MPAA and RIAA have made their positions clear in submissions to the North American Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Both want allies Canada and Mexico to commit to tightened copyright law, including restrictions on safe harbor provisions that go beyond current US practice.