How to Protect Users’ Personal Data and Enforce Copyright on the Internet – Is There an Alternative to Cyber-Surveillance?
Transparenz/Transparency – Tagungsband des 17. Internationalen Rechtsinformatik Symposions IRIS 2014
Österreichische Computer Gesellschaft, Vienna 2014, pp. 549-556, eds. E. Schweighofer, F. Kummer, W. Hötzendorfer
8 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2014 Last revised: 1 Apr 2014
For the last few years, we have been witnessing a long and unsuccessful fight of copyright holders against online copyright infringement. During this time, by establishing the so-called graduated response mechanisms, for the first time some state legislators have legalised a widespread use of surveillance measures on the Internet for private purposes. Under the graduated response system, copyright holders monitor Internet users’ activities in order to identify those who potentially infringe copyrights, in particular by uploading or downloading copyrighted content. In many cases the actions of the copyright holders are not transparent and are characterised by a lack of proportionality. This paper argues that graduated response systems do not guarantee a balance between copyright enforcement and privacy. Online surveillance should be considered a threat to Internet users’ fundamental rights to privacy and the protection of personal data. Graduated response systems, based on private monitoring, do not contribute to the development of an open transparent Internet and the information society, but may become its undoing. It is true, however, that copyright holders need legal tools that will help them protect their interests and thereby support further creation. This paper analyses instruments developed by privacy advocates and scholars, such as public interest information, aimed at dealing with online piracy and allowing effective enforcement of copyright law on the Internet. These solutions may contribute to combating massive online copyright infringement, without having a negative impact on Internet users’ right to protection of personal data and without imposing online surveillance measures. However, for some reasons, these instruments still seem to be ignored by legislators worldwide.
Keywords: data protection, privacy, copyright, graduated response, surveillance
JEL Classification: K42, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation