With the UK ‘Brexiting’ the European Union, it’ll need a new trade deal with the US. Unsurprisingly, the big American internet companies have views on what that trade deal should require from the UK in terms of copyright and safe harbour rules. And no, sticking to the spirit of the recent European Copyright Directive isn’t one of their requests.
Industry body the Internet Association, whose members include Amazon, Facebook, Google, Spotify and Twitter, has published its ‘digital trade priorities’ for a US-UK deal. “When considering policies to improve digital safety, care should be taken that measures do not undermine the intermediary liability protections that are crucial to the functioning of the internet economy,” is its starting point on safe harbour. As for copyright: “An overbroad regime of strong copyright protection and enforcement – without limitations and exceptions like the ‘fair use’ of copyrighted material – would stifle the internet economy,” it claims. “U.S.-UK FTA should require governments to adopt strong copyright safe harbors from liability for online service providers, modeled on the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act.” Having spent a lot of time and energy battling for the European Copyright Directive to be approved, UK music industry bodies will, it seems, to do it all again at home.
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