By Andrea Sánchez
On Monday the 4th of April Colombia’s Minister of Interior and Justice; German Vargas Lleras put forth a bill that if passed by congress will regulate internet service providers (ISP’s) liability for online copyright infringement made by suscribers. The bill hopes to adress the problem with copyright infringement facilitated by internet technologies.
Since amending Copyright law was part of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) agenda between Colombia and the U.S., it should come as no surprise that the bill is similar in many ways to the Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act introduced in Title II of the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act). Also France’s anti-privacy/liberty law named HADOPI or Mexicos ‘Three Strikes” approach, where controversy surrounds their adoption under domestic law. At first glance however the bill appears to implement its own features following the rules of both a take down and counter notice and domestic judicial procedure.
Concern is raised on topics such as abuse by copyright owners, ISP’s indiscriminate removal of material, supression of freedom of speech, false claims of copyright infringement, amongst others. Worryngly though, Colombia’s citizens were denied the right to study, discuss and generate public debate regarding the bill before it was put forth to Congress, although the Copyright authority had discussed the idea that there would be a space for public debate prior to the passing of the bill.
Karisma calls for those interested in striking a balance between exclusive holders rights and the public interest to study the bill’s strenghts and weakneses in upholind the later principle and ultimate goal. Hopefully Colombia’s congress will be willing to open a pace for dialogue and debate were these topics can be freely discussed and considered before the bill is passed.