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Rahm Emanuel’s brother lobbies for ‘three strikes’ law against downloaders

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The brother of the White House chief of staff is engaged in a campaign to have a “three-strikes” law against illegal file-sharers passed in the United States.

Modeled on a similar law enacted recently in France, a “three strikes” law would force Internet service providers to cut off Internet access to any users accused three times of downloading or sharing copyrighted material without permission.

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Ari Emanuel, the brother of Rahm Emanuel, told the Abu Dhabi Media Summit last week that he is engaged in a lobbying effort to have such a law put on the books in the United States.

“We are in the midst of talking to the president and some attorney generals and [we are] trying to implement a three strikes and you’re out rule,” Emanuel said, as quoted at The Guardian.

Ari Emanuel is the CEO of William Morris, the US’s largest and most prominent talent agency.

Opponents of three-strikes laws say there are significant problems with the policy. For one, it would cut off Internet access to entire households, not just individuals accused of illegal file-sharing. For another, the law, as laid out in French legislation, does not require a court to rule on the denial of access — the individual need only be accused three times.

Opposition to the proposal could further be hindered by the fact the public increasingly views Internet access as a human right. In a recent poll, nearly 80 percent of people surveyed in 26 countries agreed that the Internet is a “fundamental human right.”

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The US is among ten countries, plus the EU, currently negotiating the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, a broad international proposal that would bring copyright laws across many developed nations into sync with each other.

According to documents obtained by privacy and security expert Michael Geist, a “three strikes” law has been included in drafts of the proposed treaty.

But, months before any decisions on ACTA are expected to be made public, some governments have already rebelled against the three-strikes idea. Last week, by a vote of 663 to 13, the European Parliament condemned the secretive ACTA negotiations and forbade member countries from passing “three strikes” laws.

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But, as Nate Anderson at Ars Technica points out, the Obama administration appears to be taking a different view. In a speech at the US Export-Import Bank last week, President Obama pointed to ACTA as a cornerstone of the White House’s intellectual property strategy.

“We’re going to aggressively protect our intellectual property,” Obama said. “That’s why [the Office of the US Trade Representative] is using the full arsenal of tools available to crack down on practices that blatantly harm our businesses, and that includes negotiating proper protections and enforcing our existing agreements, and moving forward on new agreements, including the proposed Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.”

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WATCH: Trump whines to Turkish president he only takes questions from ‘friendly reporters’

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In a press conference Wednesday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, President Donald Trump openly reminded that he only takes questions from people on his side.

"Would you like to pick somebody?" Trump asked Erdo?an after taking a question from the far-right OANN. "A friendly person from Turkey, please. Friendly. Only friendly reporters. There aren’t too many of them around."

Trump has increasingly refused to take questions from reporters who ask him actual questions that he both knows the answer to and will make him look good.

The White House hasn't hosted a "daily press briefing" for 247 days and not at all under the new press secretary, Stephanie Grisham. She has, however, had time to appear on Fox News multiple times to speak for the White House.

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Fox legal analyst: Today was a good day for anyone who wants to shorten the Trump presidency

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As the first public hearings in the House impeachment inquiry against President Trump wrapped up this Wednesday, former assistant US attorney and Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy said that he originally expected Republicans' "best pitch" to be that the Democrats' impeachment inquiry hasn't demonstrated anything impeachable.

"Instead what they've tried to do is go at this by saying, 'Nothing bad happened, it was perfect,'" McCarthy said, adding that the latter tactic will open them up to an "itemization of a number of irregularities that happened and a lot of very admirable and articulate government witnesses getting on the witness stand to say, 'This shouldn't have happened, that shouldn't have happened, this is a departure from American interests, a departure from American norms.'"

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George Conway blows apart Republicans’ ‘illogical and incoherent’ defense’ of Trump

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Republican Washington lawyer George Conway found the GOP's attempts to defend President Donald Trump to be "illogical and incoherent."

The spouse of Kellyanne Conway, senior counselor to the president, explained that the witnesses were clearly non-partisan professionals only willing to talk about the facts.

"And the facts are quite damning. And the defenses that were put up by the Republicans were fundamentally illogical and incoherent," Conway told MSNBC. "I mean, one defense was, 'Hey, they actually got the money. The Ukrainians got the money and Zelensky didn’t make a statement. But the fact of the matter is, it was the ask that was illegal."

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