NBCU Vice President Richard Cotton today called for Internet Service Providers to be allowed to filter their content for copyright violations, and compared copyright filtering to filtering for computer viruses.
The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:
“It is unfortunate that Rick Cotton continues to push the completely unconstitutional and anti-consumer policy goal of having Internet Service Providers filter the bits of every user in the industry’s quest to find illegal content. The current law provides that if illegal content is found, the ISP can take it down. We don’t need to violate the privacy and free speech rights of every Internet user to satisfy the demands of Big Media. There is no technology that exists, and one is not likely to exist, that can determine which uses of copyrighted material are fair use, and which are not, so the filtering would be useless.
“It is simply ridiculous on any number of levels to compare filtering for copyright to viruses. ISPs are technically able to tell what is a harmful virus and what is not, unlike the situation for copyright content, which may be used legally. Viruses are a danger to the ISPs network, and it is in their best interest to protect against them.”
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