ISPs and Copyright Holders Set Up ‘Pirate Review Board’

ISPs and the entertainment industries are in negotiations to set up a so-called 'pirate review board' in Denmark. The body will oversee and mediate in cases of copyright infringement by alleged online pirates and try to stop large organizations ending up in court, such as in The Pirate Bay and AllofMP3 domain blocking cases.

As the online copyright debate heats up, various countries across Europe are trying to find solutions and alternatives to the suggested blocking of websites such as The Pirate Bay and the problematic suggestion that alleged file-sharers should be disconnected from the Internet in a 3 Strikes-style regime.

In Denmark, negotiations between copyright holders and ISPs are underway, with ITEK (the Danish information technology, telecommunications, electronics and enterprise federation) acting as intermediary in the setting up of a ‘Pirate Board’, designed to settle disputes without the need for lengthy court battles. According to Computerworld, examples of the type of extended litigation they would like to avoid in future are the domain-blocking cases against AllofMP3 and The Pirate Bay.

On the rights holders side are companies such as Sony and EMI, with ISPs TDC, Telenor and Telia on the other. ITEK spokesman John Kristensen confirmed that that talks are underway. “I can confirm that we are working on a joint industry initiatives. But I can’t be precise on the details yet,” he said.

Although negotiations are reported as “intense” there are areas where the two sides remain far apart, mirroring the situation in other countries in Europe where these type of discussions ended without agreement. At the moment the summer is being eyed for a conclusion, but that seems very optimistic since at the moment, Denmark’s ISPs seem determined not to become Internet policeman on behalf of the copyright holders.

Other proposals involving the ‘Pirate Board’ surround the hot issue of a 3 Strikes-style regime for file-sharers, but with a twist. Rather than rights holders sending warnings to alleged file-sharers via ISPs, instead these would be issued by the Pirate Board. If the recipients of these warnings then fail to respond, they wouldn’t be disconnected from the Internet but instead find themselves in a traditional court case.

Which is the exact place this Pirate Board aims to prevent everyone ending up. Stay tuned….

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