This summer, millions of people protested the FCC’s plan to repeal the net neutrality rules that were put in place by the former Obama administration.
Well over 22 million comments are listed on the FCC site already and among those we spotted a response from the main movie industry lobby group, the MPAA.
Acting on behalf of six major Hollywood studios, the MPAA is not getting involved in the repeal debate. It instead highlights that, if the FCC maintains any type of network neutrality rules, these shouldn’t get in the way of its anti-piracy efforts.
The Hollywood group stresses that despite an increase in legal services, online piracy remains a problem. Through various anti-piracy measures, rightsholders are working hard to combat this threat, which is their right by law.
“Copyright owners and content providers have a right under the Copyright and Communications acts to combat theft of their content, and the law encourages internet intermediaries to collaborate with content creators to do so,” the MPAA writes.
Now that the net neutrality rules are facing a possible revision or repeal, the MPAA wants to make it very clear that any future regulation should not get in the way of these anti-piracy efforts.
“The MPAA therefore asks that any network neutrality rules the FCC maintains or adopts make explicit that such rules do not limit the ability of copyright owners and their licensees to combat copyright infringement,” the group writes to the FCC.
This means that measures such as website blocking, which could be considered to violate net neutrality as it discriminates against specific traffic, should be allowed. The same is true for other filtering and blocking efforts.
The MPAA’s position doesn’t come as a surprise and given the FCC’s actions in the past, Hollywood has little to worry about. The current net neutrality rules, which were put in place by the Obama administration, specifically exclude pirate traffic.
“Nothing in this part prohibits reasonable efforts by a provider of broadband Internet access service to address copyright infringement or other unlawful activity,” the current net neutrality order reads.
“We reiterate that our rules do not alter the copyright laws and are not intended to prohibit or discourage voluntary practices undertaken to address or mitigate the occurrence of copyright infringement,” the FCC previously clarified.
Still, the MPAA is better safe than sorry.
This is not the first time that the MPAA has got involved in net neutrality debates. Behind the scenes the group has been lobbying US lawmakers on this issue for several years, previously arguing for similar net neutrality exceptions in Brazil and India.
The MPAA’s full comments can be found here (pdf).