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Internet group claims piracy review process misuse

October 28, 2016

By Colin Mann

The Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition) – a trade grouping that supports and represents those who build the nuts and bolts of the Internet – has submitted a comment in the form of a letter for the 2016 Special 301 Out of Cycle Review of Notorious Markets (a term used in the United States to describe websites and physical markets where large-scale copyright infringement takes place).

According to the Coalition, the Special 301 Report, as well as the Notorious Markets List, were created to identify specific markets facilitating IP and copyright infringement. The letter details the i2Coalition’s opposition to the trend of using the Special 301 process to attempt to restrict technology innovation rather than identifying individual markets, as was intended by Congress.

“Certain submissions vilify specific technologies, and reflect erroneous interpretations of the formal obligations of domain name registrars,” claims i2Coalition. “These submissions suggest that Internet infrastructure providers should act as intermediaries in complicated intellectual property disputes, sidelining the role of the judiciary while minimising impacts on legitimate businesses. The i2Coalition firmly believes that the Special 301 process should not be used in this manner. Rather that it should continue its focus on those discrete markets engaged in clear cut intellectual property infringement. Our public comment on the matter reflects these opinions to the USTR,” it says.

“The role of the i2Coalition, first and foremost, is to explain the industry to legislators in matters just like this. Our role as intermediaries is one of the most important things that i2c protects and preserves,” stated Christian Dawson, i2Coalition Founder, Executive Director.

“Submissions for the past two ‘notorious markets’ reports have included broad characterisations of widely accepted, and legitimate, technologies as ‘notorious’.  In our submission, we reject this approach, and encourage the US. Trade Representative to continue to focus the process on specific, individual markets,” advised David Snead, i2Coalition Founder, Board & Policy Chairman.

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