Professor Jeremy Philips of the IP Kat blog has written a short but devastating critique of the Special Rapporteur’s report (which has inspired me to dig a bit further into the report, results forthcoming). I highly commend Professor Philips critique to anyone who is serious about the report’s rather questionable DNA. My one question about Professor Philips argument is that he refers to the Special Rapporteur’s report to the UN Human Rights Council as coming from “the UN”. I really think that is an overstatement, but Professor Philips very likely knows something I don’t).
“The report makes bold statements on the protection of fundamental rights in the digital age, including in the context of cybercrime, data protection, personal privacy and the ‘digital divide’ between the developing and developed world. In those countries where online freedom of speech is restricted on political grounds, the UN’s concerns may be valid. However, on the issue of Internet disconnection for violations of IP rights, sweeping generalisations are made, without any further analysis or evidence, that this legislation is necessarily bad because it may lead to Internet users’ disconnection from the Internet. There is no acknowledgment that…violations of IP rights are against the law, and therefore that appropriate punishments are warranted…[and] under international law, rightsholders have a human right to property and a right to an effective legal remedy following infringement of the law. The UN makes recommendations without attempting to balance the competing rights of the various stakeholders (copyright owners, intermediary service providers and end users).” (My emphasis)
See also: Artist Rights are Human Rights