ISP response strategy is key to curtailing illegal sharing


During a time of great struggle in the music industry, there is a new opportunity for progress in the effort to curtail widespread illegal file trafficking. That opportunity is the cooperation of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in adopting a graduated response strategy to combat theft on their networks.

The ISPs control the channels through which digital theft occurs. They have a direct relationship with the infringers, and can create tangible disincentives for such behavior. But ISPs need a clear directive and assurances that such actions will not tie them up in legal knots.  

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There is now a window of opportunity for a federal blessing of such involvement. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is preparing regulations on the concept of “network neutrality.” 

Through this process, the FCC should spell out that ISPs can exercise reasonable management practices to address abuses on their networks.  It is important forthcoming regulations don’t prohibit development of new technologies to combat digital theft.  Final rules on net neutrality must ensure  ISPs have the flexibility to employ the best available technologies and methods to combat the distribution of copyrighted works in the future. 

The NMPA is encouraging that both FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and the Obama Administration acknowledge that an open Internet should not include a safe harbor for illegal content. 

The music community strongly urges the FCC to establish rules allowing ISPs to aggressively pursue and curtail illegal activity on their channels. Without these measures, expanded broadband penetration might actually increase the scope of digital piracy, and diminish the quality of the Internet for the vast majority of users.

David Israelite, President and CEO, National Music Publishers’ Association, Washington, D.C.
 
Genetically modified food introduces host of dangers

Sen. Richard Lugar’s (R-Ind.)  bill touting genetically modified (GM)  foods is emblematic of well-meaning leaders who have been duped by the biotech industry about safety – yet again.  The Lugar-Casey Food Security Bill states foreign aid shall be used to conduct research on genetically modified organisms (GMOs)  without offering other options. It is time that Congress holds hearings to learn what lobbyist won’t tell them about what’s in their children’s diet.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) cites horrific results of GMO animal feeding studies, including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, organ damage and gastrointestinal disorders. AAEM called for an immediate moratorium and asks physicians to prescribe non-GMO diets to all patients.

How did these high-risk products get in our food? Under the false impression that GMOs would increase U.S. exports, the Bush Administration instructed the FDA to fast-track approvals. The agency dutifully allowed GMOs onto our plates without a single required safety study or label. They justified their position claiming GM foods were not significantly different, but a 1998 lawsuit exposed this ruse. Subpoenaed FDA documents revealed the actual consensus among their scientists was that GMOs could lead to allergies, toxins, diseases and nutritional problems.

It’s time for our leaders, and the public, to know the whole story.

Jeffrey M. Smith, Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, Fairfield, Iowa



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