The following entry is authored by our Summer Legal Intern, Joan Blazich, a rising 3L at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Joan has a PhD in music and previously was a member of the North Carolina Symphony.
Last week, we posted a brief summary of the TPP, and began debunking the more common myths or misconceptions about the trade agreement. In this post, we address the myth that the TPP will "kick you off the internet."
TPP Myth: The TPP will kick you off of the internet.
The TPP will not kick you off the internet. What the TPP could do is shut down the website with which you use to commit infringement.
As discussed above, the TPP closely mirrors both prior U.S. trade agreements and Chapter 5 of the U.S. Copyright Act with regards to remedies for infringement. These remedies include the ability to order an injunction against an internet-based entity that is engaging in infringing activity. Should that activity be run by a single individual, then yes, the TPP could in essence remove that person’s website from the internet. One recent example that demonstrates how the TPP would affect an infringing website can be seen via the EU’s injunctions against Pirate Bay, where the infringing website, rather than the users of that website, were banned from the internet.
With regards to kicking an individual off of the internet, there is nothing in the TPP that even implies the possibility of a person being banned from internet access through a “three strikes” rule or any other mechanism for that matter. Again, as discussed previously, the TPP is unlikely to cause any noticeable changes to current U.S. copyright law. Given that U.S. copyright law and various international treaties involving IP provisions have yet to ban individuals from the internet for engaging in allegedly infringing activity it is highly doubtful the TPP will result in the average consumer being banned from the internet. Instead, expect the TPP to become yet another tool used in fighting back against websites that facilitate infringement.
Read our brief introduction to the TPP here.
Read our first installment of debunking TPP myths here.