Record companies, movie studios, TV stations and other companies are relentlessly fighting internet piracy. Sometimes the process is slow: to block a website, you have to get a court order, which takes some time. Little by little, however, they are managing to simplify the process and bypass the courts. The concern is that this will result in censorship.
The most recent case comes from Uruguay. The country’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining published a decree stipulating that the State has an obligation to protect copyright and intellectual work.
According to the government, the text aims to eliminate unauthorized TV transmissions, made over the internet or similar means. This practice violates the country’s literary, artistic and intellectual property laws.
With the new norm, companies can send complaints directly to the Regulatory Unit of Communication Services (Ursec).
If the body understands that this is the case, it determines that internet providers block the sites within four days. The suspension can last for 30 days, before a judicial review.
In many countries, lockdowns don’t happen that way. In the US, 55 websites were blocked for illegal World Cup broadcasts, but that took a US Attorney’s decision🇧🇷
Blocking measures without a court order raise concerns, as there may be censorship and violations of freedom of expression.
Entity fears censorship
The Internet Address Registry for Latin America and the Caribbean (Lacnic) agrees that there should be blocks to combat piracy.
However, he fears that freedom of expression will be undermined for one simple reason: lack of technical capacity to implement these measures.
“Sometimes, without technical knowledge, other rights can be affected: websites, government sites, schools and others, which are clearly not the focus of these measures”, says Oscar Robles Garay, executive director of Lacnic.
In Uruguay, this could get even more complicated in 2023. There is a discussion for the blocking of websites to be evaluated and determined in just 30 minutes, increasing the chance of wrong decisions.
Anatel intends to speed up blocking
It’s not just Uruguay that has streamlined the process for taking down piracy vendors.
In Brazil, the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) wants to administratively block IPs that provide illegal content, without requiring court authorization🇧🇷
The body’s power, however, would be limited to illegal TV boxes and decoders, devices that fall under the agency’s jurisdiction.
Blocking illegal audiovisual content accessed by apps, pirated websites and TV systems would be the responsibility of the National Film Agency (Ancine).
In July 2022, Hermano Tercius, superintendent of inspection at Anatel, said that the understandings for the agencies to have this power are advancing, and that the forecast is that the measures will come into effect in the first half of 2023.
With information: TorrentFreak🇧🇷