According to a leaked version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal revealed by Wikileaks, the ability for copyright holders like big Hollywood studios will soon have the power to sue you if you’ve ever partook in internet piracy.
As it is, the extremely secretive TPP is spelling pretty bad news for the prices of drugs, the freedom of fandom expression and gives your Internet Service Providers (ISPs -that would be like TM as an example) the ability to legally spy on your internet activity.
This bit of the agreement basically would force ISPs to hand over details of illegal downloaders to the rights holders (e.g: big Hollywood studios) and be required to track persistent pirates to eventually be legally dealt with by tracking them via IP.
The worse part about this is the document wants all countries signed up to change their laws so said studios have an easier way to take said pirates to court and sue for damages. This could easily spread to people who download series and animes from the internet as well, should the companies behind the IPs decide to get up in arms.
Several similar take downs have occurred in the past to people downloading music and movies illegally but the cases are usually far and in-between.
However earlier this year the makers of the Oscar award-winning film Dallas Buyers Club took the Australian ISPs iiNet, Dodo, Internode, Amnet Broadband, Adam internet and Wideband Networks to court seeking the names and addresses of around 4700 Australians who allegedly infringed copyright by sharing the film online and won.
How much you would be liable depends on the nature of the infringement with a “pre-established damages” framework to be put in place; meaning that they can nab you for having pirated things in the past for the sake of deterring future infringements. Brr.
The TPP so far hasn’t yet to be signed by the US, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei but since the document is apparently one of the final versions of the document on Intellectual Property Rights, this could very well be what we should be very afraid of.
As for the rest of us, we’re not sure how this could pan out, considering a lot of the content being consumed tends to be stuff we can’t normally get a hold of on local TV (like the latest Summer animes for example) and streaming is at an all time high in terms of popularity due to it being a grey area that doesn’t require you to download anything.
A lot of this still depends on how much the companies involved would want to pursue those “damages” but don’t get too hopeful till we see where the TPP goes with this.