August 14, 2012
OpenMedia original article
EFF: The TPP's Temporary Copies Provision
One of the most problematic aspects of the TPP’s IP chapter TPP as leaked is its proposed language regulating temporary copies. As currently drafted, the related provision creates chilling effects not just on how we behave online, but on the basic ability for people and companies to use and create on the Web.
Article 4.1 of the leaked TPP’s IP chapter on Copyright and Related Rights addresses temporary copies. It states:
Each Party shall provide that authors, performers, and producers of phonograms have the right to authorize or prohibit all reproductions of their works, performances, and phonograms, in any manner or form, permanent or temporary (including temporary storage in electronic form).
This language reveals a profound disconnect with the reality of the modern computer. In fact, all routine computer functions rely upon the regular creation of temporary copies of programs and files. Temporary copies are files that are automatically copied by computers into their random access memory (“RAM”) during the course of routine operations. “Temporary copying” of data, for example, is fundamental to how computing works in general. However, this is especially true on the Internet: browser cache files are stored on servers to speed up the loading of websites, and copies of visited pages are stored in a temporary Internet files folder on your hard drive, speeding up the loading process for those websites the next time you visit them.
Since it’s technically necessary to download a temporary version of everything we see—whether it’s content that is copyrighted, openly licensed, or in the public domain—does that mean that anyone who ever views content on their device could potentially be found guilty of infringement? Yes, that is, if the rightsholder decides to prohibit it. In this way, it can also deeply impact the cost of accessing copyrighted materials since it creates a new intricate layer of rights.
Additionally, it also raises a concern about how this provision could affect privacy. The reason being that in order to monitor all of these temporary copies made onto people’s drives, all existing hardware and software would have to be fundamentally transformed to effectively monitor all transient copies of files. Moreover, it would require licenses for every single copyrighted file that passes through a device. Read more »
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