Acta, Robocop and copyright: when imagination goes beyond reality

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Immagine

We had almost forgotten about ACTA, however the copyright industry has succeeded in the (non-easy) job to rewarm this debate and shake new discussions. Apparently, some copyright holders (MGM) requested Youtube to remove an hilarious video, based on the Robocop movie, making fun of the ACTA agreement. The video was published for the first time in 2010, became very popular for some days, then vanished, as most things in the Internet. By contrast, the Treaty spotted by the video, i.e. ACTA – the (initially secret) international agreement on counterfeiting – became a serious affair because it was reported to materially infringe human rights and digital freedoms. After long debates and controversies, even within the European Commission, the Treaty was abandoned, especially because of the rejection by the European Parliament in July 2012.

Now, the current decision of the rights holders to pretend the removal the this video is surprising and suggests that some initiatives of the copyright industry are brought by machines rather than by humans. Paradoxically, this is exactly what the parody of the movie pretended to demonstrate. In the truth, it is not clear whether the removal has been explicitly requested by the copyright holders or it is a result of the application of the ID Content filtering software, a technology permitting Youtube to automatically identify and remove content protected by IP. In both thew case, the analysis is alarming. Fact is, one could question whether the removed video was really infringing the the IP rights of MGM, since ist was clearly a parody, an instrument to express a political view, without economic scope. Once again, the borders between IPR enforcement in the web and censorship are blurring. 

Here the link to the hilarious video which is still available on the website of La Quadrature du Net. Now, for a matter of mechanical coherency the legal department machines of MGM  should bring an action against La Quadrature in order to obtain the final removal of the video. However, there is still possibility that the few humans left in the copyright industry may think about, send to the machines the signal laissez tomber, and desist. Who knows.

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