Six Strikes 'Independent' Overseer Lobbied for RIAA
When Transparency and Accountability are Neither
by Karl Bode | 10.22.2012 | DSLReports.com
The industry-proclaimed “independent expert” tasked with overseeing the entertainment and telecom industry’s new “six strikes” anti-piracy initiative formerly lobbied for the RIAA. The program has seen significant criticism
for assuming guilt, requiring that accused pirates pay $35 to contest their innocence, relying on often-unsound IP address evidence, while potentially driving up the costs for all
broadband users as ISPs pass on program deployment costs to consumers.
The industry has insisted that none of these things are really concerns because independent experts will be overseeing evidence collection to ensure fairness. Not too surprisingly, TorrentFreak
points out that said independent experts are not very independent:
Stroz Friedberg is indeed a technology expert, but the group was also the RIAA’s lobbying firm for half a decade. Between 2004 and 2009 Stroz Friedberg lobbied extensively in Washington on behalf of the RIAA. This consulting job earned the company more than half a million dollars ($637,000). One of the leading lobbyists on record was Executive Managing Director Beryl Howell, who lobbied U.S. Congress and Senate for copyright laws regarding digital music.
In other words, the organization who is supposed to ensure this entire process is fair lobbied for an organization with a long history of not giving the slightest damn about fairness or the consumer. Meanwhile as ISPs prepare to launch this new initiative in November
, no ISP wants to talk much about it. I’ve now asked seven different ISPs to detail what systems they’ll use (rumored to range from throttling to walled gardens) to stop pirates, and have received 7 different refusals to seriously answer these questions.
None of this sounds very transparent or accountable for a system that has repeatedly lauded itself as transparent and accountable.
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