Former MPAA CTO speaks out against laws like SOPA

By on August 14, 2012, 6:30 PM

Former Motion Picture Association’s Chief Technology Officer Paul Brigner has offered a level-headed rundown regarding the perils of using DNS as a means of Internet enforcement. Once controversial legislation, SOPA relied upon DNS-blocking techniques to essentially take down undesirable websites -- a bill which Brigner openly supported on behalf of the MPAA last year. This time however, Brigner openly derides SOPA's core enforcement tactic, citing significant concerns of abuse.

The Internet – a network of networks – is based on an open and distributed architecture. This model should be preserved and should surpass any enforcement efforts. For the Internet Society preserving the original nature of the Internet is particularly significant, especially when enforcement is targeting domain names and the Domain Name System (DNS) in general. There are significant concerns from using the DNS as a channel for intellectual property enforcement and various contributions have been made on this issue by both the Internet Society and the technical community.

Source: techdirt.com, statement written by Paul Brigner

Brigner's recent message to legislators may be in ironic juxtaposition to his past testimony regarding SOPA; however, the former MPAA CTO has ostensibly turned a new leaf. As TechDirt also points out, after defending SOPA, he later admitted the bill was unhealthy for the Internet.

After parting ways with the MPAA, Brigner went on to work for the Internet Society -- an organization who manages the .org top-level domain. The non-profit also aims to foster openness on the web. Unsurprisingly, the ISOC was fervently against SOPA. Brigner's latest words in this statement seem to mirror those values.

Also discussed in the filing is the need for due process, a detail which SOPA managed to omit. One of the bill's core issues was the allowance of private actors to take action without ever actually being required to navigate the justice system.

Our second recommendation relates to the legal tools that should be in place in any enforcement design. ISOC would like to stress the absolute need for any enforcement provisions to be prescribed according to the rule of law and due process.

Although the ISOC strongly opposes leveraging DNS as a means to dispense justice, Brigner writes that intellectual property rights are important. He suggests there does need to be a method of enforcement at play, but with certain limitations.

We believe that combating online infringement of intellectual property is a significant objective. However, it is equally important that this objective is achieved through lawful and legal paths and in accordance with the notion of constitutional proportionality. In this regard, enforcement provisions – both within and outside the context of intellectual property – should respect the fundamental human rights and civil liberties of individuals and, subsequently, those of Internet users. They should not seek to impose unbearable constitutional constraints and should not prohibit users from exercising their constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of association and freedom of expression.

The organization calls for future government initiatives to take on a more transparent and open process. The ISOC also suggests that future plans include the counsel of existing Internet governmental bodies such as the IETF, W3C and ICANN.




User Comments: 14

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Guest said:

Wonder if there is a Hypocrite of the year award. Wow.

Tanstar said:

He says what his current bosses want him to say, big deal. The only reason his opinion is being noticed now is because he changed sides in this war. Mercenaries do that.

DanUK DanUK said:

Maybe if he felt that strongly about it he should have resigned from MPAA instead of doing a U turn..

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Maybe if he felt that strongly about it he should have resigned from MPAA instead of doing a U turn..

You mean like maybe he should have resigned from the MPAA and gone to work for the Internet Society?

I think that the Cory Doctorow article here makes him look better. To quote what Paul Brigner said:

"My views have evolved over the last year as I engaged with leading technologists on DNSSEC. Through those discussions, I came to believe that legislating technological approaches to fight copyright violations threatens the architecture of the internet."

1 person liked this | ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Hmmm, that broke my post. I guess I shouldn't have tried to embed a URL. So here: [link]

That's an article by Cory Doctorow which discusses the guy and how he switched sides, and makes him look better. To quote Paul Brigner from that article:

"My views have evolved over the last year as I engaged with leading technologists on DNSSEC. Through those discussions, I came to believe that legislating technological approaches to fight copyright violations threatens the architecture of the internet."

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

It didn't break your post, but I had the same issue just a moment ago. It appears to be a problem with the smilies. Upon refreshing, you will see that your post is there as you intended.

FYI for Techspot devs.

Guest said:

probably another case of not getting paid enough so time to bail out of the otherside.

andy06shake said:

In a nut shell, they will never stop piracy, most ISPs here in the UK have banned TPB, now I have to click 3 times instead of 1 to access TPB. LoL LoL LoL! They have slipped, they have fallen and they cant get up. Leave the Internet alone NWO scum, you see its ours, your not getting it, so **** of and die in your DUMBs!

Tygerstrike said:

@Andy

More to the point its not "yours" its theirs. The Internet is a system of interlaced servers. Unless you own a server that directly supports the function of the Internet, then you are just a user. Much like your TV set.

You may not agree with what is being done to websites, but you do have to deal with it. If you feel that strongly about the "injustices" being commited then put you money where your attitude is. Run for some form of office that will give you a vote or say in what is done on the Internet. Atleast in your country. Your Lawmakers have deemed that TPB is not wanted. Use the tools that you as a citizen have. Start a PHYSICAL petition. Protest your views. Write letters and have the ppl you petition write letters to the Lawmakers.

Otherwise, you simply sound like a young person dissatisfied.

Remember youre not the only person who dissagreed with their govt. Back in the 70's and 80's it was all about music censorship. Many youth stated the same thing you did in your post. It takes hard work and persiverance to effect change. Not attitude on a website....

andy06shake said:

"The Internet is a system of interlaced servers"

Im aware of the how and why the internet in its current form originated

"You may not agree with what is being done to websites, but you do have to deal with it"

And deal with it we have and always will, we will win, they will lose simply because there are more of us than "Them" thats there greatest fear. Thats why they need to control the net. So "They" can control how we eat, sleep and shit, how we think essentially.

"If you feel that strongly about the "injustices" being commited then put you money where your attitude is. Run for some form of office that will give you a vote or say in what is done on the Internet."

No thanks politics is just not for me, im to honest for that game im afraid. Mass genocide and totalitarian control constructs just aint in my tool box.

"Your Lawmakers have deemed that TPB is not wanted. Use the tools that you as a citizen have. Start a PHYSICAL petition. Protest your views. Write letters and have the ppl you petition write letters to the Lawmakers."

**** there laws(excuse my french), I deem the " Lawmakers " unwanted, and will go out of my way to break as many of there nonsensical laws as I possibly can every day for as long as I draw breath!

"Otherwise, you simply sound like a young person dissatisfied."

Thank you very much I will take that for a complement since im in my early 30s

"Remember youre not the only person who dissagreed with their govt. Back in the 70's and 80's it was all about music censorship. Many youth stated the same thing you did in your post."

If I had the internet in the 80s I would have said my peace back then, guess now is the time eh?

"It takes hard work and persiverance to effect change"

Fair point but we have tried the carrot, now its time for the stick.

3 simple rule's to follow, Take what you do not have, but have what you cannot take, never hurt anyone weeker than yourself. Life is simple that way. Just my opinion!

Tygerstrike said:

Sounds more like you just want to be a non conformist then do any of the real work to secure the internet. So that being said, have fun. You reap what you sow.

andy06shake said:

So whats you claim to fame, what are you doing to secure the internet for the masses? Sounds like you have become a conformist. You are correct in the assumption, you do reap what you sow, and "They" have reaped and sowed so much crap all over not just the net but planet Earth also. Just because I have no interest in politics does not mean I have no interest in revolution! That being said, have a nice day Tygerstrike.

TJGeezer said:

Gotta say my instincts take me in the same direction as andy06shake, though simple defiance won't change anything directly. Still, advice to work within a corrupt system to fix that system always make me suspect a *nix-type recursive joke. It takes disruption to change systems when the self-interest of those on top resists it, and systems aren't set up to encourage change.

In the tech world, real change comes from disruptive technologies, which is why corporations buy politicians to set up legislated monopolies, restrict competition and attempt to keep markets free of change. That's what all the copyright and patent distortion is really about, so if a prominent member of the business world talks to technologists and changes his mind, kudos to him for being willing to listen and to rethink his position. And kudos to those like andy06shake who keep the pressure on.

andy06shake said:

"And kudos to those like andy06shake who keep the pressure on."

Kudos to you also fellow traveler! Just because they have us beaten down doesn't mean we wont fight! Better to die on our feet, than live on our knees. IMHO.

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