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Government addresses anti-internet piracy protests

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 26.02.2013 10:52
The government is reviewing a prospective amendment to laws concerning the legal responsibilities of internet search engines, after protests from over 470 Polish artists.

Minister of Administration and Digitisation Michal Boni: photo - PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Poland's Minister of Administration and Digitisation Michal Boni had proposed a liberalisation of current laws by seeking to abolish the responsibility of search engines for providing links to sites that break copyright laws.

The minister's proposal concerns instances when a link to an illegal site comes up automatically in a search engine.

However, search engines would still be liable in instances where they themselves have directly influenced the high ranking of an illegal site.

Nevertheless, over 470 prominent Polish artists have signed a letter to Prime Minister Donald Tusk, arguing that the proposed amendment goes too far, and would make Poland “a paradise for internet piracy sites around the world,” as cited by the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

Among the signatories of the letter are veteran film directors Andrzej Wajda, Agnieszka Holland, and Jerzy Skolimowski, as well as award-winning representatives of the younger generation, including Leszek Dawid and Borys Lankosz.

Minister of Culture Bogdan Zdrojewski has taken the side of the artists in the debate, stating that the proposed changes could increase the “availability of materials that infringe copyright.”

The Ministry of Administration and Digitisation stresses that the proposals echo the EU directive on electronic commerce.

However, the policing of the internet is an explosive issue for the government, as it discovered during mass protests following the signing of the international ACTA anti-internet piracy agreement in January 2012. (nh)

tags: boni, internet, piracy
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