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ACTA and Internet Counterfeiting - Essay Example

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As a medium of e-commerce, communication and other activities that necessitate transmission of data over long distances, the internet is remarkably effective. Its usefulness in the modern-day world has been made possible by the technological developments…
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ACTA and Internet Counterfeiting
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ACTA and Internet Counterfeiting

Download file to see previous pages... As an e-commerce medium, it is used as a payment medium through PayPal, VISA and other online payment systems. Moreover, it is the medium through which softcopy products like eBooks, software, online courses and other products are delivered. Since most of these activities involve transmission of sensitive information about people and more so customers, the information passing through the internet is encrypted such that the information encoded by the server can only be decoded by the client’s terminal and vice versa (Illing and Peitz, 2006: 102). This means that information being transmitted over encrypted networks cannot be accessed by third parties. This security property of the internet is priceless since it helps to sustain the faith that suppliers and consumers have on the internet; however, it also poses one of the major challenges in regulation of content being transmitted over the internet. It enables the internet to be used for transmission of information, a large portion of which is unauthorised for electronic transmission (Biagi, 2011). Such information includes transmission of age-inappropriate content, rumours and propaganda that may undermine peace and stability, and copyrighted material. Censorship for inappropriate content can be easily implemented at a country or state level; however, transmission of copyrighted material like music, eBooks and software is hard to control since sharing networks entails use of multiple servers located all over the globe (Hertwig and Maus, 2010: 60). This necessitates the adoption of a common regulatory system, whereby countries work together to enforce antipiracy regulations. This essay discusses the effects of internet infringement of property rights and copyrights and discusses the adoption of ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement), especially in the European Union. Technical Factors Historically duplication of copyrighted materials has always happened; however, the internet offered a channel that made the process quite easy to achieve with little skill level. Moreover, the vastness of the internet and its high rate of growth make any attempt to control its content an exercise in futility. Moreover, the technical knowledge of computer networking specialists gives them the ability to bypass any efforts by regulators, which is the main reason for proliferation of illegal websites (Woodsworth, 2010: 185). Moreover, developments in the information technology sector resulted in the proliferation of highly efficient but cheap IT equipment, which increased the number of servers, terminals and other devices beyond the scope of regulatory bodies. In order to cover the increased usage of the internet for illegal purposes, all stakeholders had to be incorporated in the process, which was the main motive of the implementers of ACTA. The other factor that leads to a high proliferation of computer piracy of software and other copyrighted materials is the capacity of network connections to work in both directions, such that information flows to or from a terminal in the same way it does to a server. This allows network terminals like workstations, personal computers and other devices to be used as sources of data, especially as used in peer-to-peer protocols like BitTorrent (Hunnewell and Garlick, 2007). These networks allow users to share data in their computers with other users without the need for a server; which makes it almost impossible to detect the circulation of copyrighted material since pieces of the software or other content are usually spread throughout the terminals in the networks. In this case, remarkably ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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