Response from The Professional Commons on the Second Draft of the Code of Practice for Online Service Providers (OSPs)
The Professional Commons takes notice of the Government’s second draft of the Code of Practice for Online Service Providers (OSPs). Concerning the key amendments made in this second draft, our responses are as follows:
- instead of setting a specific timeframe within which OSPs must take action to limit and stop a particular infringement, the revised draft Code requires OSPs to act as soon as practicable. Many respondents consider that a standard timeframe may not be able to accommodate the different circumstances of individual cases and the operational needs of various OSPs. A more flexible approach is therefore preferred.
We believe this amendment takes care of the concern from OSPs concerning the time limit to action, and so we welcome this amendment.
- in view of the privacy concerns raised by some respondents, we have made changes under which a subscriber may choose to request the OSP not to disclose his personal data when sending a copy of the subscriber’s counter notice to the complainant.
This was one major concern of the Internet user community that their personal data may be disclosed without their consent to copyright owners making complaints, regardless of whether the complaints are valid or not. We welcome this amendment to give the user (subscriber) the right to choose whether his/her personal data will be passed to the complainant.
- OSPs will be required to keep records of the notices of alleged infringement and counter notices received for a period of 18 months. Such records are required for law enforcement purpose.
We believe this is a reasonable requirements to OSPs.
- both the complainants and subscribers will be required to provide more information to substantiate their infringement claims and counter claims respectively. This is to facilitate the resolution of dispute in a quicker and more cost-effective manner.
In principle we believe this is reasonable and may indeed lead to quicker resolution of complaint cases, but most importantly, users (subscribers) are concerned about possible frivolous complaints, and we hope that this requirement will be implemented in such a way that will deter such complaints made by the complainants.
However, beyond these amendments, we are disappointed that the Government has not taken into account of our request for including ‘political parody’ among the exemption provided. We believe that even if the Government refuses to include such clauses in the current Bill, it must commit to a clear and definite schedule for further consultation now.
The Professional Commons (公共專業聯盟)