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Motion 3: Team 1 takes the position that “three strikes” regulation is a valid and effective way to protect copyright

The policies and regulation against the sharing of copyright protected material on the Internet are getting stricter. In the beginning there were legal and economic sanctions, such as fines. Then, Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems were built into programs and electronic devices. Nowadays, the gatekeepers and locks are starting to be put in place on the Internet itself.

“Gradual response” and “three strikes” are names attributed to policies that establish that if a person is caught sharing copyright protected material on the Internet, he or she will receive three notifications. After the third one, the person will lose access to the Internet, in addition to other applicable sanctions. This kind of regulation is already in place in France and is being discussed in Britain.

There are many polemic issues regarding the adoption and enforcement of such policies. Are they effective? What are the consequences for the privacy of Internet users? What are the future consequences for the culture of production and dissemination of content? Is this regulation aimed at protecting the authors or protecting the business models of entertainment industries? Should people be allowed to have free access to copyright protected material? Is access to the Internet a commodity, sold by service providers, or a fundamental right, and hence, could not be denied?

Join this interesting discussion about one of the hottest issues on the copyright debate!

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The second motion discussed argued that that three strikes regulation is a valid and effective way to protect copyright.

Emmanuel Edet took the position in favour of the motion. He said that every crime deserves to be punished. In the case of three strikes, the sanction is to lose access to the internet. The State cannot allow criminal behavior and support what is legally and morally wrong. Three strikes is also a way to protect authors and to foster innovation.

Marília Maciel disagreed. She said that it is important to contextualize three strikes regulation. Protection of copyright has become stricter along the years and the part of our culture we are allowed to share has become smaller. This hampers creativity and innovation. Moreover, access to Internet is a fundamental right and a precondition to exercise citizenship, so we should be against this kind of sanctions.

Comments from the floor said this is a very difficult situation. People do not want to give up on the convenience of downloading, but they don´t want to deny the rights of authors as well. There were a lot of doubts on how to protect copyright, but most people believed that three strikes and cutting Internet access is not a good approach.

In the end, the vote was against the motion.

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