立即捐款

媒體

網上服務供應者(OSP) 規範守則的三方會談

廣告

廣告

數碼版權第二輪諮詢剛結束,相信大家仍然記得文件中提出串流版權作品刑事化的等荒謬建議。為了減少互聯網與版權持有人之間的矛盾,使數碼版權順利落實,政府於七月中召開一個三方會談,希望能制定出一個網上服務供應者 (Online Service Provider) 的規範守則 (Code of Practice)。

所謂的三方是:版權持有人、用戶和OSP,可是於第一次會議用戶的代表僅四人,包括消費者委員會、香港工業總會、教育與版權關注小組和港大法律系的代表。而 OSP 則只有幾個 IT 功能組別有投票權的協會(香港資訊科技聯會、互聯網專業協會和香港互聯網服務供應商協會)和雅虎亞洲。版權持有人的代表十一人,分別來自不同媒介(電影、音樂、電視、出版和攝影)。

用戶代表中,不知道誰有寫網誌的習慣,而 OSP 的代表,除了雅虎外,大概沒有其他網上內容管理者(如論壇、blog hosting等)的代表。

何謂 OSP?

一直以來,香港都有代表 ISP (Internet service providers) 的組織,就涉及互聯網的管治問題與政府談判與討論,譬如說淫審方面,ISP 與政府就達成共識,搞了一個 ISP 守則,當供應商收到影視處通知後,把淫褻物品拿下或過濾掉,以免惹官非。至於 OSP 則包括所有透過互聯網提供用戶服務的供應者,包括電郵、blog hosting、論壇、社會網工具等。而當互聯網內容管理系統越來越普及,任何個人都能變成 OSP。但這次有關 OSP 的守則討論,卻明顯缺乏相關代表。

四種模式

會議提出四種模式,包括通知制 Notice and Notice、通知移除制 Notice and Take Down、三次警告制 Three Strikes System 和過濾系統 Filtering technology。所有制度,均無法阻止點對點的侵權,對 OSP(尤其是小媒體)會帶來大量行政工作。

通知制

OSP 收到侵犯版權的通知後,通知其用戶,他們要保存用戶紀錄,但不必把用戶資料交給版權持有人。加拿大現正使用這個方法。

通知移除制

容許版權持有人向 OSP 發出移除通知,OSP 先移除物件並通知該用戶,若該用戶認為不合理,可以發出反對通知書,OSP 要把物件放回,除非版權持有人向法庭取得禁制令。若 OSP 律守這個程序,便不用承擔法律責任。但這制度給予版權持有人過大的權力,亦會導致濫用,打擊言論自由。美國目前採用這制度。

三次警告制

成立新的行政單位,當中包含一個委員會,向侵權的互聯網使用者發出警告,若收到三次警告後仍然有侵犯版權的情況,委員會透過網絡供應商暫停該使用者的上網服務(有點像停牌的制度)。但這制度當然會增加政府行政開支。法國採用了這個制度。

過濾技術

所謂的過濾技術,包括封鎖URL、IP 地址、接口 (port) 與協定,又或內容過濾。內容過濾是透過技術,掃描網上的活動,以認出傳送的檔案和其出處。但這技術是一種監控,侵犯言論自由和私穩。

版權持有人大晒?

由於香港的版權爭議主要是民事,這個三方會談,主要的目的是協助版權持有人監察網上侵權行為。然而,正如三方會談的文件指出,目前已有既有的程序 (Norwich Pharmacal)向法庭要求 OSP 提供涉嫌侵權者的 IP 資料,為什麼要以行政的手段,要求全港 OSP 承擔行政工作/開支,去處理通知和保留所有用戶上網的記錄,並交予版權持有人?

對於牟利的公司,也許還能承擔通知制下的行政工作,但對於一些個人或小團體經營的 OSP,根本沒有可能去處理這些通知的用戶出入記錄。然而,現在三方的會談裡,並沒有個人/非牟利團體經營的 OSP 代表。

此外,不論通知制或通知移除制,都意味著全港的 OSP 均要向某一個行政機構登記,以便收取通知,這種登記制,不單增加行政部門的工作/責任,亦使人聯想到國內以登記網站為名,控制言論為實的互聯網監控手段。事實上,一旦版權監控採取了通知/通知移除制,這制度很快就會延伸至淫審方面,而全世界都知道,香港的淫審投訴機制的荒謬程度!

OSP 要組織起來

目前香港只有 ISP 和互聯網專業的組織,而沒有代表大小 OSP 的組織,所以政府大條道理,不用請論壇、市民媒體和 blog hosting 網站代表參與,但香港大部份的網站,都是小型或個人的 blog 和 CMS。最過份的是,政府把三方會議的文件列為 restricted,不能對外發放,使網民對這些影響他們日後言論自由的討論一無所知。我想,是時候搞一個香港 OSP 的網絡組織了。

﹣﹣﹣﹣﹣﹣﹣﹣﹣
7月16日的會議記錄,另外八月和九月均有會議,但找不到相關的會議記錄,大家可以問下有開會的業界代表。另外,附加檔案是四個建議的詳細內容(pdf)

RESTRICTED

Full Minutes of the First Tripartite Forum Meeting

Date : 16 July 2008
Time : 3:00 p.m.
Venue : Room 2901, 29/F, One Pacific Place
Attendance : Annexed

The Convenor welcomed all members to the first meeting of the Tripartite Forum (the Forum). The initiative relating to the drawing up of a voluntary Code of Practice for online service providers (“OSPs”) signified the Government’s continual commitment to combating internet piracy. He also stressed the importance of partnership between copyright owners and OSPs in order to make the initiative a success.

Agenda item 1 – Objectives and administration of the Tripartite Forum (TF Paper 1/2008)

2. The Convenor took members through the proposed modus operandi of the Forum. The Forum would meet once every six to eight weeks. To expedite exchanges among members, a secured online discussion platform would be established. Moreover, the secretariat would make available summaries of discussions at the Forum from time to time for public perusal.

3. As regards the work plan of the Tripartite Forum, the Convenor said that the target was for the Forum to come up with its initial proposals in about 9 to 12 months’ time, in order to tie in with the legislative timetable of the wider exercise on strengthening copyright protection in the digital environment. In particular, it was hoped that the Forum could agree on a short-list of cooperative items and the shape of the Code of Practice by December 2008 or January 2009 for reporting back to the Legislative Council. The meeting agreed that the work of the Forum should go in tandem with the wider exercise to achieve maximum synergy.

4. Mr York Mok enquired about the Government’s plan in case the mainstream view from the wider consultation exercise was for the legislative route instead of the voluntary code of practice. The Convenor replied that, having regard to the views received so far, the Government was satisfied that its proposal to try out voluntary measures first had a good measure of support from the stakeholders and members of the public.

5. Mr Sam Ho commented that there should be a mechanism for ensuring that the voluntary code would not only be applicable to those OSPs participating in the discussion but all the OSPs. Mr Simon Li said that the Forum would need to have a full representation of all affected stakeholders to achieve such an objective. In response, Mr Peter Cheung explained that the Code of Practice would set an industry-wide standard for OSPs in combating internet infringements. Drawing reference to the Road Users’ Code in the road safety context, he said that the Government’s proposal was to give legal effect to the Code of Practice by prescribing it as a factor for the court to consider whether the OSP concerned has authorised the infringing act in question. In other words, all OSPs would be subject to the standards laid down in the Code of Practice, irrespective of whether they were members of, or represented in, the Forum.

6. Mr Ringo Lam enquired whether the Government would legislate in case the Forum could not agree on the details of the Code of Practice. The Convenor responded that the Government did not prefer legislation at this stage because voluntary measures were more flexible and effective. The Secretary supplemented that the Government would consider the need for legislative backup to the voluntary Code of Practice when the group had a better idea on the shape of the Code.

Agenda item 2 – Parties to the Code of Practice – definition of online service providers (TF Paper 2/2008)

7. The Secretary informed members that the working definition was drawn up having regard to similar definitions used in overseas jurisdictions (e.g. the UK). She noted that the definition might evolve further as the discussion progressed, and invited members to offer comments on the definition.

8. Mr. Antony Ma enquired about the role of the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) in the drafting and enforcement of the Code of Practice. The Secretary noted that “OSPs” cover a wide range of online operators including but not limited to Internet Access Service Providers which were subject to the licensing regime of OFTA.

9. Dr Victor Hung suggested that the definition of “online service” could be confined to those provided in the course of business to avoid casting the net too wide. Mr York Mok was also concerned that the definition might effectively catch all people engaged in online activities. In response, the Secretary clarified that the Code of Practice would not be applicable to mere internet users who did not provide any online service. Mr Ricky Fung concurred that, for instance, P2P users should not be regarded as OSPs notwithstanding that they might be contributing to the file-sharing process. He added that the term “OSPs” should be defined with reference to the nature of the activities/services undertaken by them rather than their status. He quoted the example of France to illustrate the need to tackle online services provided by “causal users” which were not necessarily in the course of any business. The Convenor concluded that the Forum could proceed on the basis of the existing working definition for the time being.

10. Mr Ringo Lam suggested keeping the major online discussion forums, content providers and internet access service providers informed of the discussions since they would be directly affected by the Code of Practice.

Agenda item 3 – Online Service Providers’ role in combating online infringements – overview of experience and practices in overseas jurisdictions (TF Paper 3/2008)

11. The Secretary summarised the role of OSPs and major measures adopted in some overseas jurisdictions. Specifically, the “Notice and Notice” system was recently re-introduced in Canada, while on the other hand quite a number of countries adopted the “Notice and Takedown system”. Moreover, the latest trend was for the OSPs to cooperate with copyright owners to try out new measures in combating internet piracy, such as the “three strikes and you are out” system and filtering technologies.

12. In response to a question about whether the measures were applicable to all OSPs or only Internet Access Service Providers, the Convenor noted that different types of OSPs would probably have to subscribe to different cooperative item(s) that were deemed most appropriate in the circumstances.

13. Mr Patrick Chu observed that some of the OSPs, such as Yahoo!, Google, Ebay and Nokia, preferred a legal “safe haven” regime which might provide greater certainty to the OSPs. The Secretary noted that while the preliminary proposal was to try out a voluntary Code of Practice first, the Government was willing to listen to the views of the OSPs before ironing out the way forward. She encouraged other representatives of the internet industry to share their views in this regard.

14. Since no other cooperative item was proposed by members and subject to there being no further suggestions from members prior to the next meeting, the Convenor said that the research resources would be devoted for the time being to the four possible cooperative items listed in paragraph 23 of the TF Paper 3/2008.

Agenda item 4 – Any Other Business

15. Mr Patrick Chu enquired about the mechanism under which decisions were made at the Forum (e.g. simple majority or two-third majority etc). The Convenor reiterated that the Forum was a platform for consensus building, and considered the matter could be dealt with at a later stage in that light.

16. There being no other business, the meeting ended at 4:30 p.m.

Secretariat to the Tripartite Forum
Commerce and Economic Development Bureau
July 2008
Annex

Attendance on 16 July 2008

Commerce and Economic Development Bureau:Mr Christopher WONG(Convenor), Ms Bonnie YAU (Secretary), Mr Bill LI

Intellectual Property Department: Mr Peter CHEUNG, Ms Finnie QUEK, Ms Maria NG

Office of the Government Chief Information Officer: Mr TS YU

Right-holders

Ms Judy CHENG: Hong Kong Copyright Licensing Association

Mr Kenny CHEUNG: Business Software Alliance

Ms Sarah DOYLE: Entertainment Software Association

Mr Ricky FUNG: International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (Hong Kong Group) Limited

Mr Sam HO: International Federation Against Copyright Theft – Greater China Hong Kong Film & Video Security Limited

Mr Francis LEE: Hong Kong Publishing Federation

Mr Simon LI : Hong Kong and International Publishers’ Alliance

Mr John MEDEIROS: Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia

Mr Tony SHU: Movie Producers and Distributors Association of Hong Kong Limited

Mr Woody TSUNG: Hong Kong Kowloon and New Territories Motion Picture Industry Association Ltd.

Ms Dillys YU: Hong Kong Reprographic Rights Licensing Society

Users

Dr Victor HUNG: Consumer Council

Prof. Alice LEE: The University of Hong Kong

Mr H L NG: Concern Group of the Education Sector on Copyright Law

Ms Alexandra POON: Federation of Hong Kong Industries

Online Service Providers

Ms Doreen CHAN: Hong Kong Information Technology Federation

Mr Patrick CHU: Yahoo! Asia Holdings Ltd

Mr Ringo LAM: Internet Professional Association

Mr Antony MA: Professional Information Security Association

Mr York MOK : Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association

Observers

Ms Amy GOH: Motion Pictures Association – International

Mr Howard LAU: Professional Information Security Association

Mr Frank WAN: International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (Hong Kong Group) Limited

廣告