Verizon Will Also Enforce

By Matt Hines  |  Posted 2005-09-21 Print this article Print

Copyright Infringement of Disney Content"> Verizon and Disney, which is headquartered in Burbank, Calif., also agreed to cooperate around enforcement of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act to help curb infringement of Disneys copyrighted works over the Internet. Through that part of their agreement, Verizon said it will forward and track notices to any subscribers allegedly engaged in unauthorized distribution of Disney content.
The carrier said it would not turn over subscriber information to Disney, but said it would provide subscriber data pursuant to lawfully served subpoenas, or terminate Verizon Internet service, for people who have infringed Disney copyrights and received multiple notices.
"This is a significant step forward in the effort toward inter-industry cooperation in addressing the serious problem of copyright infringement over the Internet," Ivan Seidenberg, chief executive of Verizon, said in a statement. "At the same time, Verizon continues its commitment to protecting the privacy of its subscribers, and only providing information in response to subpoenas properly issued by the courts." Seidenberg also repeated his call for economic and broadcasting regulatory changes that would "encourage investment and innovation" in modern communications, on Wednesday. Speaking at an event in New York, the executive reiterated his belief that there is a need for "an end to unnecessary barriers to capital investment, starting with video franchise reform" and for federal and local tax policies that promote investment in next-generation communications networks. One of Seidenbergs primary contentions is that existing franchising laws are deterring its ability to build out the FiOS network. In the case of New York, he said that laws dating back to the earliest days of cable TV require companies to obtain a franchise in each local community before offering television service. That reality is hindering Verizons ability to create services offerings that bundle television, voice and Internet capabilities, according to Seidenberg. "We already have the network to provide voice and data," Seidenberg said. "Now we have to go through an additional process in each individual town just to provide video over the same pipe. It makes no sense." Verizon hopes to offer FiOS TV in New York early next year, and argued that it has already obtained less restrictive franchising permissions in Texas, California, Florida and Virginia, where it plans to launch the service this year. "Were making progress in getting the franchises we need. But we think this could go faster—and the benefits of video competition could come quicker—if we could reform the whole franchise process," Seidenberg said. "Were not talking about doing away with local franchise fees or local content. But we do need a broader, more streamlined solution to this issue if were going to clear the path for technology investment and innovation in video." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on mobile and wireless computing.


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