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ChokepointsGlobal Private Regulation on the Internet$
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Natasha Tusikov

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520291218

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291218.001.0001

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Internet Firms Become Global Regulators

Internet Firms Become Global Regulators

(p.36) 2 Internet Firms Become Global Regulators

Natasha Tusikov

University of California Press

Having set the backdrop to the private agreements, this chapter discusses how the non-binding agreements emerged from distinct historical and political circumstances. It provides a brief historical overview that traces the growing influence of multinational rights holders on the U.S. government’s intellectual property policymaking processes from the late 1970s to 2012. The chapter then examines in detail four U.S. intellectual property bills, including the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, which proposed to reshape fundamentally the online regulation of intellectual property rights infringement. In doing so, the chapter documents a significant shift in enforcement strategy from a focus on removing problematic content (e.g., advertisements for counterfeit goods) to disabling entire websites for allegedly trafficking in counterfeit goods. The chapter argues that Internet firms have become global regulators (known as macro-intermediaries) attractive to governments and corporations for policing a wide range of social problems, including counterfeit goods. The chapter concludes that government officials from the U.S., U.K., and European Commission played a central role in pressuring Internet firms to adopt the non-binding agreements. These agreements serve strategic state interests as well as the financial interests of rights holders.

Keywords:   Governmental pressure, Non-binding agreements, Macro-intermediaries, Disabling websites, Macro-intermediaries

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