MPAA: Misapplication of GDPR Abets Copyright Violation

Says FTC needs need reasonable and timely access to domain name owner data
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WASHINGTON — Movie studios say that misapplication of the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is making it harder to identify and stop online video and film pirates, as well as to protect consumers, public safety and cybersecurity.

FTC building

FTC building in Washington, D.C. 

That came in a filing with the Federal Trade Commission in advance of an agency hearing on consumer privacy.

The EU adopted the GDPR online privacy framework in May 2018, a framework some Democratic members of Congress have pressed the U.S. to adopt.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) said it was now harder to get WHOIS information (contact data for domain name holders). The information is public, but is not subject to GDPR.

MPAA says laws typically still allow access to that info, but that "misapplication" of GDPR means some domain providers have restricted access to the information, even where GDPR does not apply.

That makes it harder for the FTC to investigate and combat illegal online conduct and reduce the need for anticipatory regulation.

If the FTC can't get the into, MPAA says Congress should step in to pass legislation securing that access, and the FTC should support that effort. 

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