Politico | 13 July 2016
Internet groups push for safe harbors in TiSA
Digital associations from across the Americas, Europe, Australia and New Zealand are pushing for negotiators of the Trade in Services Agreement to include safe harbor protections, which would prevent intermediary companies from being held liable for third-party content. The groups said the move, though already recognized by most if not all TISA countries already, should be memorialized in the agreement and would set an “innovation framework” for digital trade.
“These safe harbors are key to enabling digital trade,” read the statement, distributed by the U.S.-based Internet Association and signed by groups including the Australian Information Industry Association and Asociaciόn Latinoamericana de Internet. “If a platform with millions of users faced the risk of being hauled into court each time a user said something that was remotely questionable, then it is very unlikely such services would ever launch in the first place — harming not just innovation within a country but also the ability of small businesses to use these services to export to global customers.”
The announcement comes ahead of a digital trade hearing today in the House Ways and Means Trade Subcommittee that will focus on how “high-standard and ambitious digital trade provisions” in agreements can open markets to U.S. exports. Such standards could also benefit businesses that rely on digital trade to boost sales of goods and services, the committee said in a statement announcing the hearing.