EU liberals join Sarkozysts in online repression

Paris, September 16th 2010 - The Gallo report on copyright enforcement -from the pro-Sarkozy MEP, Marielle Gallo- will be voted on Wednesday, September 22nd in the European Parliament. Surprisingly, the Liberal ALDE group has tabled its own alternative resolution, a bad and almost equally repressive text. Under blatant influence of the producers and publishers' lobbies, this political move from the liberals actually aims at facilitating the vote of the original Gallo report.

ALDE group logo

The Gallo report is a harsh call for more repression of online filesharing, going against all recent scientific data, against fundamental freedoms, and even against artists' interests. It calls for the creation of private copyright police of the Net, as favored by the Commission1 and the ACTA agreement2.

An alternative resolution was tabled by S&D, Greens and other Members of the European Parliament in order to be voted in place of the original, repressive text. It is a neutral text, quite consensual, which breaks with repression and instead calls for an open-ended reflection on the adaptation of intellectual property to the new technological developments.

Quite shockingly, the liberal ALDE group just tabled its own alternative resolution under the influence of its "shadow rapporteur", Toine Manders, who unfortunately backs the claims of the producers and publishers lobbies. The resolution is full of smokescreens but it welcomes, for instance, the Commission proposal for ISPs to act as a police for enforcement against users. It is quite disappointing to see that a group usually keen on defending fundamental freedoms is now siding with those who support absurd repressive schemes.

"Through this political artifice, the ALDE group is trying to capture votes that would logically go to the alternative resolution. It helps the French pro-Sarkozy rapporteur Marielle Gallo to pass her resolution and impose repressive schemes to deter online file-sharing. The initiative of the Liberals shows how influential producers and publishers' can be, since they successfully convinced a major political group to support repressive policies based on wind.", declares Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for citizen initiative La Quadrature du Net

"This badly written, inconsistent and contradictory ALDE text opens the door wide open for private copyright police of the Net3. This is a blatant contradiction to the group's previous position, notably during the vote of the Telecoms Package, when -before the elections- it stood strong to protect citizens' fundamental rights against arbitrary justice and blind enforcement. Citizens should not tolerate these maneuvers and must react by getting in touch with their elected representatives", concludes Zimmermann.

EU citizens must urgently contact ALDE Members and advise them to step aside from their group's position. All Members of the European Parliament should be advised4 to vote for the alternative resolution tabled by S&D, Greens and reject the original Gallo report as well as similarly dangerous resolutions.

Resources

  • 1. The Gallo report calls for "extra-legislative measures", it recalls the "voluntary agreements" praised by the EU Commission in its communication from Sept. 11th, 2009 which Internet service providers would be encouraged to cooperate with the rights holders for copyright enforcement: access restrictions, targeted filtering or bandwidth capping... all these measures requested by the entertainment industries could be implemented through contracts, without a judge and a fair trial.
  • 2. Article 2.18.3 of the draft leaked from the Washington DC round
  • 3. Points 1 and 18 of the ALDE resolution
  • 4. Dedicated campaign page: http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Gallo_report_plenary_vote_campaign