News

EU Commission Sticks to Flawed Copyright Repression

Paris, May 23rd, 2011 – Tomorrow, the EU Commission will release its “intellectual property rights strategy” [Update: See the IPR strategy on the Commission's website]. Unsurprisingly, leaks show that the Commission will call for preventing copyright infringements on the Internet “at the source”, by forcing Internet companies such as hosters and access providers to obey the entertainment industries. In practice, turning these actors into a copyright police comes down to establishing a censorship regime, paving the way for dangerous breaches of fundamental rights.

France's G8 Focuses on Control and Restrictions to Online Freedoms

Paris, May 20th, 2011 – A detailed analysis of exchanges between the French President and his former Minister of Foreign Affairs on G8 related matters appears in tomorrow's edition of the French magazine Marianne. La Quadrature du Net has had access to sources that confirm the existence of a control-oriented policy, explicitly hostile to the support to the freedom of expression on the Internet, in blatant contrast with the farcical “eG8 forum” smokescreen. Governments must be made accountable for the positions they take on these issues when they speak behind close doors.

“eG8 Forum”: A Smokescreen For Governmental Control Of The Net

Paris, May 17th, 2011 – Next week, Nicolas Sarkozy will be convening the “eG8 forum”, just two days ahead of a G8 summit that will focus on Internet policy. Disguised as a pseudo-consultative process, this staged show could mask the actual will of governments to increase state control over the Internet. Beyond the smokescreen of the “forum”, citizens must hold world leaders accountable for their actions, and denounce the numerous ongoing attempts at undermining our freedoms online.

La Quadrature du Net, along with several artist and citizen organizations, calls on everyone to participate in creative action at http://g8internet.com.

EU Parliament Adopts Open Wireless Communications Policy

Paris, May 11th, 2011 – Today, the European Parliament adopted a bill planning out EU spectrum policy for the years to come, including very important amendments in favor of an open access to airwaves. By supporting shared and unlicensed use of spectrum, the Parliament paves the way for the development of the next generations of free wireless Internet communications (“next generation WiFi”). This strong stance in favor of a communications policy promoting innovation and democracy now needs to be approved by EU Member States (via the EU Council) and the Commission.

The Spectrum Of Our Freedoms

What if Internet users were more than just users? Given the possibility of taking up the airwaves, they could become not just content providers, but also access providers. We would then be more than mere consumers, and the Internet's acentered and multipolar architecture would be preserved.

Net Neutrality: The European Commission Gives Up on Users and Innovators

Paris, April 19th, 2011 – The European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, has submitted her long-due report on Net neutrality to the EU Parliament. This extremely disappointing document rules out any immediate measures against telecoms operators who continually restrict EU citizens' access to the Internet. Hiding behind false free-market arguments, Mrs Kroes gives way to anti-competitive practices harmful to freedom of communication and innovation in the digital environment.

Filtering the Net for Copyright Runs Counter to Fundamental Rights

Paris, April 14th, 2011 - Today, the advocate general of the European Court of Justice rendered his conclusions

Net Neutrality: An Encouraging Report From the French Parliament

Paris, April 12th, 2011 - The trans-partisan parliamentary mission led by Laure de la Raudière and Corinne Erhel just released its report on Net neutrality1. This encouraging report calls for preserving the Internet's universality and protecting end-users' fundamental freedoms, and should be considered a template for other European public authorities. That said, while this document offers an important reflection on the evolution of our legal framework to protect fundamental rights and foster the digital economy, it must be followed by actions. La Quadrature du Net publishes an unofficial translation of the report's introduction.

EU Parliament Calls for Free Wireless Communications

Paris, April 12th, 2011 - The Industry Committee of the European Parliament has adopted amendments to the EU Spectrum Policy Programme allowing for a free use of airwaves for citizens, which will lead to the development of the next generations of free wireless Internet communications (“next generation WiFi”). This vote is encouraging and must be confirmed in plenary, despite the pressure that broadcasters and telecoms industries will inevitably put on the European Parliament to keep airwaves under control.

Voting For a Free and Open Wireless Internet

Next Tuesday, April 12th, the EU Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) will hold a major vote for the future of wireless communications in the European Union. By amending the radio spectrum policy programme proposed by the European Commission, Members of the Parliament have an opportunity to boost wireless Internet access. By encouraging shared and unlicensed uses of the spectrum, they can create the next generation of WiFi networks that will improve access to the Internet in urban as well as rural communities, and launch the next wave of innovation in mobile communications. But the risk is for Europe to give in to media or telecoms corporations who would like to control the airwaves – a public resource. La Quadrature calls on EU citizens and NGOs to step into this important debate on the future of our communications system, which forms the structure of our democratic societies.

European Copyright Law: Collusion for the Control of the Net

In the coming days, a college meeting of the European Commissioners will take place to decide the future of European copyright policy. This revision takes place in conditions that raise severe concerns from a democratic perspective and put fundamental rights at risk, especially when it comes to the Internet.

LQDN's Response to the IPRED Consultation

La Quadrature du Net has sent its submission to the European consultation on the "Intellectual Property Rights" Directive (IPRED). The citizen organization asks the EU Commission to renounce to increasing repression against the sharing of cultural goods over the Internet, and calls for an open-minded reflection on the future of copyright, patent and trademarck law. Lawmakers, citizens and NGOs must all engage in this crucial debate that will directly shape the future of the Internet.

EU Commission Pushing For a Censhorship Infrastructure

As the European Commission's consultation on the revision of the anti-sharing directive (IPRED) is coming to an end, let's look at a hearing that took place in January at the European Court of Justice. At issue is the injunction pronounced by a Belgian judge forcing an Internet Access Provider (IAP) to implement broad filtering mechanisms to block all unauthorized transmissions of copyrighted works. In this case, the Commission is pushing forward a pro-copyright industry approach by calling for more repression. Such increased repression is also promoted through the upcoming revision of IPRED. It has to be stopped.

Citizens, NGOs: Oppose EU Commission's Plans Against our Freedoms Online!

The European Commission has begun a process to modify its copyright, patent and trademark enforcement laws with the revision of the IPRED “anti-sharing” directive. By stepping up enforcement in the spirit of the ACTA agreement, the Commission wants to turn Internet companies into a copyright police. This would have disastrous consequences on online free speech, the right to privacy and the right to a fair trial. Every EU citizen and NGO is invited to participate to the consultation process to defend fundamental rights and express their views on alternatives to blind and dangerous enforcement. La Quadrature has published its *draft* answer and a wiki guide to help everyone participate.

French Constitutional Council Validates Internet Censorship

Paris, March 10th, 2011 — The French Constitutional Council has released its decision1 regarding the LOPPSI bill. Judges held that article 4 of the bill, which allows the executive branch to censor the Net under the pretext of fighting child pornography, is not contrary to the Constitution. In doing so, the constitutional court has failed to protect fundamental freedoms on the Internet, and in particular freedom of expression. Hopes lie now in European institutions, which are the only ones with the power to prohibit or at least supervise administrative website blocking and its inherent risks of abuse.

LQDN Responds to the Parliamentary Pre-report on Net Neutrality

La Quadrature du Net sent its response (in French) to the pre-report prepared by the French Parliament's working group on Net neutrality.

EU Governments United Against the Knowledge Society?

With the upcoming revision of the 2004 "Intellectual Property Rights" Enforcement Directive (IPRED), the European Union is getting ready to toughen up the war on sharing of culture in the digital environment. The Member States, gathered in the EU Council, have set up a working group to work on the revision of IPRED. An internal document dated February 4th clearly suggests that the Council is also taking the side of the patent, trademark and copyright lobbies, who want to push for even more extremist measures to deal with online copyright infringements. If nothing is done to stop them, freedom of communication on the Internet, the right to privacy and access to culture will be durably undermined in the name of baseless policies.

French Parliament to Consider Net Neutrality Law


Update (March 1st) : The bill on Net Neutrality was rejected by 311 vs. 218. Nevertheless, all the French Members of Parliament who spoke ahead of the vote agreed on the necessity to keep on working on the issue in order to enact a legislative protection of Net neutrality.

French Government Wants to Sacrifice Net Neutrality

Paris, 8 February 2011 – French Minister for Digital Economy, Éric Besson, has called for an end to Net Neutrality, a principle on which there seemed to be consensus among French and European decision-makers1. By giving telecom operators the possibility to sell prioritized access to the network, the government would put an end to equality among Internet users. Time after time, Nicolas Sarkozy's vision of the “Civilized Internet” that he is promoting at the G8/G20 level is coming to light: an Internet controlled by the State and by telecommunications and entertainment industries, while fundamental liberties are shunted to the side.

French LOPPSI Bill Adopted: The Internet under Control?

Paris, February 8th 2011 – Yesterday afternoon, the French Parliament voted the LOPPSI bill whose 4th article1 enables administrative censorship of the Internet, using child protection as a Trojan horse. Over time, such an extra-judiciary set-up will enable a generalized censorship of all Internet content. Consistent with Nicolas Sarkozy projects for a “Civilized Internet”, administrative censorship of the Internet opens the door to dangerous abuse while leaving pedophiles and pedo-pornography to prosper.

  • 1. “When the necessities of the fight against the distribution of images or representations of minors relative to the dispositions of article 227-23 of the Penal Code justify it, the administrative authority notifies the persons mentioned at 1[online access providers] of the Internet addresses to which these persons must at once block access to.”
    “A decree specifies the terms of application of the above paragraph, including those according to which online access providers are compensated, if necessary, for the additional costs resulting from the obligation made to said online access providers.”; Translated from the official text.