News

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.

WikiLeaks Cables Shine Light on ACTA History

La Quadrature du Net obtained exclusive access to the WikiLeaks US diplomatic cables regarding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Although they only give a partial account of the history of this secretly-negotiated agreement, these cables shed an interesting light on the coming into being of ACTA. They show the prime role of the US in the advent of this extremist imposition of violent sanctions against citizens and their fundamental rights. The cables expose the stakes and debates surrounding the participation of developing countries, as well as the evolution of the position of European Union during the negotiations.

EU Commission Pushes For Private "Cooperation" Against Our Freedoms

On January 26th, two members of the European Parliament1 wrote to the Commission to ask about the ongoing “Stakeholder's Dialogue on Online Copyright Infringements” organized by the EU Commission (DG Internal Market2). For more than a year, the Commission has been convening regular meetings with the copyright lobbies and Internet Service Providers (telecoms operators, hosting platforms and search engines) in order to foster “cooperation” between them. But under the guise of “cooperation”, and under the threat of legislation, the Commission and rights-holders are pressuring ISPs to become the private copyright police of the Internet.

LQDN at the EU Commission's Ad Hoc Meeting on ACTA

Today, La Quadrature du Net is attending the European Commission's meeting on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

IPRED Consultation Is Decisive For the Future of the Internet

A few days ago, the European Commission launched a new consultation on its report regarding the "Intellectual Property Rights" (IPR) enforcement directive (IPRED). The Commission's services who drafted this report (Internal Market Directorate General) exhibit a profound misunderstanding of current technologies, as they seek to apply an unadapted copyright regime to this new digital era. That's why it is so important that all interested citizens and NGOs take the time to submit an answer to the consultation, to tell the Commission to turn away from dogmatic repression and instead embrace the promises of the online creative economy.

In Defense of Free Culture in Brazil

La Quadrature reproduces an open letter by the Brazilian civil society (dates December 28th, 2010). Many Brazilians worry that the ongoing changes at the Ministry of Culture will jeopardize the progressive policies put in place by Gilberto Gil, when he was head of the Ministry (2003-2008) and its successor Juca Ferreira (2008-2011).

European Commission Plans for All-Out War Against Sharing

The European Commission just launched a new consultation on its disastrously dogmatic report on IPRED, a directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, adopted by the EU in 2004. The report -- whose logic is similar to ACTA -- is based on an analysis of the application of IPRED. It calls for the massive filtering of the Internet to tackle file-sharing: according to the Commission, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should "cooperate" in the war against sharing to avoid the threat of litigation.