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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.

[TechDirt] Be Afraid: Russia And China Seek To Put In Place Top-Down Regulation Of The Internet

For all the talk of SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/TPP, there's another much bigger threat to "the internet as we know it." It's a bunch of countries who are seeking to use the UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to create a top-down regulatory scheme for the internet. This process began a few months back, but FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell has a pretty good summary of the situation in the WSJ, and why those who believe in internet freedom should be afraid. It is worth noting, of course, that things like ICANN and IETF are far from perfect today, but handing many of their functions over to the ITU with the goal of a pretty broad top-down regulatory plan for the internet is not the solution. McDowell highlights a few of the key points in the plan [...]

[WSJ] Robert McDowell: The U.N. Threat to Internet Freedom

Top-down, international regulation is antithetical to the Net, which has flourished under its current governance model.

On Feb. 27, a diplomatic process will begin in Geneva that could result in a new treaty giving the United Nations unprecedented powers over the Internet. Dozens of countries, including Russia and China, are pushing hard to reach this goal by year's end. As Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said last June, his goal and that of his allies is to establish "international control over the Internet" through the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a treaty-based organization under U.N. auspices. [...]

[Emg.Rs] Croatian government not considering acceding to ACTA

The Croatian government does not have an official position on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) at the moment and is not considering acceding to this international agreement, nor has anyone asked it to do so, Stribor Kikerec of the Foreign and European Affairs Ministry said at a round-table discussion in Zagreb on Monday. [...]

[TheInquerer] European Parliament will discuss ACTA in public

[...] The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will be discussed in public by the European Union (EU) Parliament next month.

The recurring issue with the ACTA treaty is the fact that no parties other than rights holders that seemingly will gain the most from it were involved in its negotiation or knew anything about it until after it was signed.

Several EU countries have distanced themselves from ACTA, while others have refused to sign it, and the European MP responsible for guiding its negotiation resigned over it.[...]

[] Polish protesters fight for internet freedoms

Eastern Europe's tradition of political revolt has met the digital age. This time it's not communists or food shortages fuelling fury, but an international copyright treaty that opponents say threatens freedom on the internet. [...]

« Most of the people who have gone to the streets are young and don't remember communism themselves, but Polish society as an entity remembers, » said Jaroslaw Lipszyc, the president of the Modern Poland Foundation, an organization devoted to education and developing an information society.
« In Poland freedom of speech is of special value, and there is a history of fighting for it. » [...]

But opponents say the agreement is worded so vaguely that it is unclear what would be legal and what not. Some people fear they could be prosecuted for, say, mixing home video footage with a Lady Gaga song and putting it on YouTube to share with friends.
« Because it's unclear what is allowed, people will limit their creativity,» said Anna Mazgal, a 32-year-old Polish civil rights activist. « People could censor themselves out of fear because it's so vague. »
Many opponents also fault ACTA for putting commercial values like profit above rights like freedom of expression. [...]

[AFR] Copyright cheats face the music in France

The curtain has risen on the third act of one of the most ambitious French musical productions, one whose goal is to end digital piracy. [...]

But the curtain has not yet come down for the fallen file-sharers. As a presidential election nears, opposition to the law is heating up. [...]

Rivals [...], who championed the measure, say that it infringes on civil liberties. His opponents, building on the momentum from a successful campaign to defeat two US congressional bills aimed at curbing piracy, as well as a swell of protest against an international copyright treaty, want to repeal or revamp the French law. [...]

Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, a group that campaigns against restrictions on the internet, said " the law had resulted in increased use of virtual private network software and other anonymity tools."

Apparently some of its intimidation is having a psychological effect,” he said of the three-strikes law, but added: “The political costs of creating an institution like this are tremendous.

[Timesofmalta] The deactivation of Acta

Acta is an international agreement created by the United States and Japan – and in some cases signed without public consultation – but excluding some European countries like Germany, Latvia, Poland and the Czech Republic and negotiated in secret with main international companies.[...]

History shows that lovers of limitation of information and artistic expression regularly try to choke the artistic and intellectual freedom of the individual. Coincidentally, they never say that their intention is to place a bandage over your mouth, ears and eyes, resulting in covering up your mind after making you look like a helpless mummy.[...]

The intolerance of Acta is too historically transparent. Acta is, by its very nature, incompatible with modern European political tendencies. [...] Acta is a hiccup in a popularist European mentality that promotes art and education for the worker. Maltese legislation to counteract the negativity of Acta is not a solution. It is best relegated to the limbo of European political history.

[Fsrn] Headlines for Friday, February 17, 2012 : ACTA dealt blow by European court


Europe's highest court has ruled that online services such as Facebook and YouTube cannot be forced to police their customers' use of music, movies or other copyrighted material. Digital activists say it's another blow to the anti-piracy initiative known as ACTA From France, FSRN's Liam Moriarty has more.

[...] Digital activists say this ruling – and a similar one last fall dealing with internet service providers – invalidates a key element of ACTA. Jérémie Zimmermann is with the Paris-based group La Quadrature du Net. “There is now a heavy trend from the entertainment industry to try to make the internet intermediaries bear the liability for enforcement of this obsolete vision of copyright.” Meanwhile, ACTA continues to take its lumps. In the last week, Germany, Latvia, Bulgaria and the Netherlands became the latest countries to suspend ratification of the trade agreement. [...]

[] EU Court of Justice announced a win for privacy

The European Court of Justice has announced a win for privacy online in its decision that monitoring and filtering online content is unlawful and unfair.

In a ruling on the Sabam v. Netlog case (PDF), it said, « The owner of an online social network cannot be obliged to install a general filtering system, covering all its users, in order to prevent the unlawful use of musical and audio-visual work. »

Sabam is the Belgian music royalty collection outfit. It sued Netlog in 2009 and attempted to get it to install monitoring software in its social networking operation. Netlog baulked at this, and today it is gratified by the Court of Justice announcement. [...]
The ruling clears up some controversy over whether it is right to force a web hosting firm to monitor its users to detect if they are infringing copyrights. According to the rights advocacy group La Quadrature du Net, it is a timely ruling. particularly when you consider legal machinations like ACTA, SOPA, PIPA and the DEA.

« This ruling should sound as a call for EU policy makers to stop pushing for privatized censorship schemes under the guise of ';cooperation' between Internet actors and the entertainment industry, » said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net.

[SloveniaTimes] Government Leaning Towards Freezing ACTA

The government is leaning towards freezing the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), Minister for Education, Science, Culture and Sport Žiga Turk told the press coming out of a government session. "We do not see a practical need for Slovenia to ratify it in this very moment," Turk told the press. [...]

The Economic Development Ministry said Žerjav would speak about ACTA at Friday's public presentation of opinions, which has been organised by the parliamentary EU Affairs Committee. [...]

The debate will coincide with the second protest against ACTA (the first one was held two weeks ago), organised by online activists. [...]

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