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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.

[Guardian] Sarkozy move to punish illegal downloaders sparks liberties row

The French government has been accused of "Big Brother" tactics over an anti-piracy bill which aims to punish people who repeatedly illegally download music and films by cutting off their internet access for up to a year.

The proposed law [...] will create a new state surveillance agency to monitor internet users online.


But although the senate has passed the bill, a heated row over civil liberties is expected as parliament debates the law this week. Christian Paul, a Socialist MP leading opposition to the law, said it would create a precedent for "massive surveillance" of the internet and society as a whole. "Criminalising a whole generation is a dead end," he added, warning that crisis-hit record companies needed to look at their business plans instead. Socialists argue that the law, which focuses on file-sharing or download sites rather than new technologies of streaming, is inconsistent and already outdated.

[Ars Technica] French anti-P2P law toughest in the world

France's long talked-out law to kick repeat copyright infringers off the Internet has finally come up for debate in Parliament. If passed, it would be illegal not to secure one's Internet connection, and even public WiFi hotspots will have to offer only a "white list" of approved sites.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité... HADOPI?

Critics aren't convinced. Those critics include the European Parliament, which last year twice expressed its displeasure with such schemes on the ground that the punishment was grossly disproportionate to the crime and that only judges should be allowed to order such disconnections. That has not dissuaded the Sarkozy government, which has continued to push the idea hard.

The toughest in tout le monde

It wouldn't be too much to say that the world is watching. Although Agence-France Presse said today in an article that "the new law would make France the fourth country, after the United States, Ireland and Italy, to cut off web access for illegal downloaders," the reality is that no countries currently have such a national policy in place. In the US, only "discussions" have been announced, and those are voluntary; in Ireland, a single ISP has voluntarily agreed to adopt graduated response principles; and Italy's parliament has simply agreed to follow the French model at some point in the future.

One obvious retort is that people will simply slip down the boulevard to the café for a cup of overpriced espresso, a waiter with bad case of ennui, and an afternoon of torrenting. But the Law will not be mocked so easily. When French Minister of Culture Christine Albanel answered some parliamentary questions about public WiFi networks, she said that the solution was simple: such hotspots would offer only a "white list" of approved websites.

"This return to a centralized, state-controlled network is as scary as inapplicable," said Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, a lobby group that works for an open Internet. "Yet, this is emblematic of how a government legislates with the same ignorance and archaism as the entertainment industries that promote the 'graduated response.' They are, like this law, doomed to fail."

Consumer group UFC Que Choisir compared the entire project to France's ill-fated Maginot Line, examples of World War I thinking that were famously bypassed early in World War II by blitzkrieging German panzer units.

Instead, UFC Que Choisir calls for new thinking—in this case, a license fee paid for total access to movies and music. Such a solution is backed by some French artistic groups "et même... par le groupe Warner aux Etats-Unis" (an apparent reference to Warner's Choruss project). The implication is clear: even the music labels can see the future, and this law is straight out of the past.

True or not, however, the bill appears to have a good chance of passing into law, and the European Commission has so far (under French pressure) resisted the European Parliament's efforts to block France from implementing it.

[] Kippt britische Regierung die Netzwerkneutralität in der EU?

La Quadrature du Net fordert EU-Parlamentarier zum Widerspruch auf

Die französische Verbraucherschutzorganisation La Quadrature du Net warnt vor einem Versuch der britischen Regierung, die Netzwerkneutralität in Europa im Zuge der Verhandlungen zur Telekom-Richtlinie abzuschaffen.

Der Mitbegründer von La Quadrature du Net, Jérémie Zimmermann, kritisiert den britischen Vorschlag: "In einer Zeit, da die Märkte im Telekommunikations- und Unterhaltungsbereich... durch Oligopole kontrolliert werden, ... würden die Nutzer jegliche Wahlfreiheit verlieren. Das einzige Gegenmittel wäre das Wettbewerbsrecht, das sich schon gegenüber Microsoft oder den Mobilfunkkartellen als ineffizient erwiesen hat. Daher ist es unbedingt nötig, den diskriminierungsfreien Zugang festzuschreiben."

Der britischen Regierung wirft Zimmermann einen Betrugsversuch vor. Die vorgeschlagenen Änderungen an der Telekom-Richtlinie seien "als Verbraucherinformation" getarnt. Dabei ginge es der Regierung aber darum, jedwede Zugangsgarantie für Internetdienste "zu beseitigen". Die EU-Parlamentarier fordert Zimmermann auf, sich diesem "Manöver" zu verweigern.

[] Black-out di protesta in Francia contro la legge anti-pirateria

Il popolo della Rete non ci sta e invita i siti online ad operazioni black-out contro il nuovo progetto di legge che, in Francia, prevede di sospendere la connessione a Internet agli internauti che scaricano illegamente file di musica e film. Ed è così guerra aperta con il ministero della cultura.

Una battaglia di mail è scoppiata persino all’Assemblea nazionale dove i deputati si sono visti arrivare migliaia di messaggi anti-legge nelle loro caselle di posta elettronica. Tutte firmate da un nuovo collettivo, la ’Quadrature du Net’, che ha invitato siti internet, blog e avatar ad oscurarsi oggi.

[Terra] Disputa sobre filtros na internet passa por teste na Europa

Enquanto os legisladores europeus debatem de que maneira garantir que o acesso à internet seja livre e igual para todos - a chamada "neutralidade da rede" -, não surpreende que haja legiões de lobistas tentando influenciar seu trabalho. Mas os enviados de grandes empresas que circulam pelos corredores de Bruxelas, na Bélgica, tentando apresentar seus argumentos em geral não representam as muitas empresas de telecomunicações e de internet da Europa, e sim companhias norte-americanas. A Europa se tornou a autoridade regulatória dominante no mundo da tecnologia. Por isso, empresas como AT&T e Verizon combatem companhias como Google e Yahoo a fim de determinar a forma das leis européias, na esperança de que as autoridades regulatórias norte-americanas sigam o exemplo definido pela Europa.

"As empresas dos Estados Unidos consideram que o resultado da disputa na Europa será essencial", disse Jeremie Zimmerman, lobista do "La Quadrature du Net", um grupo de defesa dos usuários de internet sediado em Paris. "Todos os envolvidos esperam conquistar vantagens aqui, de modo a que possam voltar aos Estados Unidos e tentar influenciar o resultado lá".

A neutralidade da rede, que a organização de Zimmerman defende, é uma proposta oferecida por alguns defensores da liberdade de expressão e por algumas companhias de internet; o princípio, se adotado, impediria que os operadores de redes empregassem recursos de filtragem do tráfego da internet. Os provedores de acesso à internet, de sua parte, declaram, no entanto, que algum sistema básico de administração de tráfego é necessário para equilibrar a demanda cada vez maior de banda que vem sendo gerada pela ascensão do uso de vídeo na internet e pela imensa procura aos sites mais populares.,,OI3624507-EI4802,00-Disputa+so...

[] Access to documents: The European parliament demands more transparency

No legislative documents should be kept secret: this must be a basic principle of the reformed policy on access to documents, the European Parliament says in a vote on a new EU rules on the issue. Members adopted amendments to the draft proposal but postponed the vote on the legislative resolution, leaving the door open for further negotiations and a first-reading agreement. [...]

Legislative vote postponed [...]
Transparency in Member States too [...]
A single EU portal on the web [...]
"EU classified": a new category of documents [...]
Financial transparency [...]
Documents on International agreements to be made public [...]
A register of lobbyists [...]

[Futurezone.ORF] Frankreich debattiert "Three Strikes Out"

Die französische Nationalversammlung debattiert über das von der konservativen Regierung eingebrachte Gesetz zur Installation einer Behörde, die bei wiederholten Verstößen gegen das Urheberrecht den beschuldigten Usern den Internet-Zugang sperren kann. Diese Behörde hat weitreichende Befugnisse, die tief in die Privatsphäre auch unbeteiligter Nutzer eingreifen. Am Dienstag wurde bekannt, dass sich die Debatte bis Anfang April hinziehen kann.

Von Dienstag bis Donnerstag debattiert die französische Nationalversammlung in erster Lesung das im Juni 2008 von der konservativen Regierung eingebrachte "Gesetz zur Verbreitung und zum Schutz kreativer Inhalte im Internet". Dieses Vorhaben der französischen Kulturministerin Christine Albanel, die der Partei UMP von Präsident Nicolas Sarkozy angehört, ist in Frankreich stark umstritten.

Bürgerrechtsorganisationen wie La Quadrature du Net, die Konsumentenschutzorganisation UFC/Que choisir und die französische Sektion der Internet Society haben sich - unter zahlreichen anderen gegen das Gesetz ausgesprochen, da es tief in die Bürgerrechte eingreift. Die französische Regierung hat das Projekt jedoch auf hohe Priorität gesetzt und will es möglichst schnell verabschieden.

Dieses Gesetz ist das weltweit erste, das die Forderungen der Musik- und Filmindustrie nach Internet-Sperren bei wiederholtem Verstoß gegen das Urheberrecht durch Internet-Nutzer alias "Three Strikes Out" in nationales Recht umsetzt. Da die Medienindustrie versucht, diese Maßnahmen auch EU-weit im Rahmen des Telekompakets zu legalisieren, das im April zur zweiten Lesung im EU-Parlament erwartet wird, ist es sinnvoll, sich das Gesetz im Detail anzusehen.

Als Grundlage für diesen Artikel dienen die aktuellste Version des Gesetzes vom 20. November 2008 sowie die 178 Seiten umfassende Liste der Änderungsanträge vom 19. Februar 2009. In welcher Form das Gesetz beschlossen wird, ist aufgrund der zahlreichen Änderungsanträge nicht endgültig abzusehen. Damit Präsident Sarkozy das Gesetz unterzeichnen kann, müssen die beiden Kammern des französischen Parlaments, der Senat und die Nationalversammlung, sich erst auf einen gemeinsamen Text geeinigt haben.

[] División en Francia por la votación de la ley 'antidescargas' de Sarkozy

Francia se convirtió, en el invierno pasado, en el centro de la polémica planetaria en que están enzarzados las multinacionales del disco y el cine, de un lado, y los net-activistas de las redes de intercambio gratuito, de otro.

La decisión de Sarkozy de impulsar el proyecto de ley represivo ahora debatido hicieron que saltara a la luz del día una realidad hasta entonces oculta: en una democracia como Francia ya hay robots que están filtrando la red de forma generalizada, robots pilotados por empresas como Advestigo y Qosmos. Ahora, ese experimento técnico-burocrático, auspiciado por las grandes productoras musicales y cinematográficas y las sociedades de gestión de derechos, va a intentar recibir la cobertura legal que le faltaba.

El director de la casa de discos independiente Naïve, Patrick Zelnik, denuncia un “plan absurdo, liberticida y kafkiano”. Jérémie Zimmermann, de la asociación La Quadrature du Net, niega que el Gobierno quiera proteger a los artistas, y denuncia que el objetivo real es “salvar a las grandes multinacionales, con sus ejecutivos y comerciales, que se quedan con el 95% de lo que vale una obra”.

[International Herald Tribune] U.S. lobbyists angle for influence in Europe's Net neutrality debate

As European lawmakers debate how to keep access to the Internet free and equal - so-called network neutrality - they are being bombarded, not unsurprisingly, by lobbyists. [...]

"The U.S. companies see the outcome of the fight in Europe as key," said Jeremie Zimmermann,a lobbyist for La Quadrature du Net,an Internet advocacy group based in Paris. "Each side is hoping to score points on the issue here so they can take it back to the States to influence the outcome there."

Net neutrality, which La Quadrature supports, is a proposal backed by some free-speech advocates and Internet businesses that seeks to bar network operators from filtering Internet traffic. Operators say that basic traffic management is necessary to balance the soaring demand for bandwidth from video and popular Web sites. [...]

During the past two months, lobbyists for the U.S. operators and Internet businesses have sent letters to European Union lawmakers promoting their competing legislative agendas, according to copies of the letters obtained by the International Herald Tribune. [...]

The lack of clarity touched off a vigorous lobbying battle in Brussels by U.S. businesses on both sides of the issue, in some cases supported by European companies, including Vodafone, Ericsson and VirginMedia, and free-speech advocates. [...]

In the meantime, the lobbying focus has shifted temporarily to Belgium, where European lawmakers are closer to making a decision. Two committees are expected to vote on the legislation March 31, before a final vote by the full Parliament on April 22. The plan would also need to be approved by EU telecommunications ministers.

[...] most of the time, lobbying by foreign entities tends to be discreet. That has not been the case in the debate over network neutrality, where the high commercial stakes for operators and Internet companies have pushed competing U.S. commercial interests to the forefront.

[...] On Feb. 26, Sebastian Mueller,also a Google lobbyist, debated Karim Lesina, an AT&T lobbyist, on network neutrality in a closed-door meeting of newspaper and magazine publishers. Simon Summers, an organizer, said the lobbyists and organizers wanted to hold the debate in private. No journalists were invited, but the meeting was attended by representatives of France Télécom, Telefónica, Sony Pictures, Skype and Lagardère, as well as representatives of the European cable industry and lawmakers. [...]

"I've never seen this level of lobbying before by American companies in Brussels," said Laurence Vandewalle, a technology adviser to the European Green Party since 1997. Referring to AT&T and Verizon, she added: "They want European Parliament to take a position against net neutrality in order to sell it in the U.S." [...]

European lawmakers may postpone a decision until after parliamentary elections in June, one lobbyist said.

"It is unclear what the outcome will be," said Markus Beckedahl, a lobbyist for the Working Group on Data Retention, an advocacy group based in Berlin that has lobbied in Brussels for network neutrality. "There is still a lot of dissension and this whole debate could be pushed off."

[New York Times] Fight Over Internet Filtering Has a Test Run in Europe

The U.S. companies see the outcome of the fight in Europe as key,” said Jeremie Zimmermann, a lobbyist for La Quadrature du Net, an Internet advocacy group based in Paris. “Each side is hoping to score points on the issue here so they can take it back to the States to influence the outcome there.

Net neutrality, which La Quadrature supports, is a proposal backed by some free-speech advocates and Internet businesses that would bar network operators from filtering Internet traffic. Internet service providers, however, say that basic traffic management is necessary to balance the soaring demand for bandwidth from video and popular sites.

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