The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
Französischer Senat beschließt umstrittenes Antipiraterie-Gesetz
"Internet ist keine rechtsfreie Zone"
Das Gesetz sieht ein abgestuftes Sanktionssystem gegen die Nutzer von Tauschbörsen vor. Wer beim Herunterladen urheberrechtlich geschützter Werke erwischt wird, wird zunächst per E-Mail verwarnt. Wird er innerhalb von sechs Monaten ein zweites Mal ertappt, kommt die nächste Verwarnung als Einschreiben per Post. Tauschbörsennutzern, die sich Musik und Filme trotz der beiden Verwarnungen weiterhin illegal aus dem Netz besorgen, soll schließlich der Internetzugang gekappt werden. Dauer der Netzsperre: von einem Monat bis zu einem ganzen Jahr.
10.000 Warn-E-Mails pro Monat
Zuständig für die Umsetzung der gesetzlichen Regelungen ist die neu geschaffene Regierungsbehörde HADOPI ("La Haute Autorité pour la diffusion des oeuvres et la protection des droits sur Internet"). Sie verschickt die Warnungen und weist die Internetprovider im Fall der Fälle an, die Netzzugänge von ertappten Tauschbörsennutzern zu sperren. Christine Albanel, französische Kultusministerin, schätzt, dass die Behörde pro Monat rund 10.000 Warn-E-Mails verschicken wird.
Während die französische Unterhaltungsindustrie den neuen Gesetzentwurf feiert, kommt von Bürgerrechtlern und Verbraucherschützern heftige Kritik. Das Gesetz sei ein Skandal und diene einzig den Interessen der Unterhaltungsindustrie, erklärte die französische Bürgerrechtsorganisation "La Quadrature du Net" ("Die Quadratur des Netzes"). Es führe zu mehr Überwachung, beschneide wichtige Grundrechte und missachte zudem eindeutige Entscheidungen des Europäischen Parlaments. Tatsächlich hatte sich das Europäische Parlament noch Mitte September deutlich gegen das französische Drei-Stufen-Modell zur Bekämpfung der Internetpiraterie ausgesprochen.
Gegen die freiwillige Speicherung und Auswertung von Verbindungsdaten durch Unternehmen haben sich die Bürgerrechtsorganisationen La Quadrature du Net, European Digital Rights (EDRi) und Arbeitskreis Vorratsdatenspeicherung in einer gemeinsamen Mitteilung (PDF-Datei) ausgesprochen. Sie fordern das Europäische Parlament auf, den Ende November vom Europäischen Rat verabschiedeten Plänen nicht zuzustimmen. Der Rat verlangt in seinem Änderungsvorschlag zur Richtlinie zum Datenschutz in der elektronischen Kommunikation (2002/58/EG), dass Unternehmen einzelfallunabhängig Verkehrsdaten zur Gewährleistung der Netz- und Informationssicherheit verarbeiten dürfen.
Die Verabschiedung der Richtlinie ist im Rahmen des Telecom-Pakets für April vorgesehen. Die Verhandlungen dazu erfolgen zurzeit zwischen dem Europäischen Parlament und der Kommission.
Consumers have been warned that their broadband bills could soar after the EU opened the door to "net neutrality" -- unrestricted, first-come-first-served access to the internet.
A new Centre for European Policy Studies paper due to be published this week says the US model would oblige normal users to subsidise heavy users, would give no incentive to service providers to invest in new-generation networks and encourage "free-riding" by applications and content providers.
The warnings come before high-level talks in Venice later this week between Viviane Reding, EU media commissioner, and the heads of global telecommunications and cable operators.
Net neutrality is due to be discussed by the EU's 27 telecoms ministers next month when they put the finishing touches to legislation designed to improve regulation, encourage investment and offer broadband coverage to all of Europe's 500 million citizens.
Industry sources said Reding, MEPs and the current French presidency of the EU had opened the back door to net neutrality by tabling amendments to the universal service directive, part of the telecoms package. This would enable national regulators to set minimum quality of service requirements to prevent "degradation" of service or slowing of traffic over networks.
Australians may not be able to opt out of the government's Internet filtering initiative like they were originally led to believe. Details have begun to come out about Australia's Cyber-Safety Plan, which aims to block "illegal" content from being accessed within the country, as well as pornographic material inappropriate for children. Right now, the system is in the testing stages, but network engineers are now saying that there's no way to opt out entirely from content filtering.
Australia moved forward with its plans despite widespread public outcry and began testing the system in Tasmania in February of this year. At the time, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said that the filters would be enabled by default and that consumers would have to request unfiltered connectivity if they wished to opt-out of the program.
Well, it turns out now that those promises were only partially true. Internode network engineer Mark Newton told Computerworld that users are able to opt out of the "additional material" blacklist—which targets content inappropriate for children—but not the main blacklist that filters what the Australian government determines is illegal content.
Assuming this is in fact the way the scheme is implemented in practice, it raises plenty of troubling questions. "Illegal" is a broad definition, leaving users wondering exactly what kinds of content will end up falling prey to the government's apparently mandatory filtering restrictions. Will Big Content be ringing up the Aussie government soon to have tracker sites added to the blacklist? What about sites that discuss topics like at-home bomb making, or something a little less explosive, like DVD decryption tools? And how about those sites that advise users on how to get around the filters? Will various Wikipedia pages be blocked?
Australia continues to ignore its own government-funded studies from 2006 that show ISP-level filtering to be ineffective and costly. The Australian government's disregard for those prior studies suggests that the driving force behind the current plan is more political than technical.
YouTube on Tuesday rebuffed a request from John McCain's presidential campaign to examine fair-use issues more carefully before yanking campaign videos in response to DMCA takedown notices.
The McCain campaign on Monday fired off a letter to YouTube complaining that the company had acted too quickly to take down McCain's videos in response to copyright infringement notices. McCain campaign general counsel Trevor Potter argued that several of the removed ads, which had used excerpts of television footage, fall under the four-factor doctrine of fair-use, and shouldn't have been removed.
"We look forward to working with Senator (or President) McCain on ways to combat abuse of the DMCA takedown process on YouTube, including by way of example, strengthening the fair-use doctrine, so that intermediaries like us can rely on this important doctrine with a measure of business certainty."
John McCain's presidential campaign is protesting YouTube's video-removal policy, which has resulted in the deletion of some political advertisements the campaign believes are perfectly legal and protected by fair use.
In a letter (PDF) sent to YouTube CEO Chad Hurley and company attorneys on Monday, the campaign charges that "our advertisements or Web videos have been the subject of DMCA takedown notices regarding uses that are clearly privileged under the fair use doctrine." The DMCA is, of course, the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act that allows copyright holders to submit takedown notices.
But more broadly, the campaign has a point; YouTube seems a bit too eager to remove political videos. The McCain camp's solution is to ask for a "full legal review" of videos posted by political candidates and campaigns before they're automatically removed. Another solution? If you don't like the neighborhood, move. Nobody's forcing them to stick with YouTube.
Oxy President Bush on Monday signed into law legislation creating a copyright czar, a cabinet-level position on par with the nation's drug czar.
Two weeks ago, the House sent the president the "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act" (.pdf), a measure the Senate approved days before creating a cabinet-level copyright czar charged with implementing a nationwide plan to combat piracy and "report directly to the president and Congress regarding domestic international intellectual property enforcement programs."
The White House successfully lobbied the Senate to remove language tasking the Department of Justice with suing copyright and trademark infringers on behalf of Hollywood (.pdf), the recording industry, manufacturers and software makers. But the Bush administration also said it didn't want (.pdf) a copyright czar, a position on par with the nation's drug czar Congress created in 1982 to wage the war on drugs. Lawmakers, however, sent him the package anyway and the president signed.
The czar is not likely to be appointed until after the elections.
[Boing Boing] New Zealand's copyright minister screaming : it's fair to cut people off from the Internet
New Zealand's copyright minister starts screaming when asked whether it's fair to cut people off from the Internet on the basis of three unsubstantiated accusations of copyright infringement
Posted by Cory Doctorow,
"Colin Jackson is a well-known IT consultant in New Zealand and former President of InternetNZ. Colin attended a meeting with the Minister in charge of copyright on Monday to talk about a proposal to kick people off the internet on the basis of three unsubstantiated accusations of copyright infringement, and she lost her temper and yelled at them."
The meeting was set down for 45 minutes from 3:45. When it opened, Judith Tizard spent 30 minutes telling us why the change had to be made. She began by strongly expressing her anger that we had complained to her at this stage in the proceedings. None of us, she said, had been to see her before this on this topic. When we protested that we had worked with the Select Committee, which had removed this provision - and balanced it with one which made licence holders liable for false accusations - she said that this was completely inappropriate of the Select Committee, because Cabinet had already decided this was going ahead. We should not have been surprised, we were told, that this provision was reinserted by the government at the last minute before the bill was passed. (It's worth noting here that Judith has been to the two New Zealand Foo Camps and was engaged roundly on copyright both times.)
In response to being told that it is technically impossible for ISPs to tell what people are doing, Judith said that it had been done for child pornography and that ISPs need to apply the same standards. It was pointed out that the state defines objectionable material, possession of which is a crime, but there's no equivalent definition for copyright, infringement of which is a civil matter to be determined by courts.
Of all the unreasonable and awful proposals to come out of the entertainment industry, none is so bad as the three-strikes rule, a rule that would leave everyday people vulnerable to having the connection that brings them freedom of speech, of assembly and the press, the link that connects them to family, school, work and government, terminated because someone, somewhere made three accusations of copyright infringement, without having to offer a shred of evidence.
I think there's an easy answer to this: a three-strikes rule that cuts both ways: so yes, we'll cut off anyone who's thrice-accused of copyright infringement, but we should also permanently terminate Internet access for any corporation that makes three improper or incorrect accusations: once Sony or Warners or what-have-you make three bogus accusations, they have to do all their sales, marketing, production and communication by phone and fax. Forever.
The European Commission has turned down French President Sarkozy's request that it reject the last minute Amendment 138 to the Telecoms Package, introduced and passed at the end of last month by the plenary session of the European Parliament to protect European citizens from arbitrary Internet disconnection, and supported by TelecomTV and digital and citizens' rights groups throughout Europe.
Sarkozy's government is also part way through introducing a raft of Internet-clamping measures in France and Amendment 138 might prove a roadblock to that process by bolstering any legal challenges sure to mounted by digital rights and citizens' groups there. Amendment 138 requires telecoms regulators to apply the principle that "no restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end-users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities, notably in accordance with Article 11 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union on freedom of expression and information, save when public security is threatened where the ruling may be subsequent." In effect, any disconnection has to have judicial authority - as an ISP, you can't just go cutting users off willy-nilly. In the end the amendment was passed in an open vote with a large majority of 573 votes in favour to 74 votes against, a fact acknowledged by the Commission as a strong democratic mandate to have it stand. So digital rights advocates can claim a small victory in a long, hard fight. Continues after advertisement. Without amending the thrust of the telecom package through 138, national governments would have been more able to oversee the establishment of extra-judicial (kangaroo court) procedures to disconnect users suspected of downloading copyright material.
Those supporting repressive measures in the European Parliament's Telecoms Package had long argued that they were nothing to do with copyright and three strikes, but were in fact all about chasing down paedophiles and terrorists. In fact the opponents of the measures had got it all wrong, they claimed to television reporters and in newspaper articles, and it was all a fuss about nothing. Now Sarkozy's letter to the commission has blown that argument right out of the water.
MEMO/08/607 Brussels, 7 October 2008 Commission position on President Sarkozy's letter on Amendment 138 adopted by the European Parliament in plenary vote on 24 September The Commission takes note of the letter received by President Sarkozy last Friday asking the Commission to reject Amendment 138 adopted by the plenary of the European Parliament on 24 September in its vote on the EU Telecoms Package.
This version of the amendment was adopted by the European Parliament in an open vote with a large majority of 573 votes in favour and 74 votes against. The European Commission respects this democratic decision of the European Parliament. In the Commission's view, this amendment is an important restatement of key legal principles inherent in the legal order of the European Union, especially of citizens' fundamental rights.