The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
THE EU PARLIAMENT narrowly threw out a vote that would have banned file sharing by private individuals and decided against banning copyright abusers from the Internet.
314 Members of the European Parliament voted for an amendment that killed off a bill that would have protected copyright over the Internet. 297 voted against the amendment.
A European Parliament spokeswoman told Information World that MEPs wanted to strike a balance between the rights of rights holders and those of consumers.
The move has been at the instigation of France, which already has similar laws in place. It wanted to have a three strikes law which means that offenders lose the right to an Internet account after being caught sharing copyright-protected music over the Internet for a third time.
"The European Parliament adopted a resolution this morning which commits the member states - therefore France - «to avoid adopting measures conflicting with civil liberties and human rights and with the principles of proportionality, effectiveness and dissuasiveness, such as the interruption of Internet access.» This vote proves that the system of graduated response that Nicolas Sarkozy wants France to adopt quickly and to extend to Europe during the French Presidency of the EU, is seen as contrary to human rights by a majority of MEPs..."
The parliament was voting on the Bono Report on the Cultural Industries, which examined the development of culture and intellectual property in the Union. Swedish MEP Christofer Fjellner and the former Prime Minister of France, Michel Rocard put in a last minute amendment saying that a three strike rule would:
"[conflict] with civil liberties and human rights and with the principles of proportionality, effectiveness and dissuasiveness, such as the interruption of Internet access".
The amended bill squeaked through, 314 in favour to 297 against, against a background of heavy lobbying from both sides.
"The European Parliament's file-sharer friendly statement is well timed," said Karl Sigfrid, a Swedish national MP, in his blog.
"France will soon get the opportunity to chair the EU, and one priority will be to force European ISPs to cut the internet connection of anyone illegally downloading a song or a movie. If insisting on his plans, Sarkozy now faces an uphill battle."
EFF (which has been following the Bono report closely since the first attempts were made to "hijack" it last October) collaborated with activists across Europe to co-ordinate support for the amendment, and wrote to all MEPs yesterday to point out the real dangers of graduated response, and urge a vote for both parts. French Net activists, including the new Squaring the Net initiative, contacted their MEPs en masse to oppose the French Government's recommendation. And Guy Bono, the author of the report, had this to say in the plenary:
"On this subject, I am firmly opposed to the position of some Member States, whose repressive measures are dictated by industries that have been unable to change their business model to face necessities imposed by the information society. The cut of Internet access is a disproportionate measure regarding the objectives. It is a sanction with powerful effects, which could have profound repercussions in a society where access to the Internet is an imperative right for social inclusion."
Both parts of the amendment passed. (You can watch the vote in French, English and German - it's about two minutes in.).
The entertainment industry originally intended the Bono Report on the Cultural Industries to be a stalking horse for their new approach, encouraging MEPs to insert language that would show support for copyright extension, banning Net users, and censoring the Net in the interests of rightsholders.
Instead it has turned into a watershed: a clear rejection of the strategy of forcing the telecommunications industry to act as a private police force for entertainment lobby — and a positive endorsement of the Net's free flow of information, and a positive agenda for copyright reform. It seems like the music industry will remain the only group to believe that spying, filtering and punishing your own customers is a good idea: either for business, or for society as a whole.
By a 314-297 vote, the European Parliament has signaled its opposition to recent initiatives to kick users off the Internet for repeated copyright infringement. The vote came on an amendment (Word document) to the wide-reaching Bono Report on the Cultural Industries, which is intended in part to develop a policy strategy for the European creative industry. And whenever the creative industry is involved, there's a question of copyright.
This morning the European Parliament voted in plenary session on the report by Mr Guy Bono (French
Socialist MEP) on cultural industries in Europe.
Although the report recognises the need to ensure that cultural industries and artists receive a fair remuneration for their work, particularly in the digital environment, it clarifies that “criminalising consumers who are not seeking to make a profit is not the right solution to combat digital piracy” and expresses the wish to “avoid the adoption of measures running counter to human rights, civic rights and the principles of proportionality, effectiveness and deterrent effect, such as interruption of access to the internet”.
The European Parliament has thus spoken out against the idea of the “Graduated Response”
advocated notably in France by the Oliviennes Report, which aims at cutting off the internet access of people suspected of illegal downloading. This measure is disproportionate, inefficient and, which is more serious, violates some fundamental rights such as the right of presumption of innocence and of data protection. This option is contrary to all the procedural safeguards foreseen at European level in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, and notably the right of every person who is accused of a crime to a fair trial.
According to Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, “The Graduated Response goes against some of consumers’ fundamental rights and we applaud the European Parliament and its MEPs for rejecting today the idea of its diffusion in Europe”.