News

Help the European Parliament oppose ACTA

URGENT! Help sign the Written Declaration 12/2010 on ACTA.
Dedicated campaign page.

European privacy protection authority condemns ACTA

Today, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has issued an opinion critical of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement currently under negotiations. This document is a blow for the negotiators of ACTA, who should now publicly oppose the inclusion of liberty-killer provisions in the agreement.

Iceland to become a model for freedom of communication

Paris, February 15th, 2009 - Tomorrow, a parliamentarian resolution will be submitted in Iceland in order to turn the country into a model for freedom of expression on the Internet. Far away from the conservative vision displayed by many confused governments who try to control freedom of communication on the Net through "three strikes", Internet blocking or the ACTA, this would be a historic event. La Quadrature du Net supports this project and congratulates the coalition of Icelandic Parliamentarians at the origin of the initiative.

EU Council Presidency: Spain pushes for flawed Net policies

Last week, the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council came up with a new draft resolution1 in response to the Commission's communication on enhancing the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the internal market.

[Update - March 5th, 2010: The resolution has been adopted by the Council with no significant changes.]

French Parliament approves Net censorship

Paris, February 11th, 2010 - During the debate over the French security bill (LOPPSI), the government opposed all the amendments seeking to minimize the risks attached to filtering Internet sites. The refusal to make this measure experimental and temporary shows that the executive could not care less about its effectivity to tackle online child pornography or about its disastrous consequences. This measure will allow the French government to take control of the Internet, as the door is now open to the extension of Net filtering.

La Quadrature writes to the new European Commissioners

Yesterday, following the hearings of the Commissioners last month, the European Parliament approved the full college of the new Commission.

Gallo Report: Copyright & patent dogmatism at its worst at the European Parliament

Brussels, January 29th, 2010 - The draft1 of the Gallo2 report on strengthening the enforcement of "intellectual property rights" (IPR) in the Internal Market has been presented in the JURI commission of the European Parliament. This initiative report3 is a response to a communication of the Commission on the same topic, which La Quadrature has already strongly condemned4. The document has only one merit: it provides a perfect example of the worst kind of IPR dogmatism.

ACTA Attacks Internet! Let's Attack ACTA!

Paris, Jan 25th 2009 - Negotiations on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)1 will take place from January 26th to January 29th in Mexico. ACTA aims at controlling the Internet, while conveniently circumventing democratic processes. Unelected negotiators - carrying out the orders of the entertainment industries - are attacking the very essence of the Internet. Let's attack ACTA! Let's expose its negotiators to make them face their responsibilities!

The Public Domain Manifesto

La Quadrature du Net is among the signatories of the Public domain Manifesto. This text was drafted within the COMMUNIA European Network for the public domain funded by the European Commission.

ACTA: Through the loopholes of EU law

Next week, negotiating countries will meet for another round of talks on the infamous ACTA, which among other things aims at tackling the unauthorized sharing of cultural works over the Internet. In the past days, members of the European Commission sought to soothe parlementarians, public-interest groups and citizens by saying that the agreement would not go further than existing EU law.

Neelie Kroes, soon-to-be Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, commented the ACTA negotiations during her confirmation hearing on January 14th, saying that there will be no "harmonization by the back door". She also seemed to rule out any further harmonization of Intellectual Property Rights" (IPR) enforcement in Europe, and told reporters after the hearing that the "mere conduit" principle1 - a principle essential to Net neutrality and guaranteed by the e-Commerce directive - will be maintained.

But, as recent developements make clear, ACTA could severely impact Net neutrality and other founding principles of the Internet that ensure the proper exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms on the Internet, even without any change to EU law.

  • 1. Mere conduit is guaranteed by article 12 of the 2002 e-Commerce directive. This principle sets a special liability regime for network operators by which they have no legal liability for the data transmitted via their networks

Zelnik Report: denial of rights and business payed by taxpayers

Paris, January 7th, 2010 - Today, the Zelnik report has been presented to the public by the French president. The publication of this report was postponed many times because the trio composing the mission had many difficulties in executing their instructions: finding new sources of funding for the chosen business models of the government, without recognizing any right for Internet users and citizens. The results are close to obscenity: by privileging public subsidies and tax credits, the report suggests charging all the taxpayers the price of a particular and dogmatic form of cultural commodification.

Hearing of the new Commission: Citizens take notice!

Last week, Commissioners-designate Viviane Reding, Michel Barnier and Neelie Kroes confronted the European Parliament for their confirmation hearings. Issues relating to freedom in the networked society have been raised by several Members of the European Parliament.

Videos of these hearings are available on EuroparlTV.

Commissioner Kroes commits herself to Net neutrality

Paris, January 15th, 2010 - Yesterday, the ITRE committee of the European Parliament led the hearing of Commissioner-designate for the Digital Agenda, Mrs. Neelie Kroes.

Commissioner Kroes addressed a number of issues regarding freedoms in the networked society, expressing a positive opinion regarding amendment 1381 and praising interoperability standards. She also indicated her strong support in favor of Net neutrality.

  • 1. Amendment 138 of the Telecoms Package, voted twice by an 88% majority of the European Parliament, provided that" no restriction may be imposed on the fundamental rights and freedoms of end-users, without a prior ruling by the judicial authorities". After strong opposition from the Member States, it was eventually replaced by a weaker provision in November 2009.

La Quadrature's response to the EU 2020 consultation

La Quadrature du Net submitted its response to the EU 2020 consultation launched by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso.

To make the knowledge society a reality, La Quadrature calls on the Commission to focus on Internet users' rights regarding access to information commons, particularly by mandating Net neutrality and reforming the European copyright regime.

Questions to Commissioner-designate Kroes on Net neutrality and freedoms in the digital age

La Quadrature du Net sent this letter to the members of the ITRE and CULT committees of the European Parliament to urge them to ask the following questions to Mrs. Kroes, Commissioner-designate for the Digital Agenda, during her hearing on Thursday, January 14th.

Questions to Commissioner-designate Barnier on copyright and freedoms in the digital age

La Quadrature du Net sent this letter to the members of the IMCO and ECON committees of the European Parliament to urge them to ask the following questions to Mr. Michel Barnier, Commissioner-designate for the Internal Market, during his hearing on Wednesday, January 13th.

Questions to Commissioner-designate Reding on freedoms in the digital age and ACTA

La Quadrature du Net sent this letter to the members of the LIBE and JURI committees of the European Parliament to urge them to ask the following questions to Mrs. Viviane Reding, Commissioner-designate for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, during her hearing on Tuesday, January 12th, at 1PM.

Sarkozy and the Internet: Between farce and alarming dogmatism

Paris, January 8th, 2010 - Nicolas Sarkozy just announced that his government will seek to implement some of the recommandations of the Zelnik report. The report's main author is Patrick Zelnik, a producer and lobbyist for the music industry. The goal of these tailored provisions is to serve the interests of the President's friends. Although laughable, they reveal an alarming dogmatism in which the rights of the public and the general interest are denied in favor of a few helpless industries.... Mates come first!

Future of copyright: La Quadrature calls on the Commission to reassert the public's rights

La Quadrature du Net has submitted its response to the European Commission's consultation regarding "Online Creative Content". La Quadrature calls on the Commission to reconsider the EU's coercive and repressive copyright policies, while encouraging it to match words to deeds by fostering the rights of the public in the digital creative ecosystem.

Download "Creative Content in the Digital Age: Reasserting the Rights of the Public" in PDF.