News

HADOPI raises from the dead, still as flawed

After the groundbreaking decision1 from the Constitutional Council of France, last month against the three strikes law adopted in May, the Government is re-introducing a reworked version of the so-called "graduated response". The inherent flaws of this system, aimed at fighting exchange of entertainment content through Internet, makes this new bill as dangerous as its predecessor.

Hadopi is dead: "three strikes" buried by highest court.


To the grieving minister of Culture....

Solemn burial for HADOPI in French National Assembly

Paris, 12 May 2009 - French "HADOPI" law implementing "three strikes" policy was adopted by a short majority in National Assembly, after a previous rejection on April 9th1. Members of the majority right-wing party of N. Sarkozy, under high pressure, voted this obsolete text, massively rejected by public opinion and directly opposed by Europe. This legislative process' debacle, along with an "hadopigate" case2, opens the way to credible solutions for funding creation in the digital age that have to be compatible with civil liberties3. HADOPI is stillborn, the debate shall begin!

Amendment 138/46 adopted again. Internet is a fundamental right in Europe.

Strasbourg, May 6 2009 − The debates on the Telecoms Package, thanks to a remarkable citizen mobilization, led to an extremely strong recognition of the access to internet as a fundamental right with the re-adoption of amendment 138/46 in second reading by a qualified majority. It is the final blow against three-strike laws such as Nicolas Sarkozy's HADOPI bill, which are explicitely banned. The European Parliament nevertheless adopted a soft compromise on issues of network equity: no strong protection against “net discrimination” was adopted.

URGENT: Ask MEPs to adopt Citizens' Rights Amendments on May the 6th.

ALERT: last minute trick to prevent European Parliament to vote on amendment 138/46 by changing the order of votes

A dedicated campaign page regarding the issue below has been put on the wiki,
including arguments, counter-arguments, and advice on how to contact MEPs.

Paris, May 4 2009 - Threats to citizens' basic rights and freedoms and to the neutrality of Internet could be voted without any safeguard in the EU legislation regarding electronic communication networks (Telecoms Package). EU citizens have two days to call all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to ask them to vote for the “Citizens' Rights Amendments”, in the second reading of the Telecoms Package. These amendments include all the safeguards that were removed in the “compromise amendments”, as well as provisions protecting against “net discrimination” practices and filtering of content.

Telecoms Package: When rapporteurs betray EU citizens.

On both parts of the Telecoms Package, rapported by Malcolm Harbour (IMCO report) and Catherine Trautmann (ITRE report), agreements have been found with the Council of the EU to destroy or neutralize major protections of the citizens against graduated response, "net discrimination" and filtering of content on the Internet. There is little time left, but the Parliament has a last chance with the plenary vote on May 6th to reaffirm its commitment to protecting EU citizens.

Agreement on a new version of amendment 46/138 in Brussels. The European parliament accepted a weaker text.

Paris, 29 avril 2008 - A new version of amendment 138/46 was agreed today between the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. Instead of blocking immediately the HADOPI-style fake justice for the entertainment industries, one will be able to stop it only after a long procedure in front of the European courts. In face of an unjustified pressure from the Council asking to suppress the reference to the role of the judiciary, the Parliament gave priority to a quick agreement on the Telecoms Package rather than voicing strongly its support to citizen rights.

Council of EU imposing Net Discrimination in Europe

UPDATED: with 28.4.2009 trialogue document from the Parliament and Council's 27.04.2009 propositions, where all protections are completely weakened.

Paris, 28 April 2008 - Negotiations are still going on in secret among the European Parliament, the EU Council, and the Commission on the directives of the Telecoms Package. The crucial question of “net discrimination” is being intensely and alarmingly reworked right now in the Universal Service directive, whose rapporteur is Malcolm Harbour (EPP/ED - UK). The Council is currently neutralizing every provision protecting citizens' rights. The Parliament must react.

Victory for EU Citizens! Amendment 138 was voted again.

Strasbourg, April 21 2009 - Once again, the European Parliament has demonstrated it can resist pressure and stand for the rights and freedoms of citizens. Amendment 138 (now renumbered amendment 46) was adopted today in ITRE committe, in Strasbourg.

URGENT: Two days to help Catherine Trautmann protect EU citizens.

Paris, April 20th 2009 − The Council of the EU is strongly pushing Catherine Trautmann – rapporteur of the main directives of the "Telecoms Package" – to accept a useless, neutralized version1 of amendment 138. This amendment, opposing to “graduated response” – or “three strikes” – schemes, has been overwhelmingly adopted by the European Parliament in its first reading on September 2008, and is crucial for safeguarding EU citizens' rights and freedoms. La Quadrature du Net calls European citizens to urge their MEPs seating in ITRE committee to support the rapporteur by refusing any compromise neutralizing amendment 138 (now renumbered 46) on April 21st vote.

  • 1. The Council wants to make it a merely indicative recital instead of an article that Member States must transpose into their law

Telecoms Package: The Rapporteur's Fear of the Penalty

The Rapporteur of a European Parliament directive plays a crucial role at the second reading: he must forge a compromise with the Council of Ministers between the opinion expressed by the Parliament at the first reading and the common position adopted by the Council. If he succeeds, this compromise stands an excellent chance of becoming the report that comes to a vote in parliamentary committee, then reach a vote in plenary session by all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). So the directive, the outcome of a consensus between the two legislative bodies, will become European law. If not, the Council and Parliament must reach an agreement for a third reading: the conciliation phase.

France legislature's rejection of internet anti-piracy bill thwarts corporate interests

The controversial HADOPI bill against filesharing was rejected by the French National Assembly in a very surprising move last week, at the final vote of the emergency procedure in which it was considered, with only one reading in each chamber. Such a last minute rejection happened for the last time in 1983, and is a strong political blow for Nicolas Sarkozy and his minister Albanel. This law faced strong opposition coming from members of all the political parties, driven by a formidable and wide citizen movement lead from the Internet by La Quadrature du Net and others. The law is nonsensical, inapplicable and dangerous for numerous reasons: It allows for parallel administrative justice where innocents will be sanctioned based on immaterial proofs, private police of the network in the hands of corporate actors, and its Article 5 opens very disturbing doors to generalized filtering of content.

HADOPI, French "three strikes" law rejected!

Paris, April 9, 2009 - In a surprising turn of events, the national assembly has rejected the HADOPI bill creating the "three strikes" scheme in France, in the final discussion, by a vote of 15 in favour and 21 opposed.

Distorted amendment 138 tries to present graduated response as legal

Paris, April 2nd 2009 - The Council of EU is trying to reintroduce a distorted version of amendment 138 to “Telecoms Package”1. It could be interpreted by the archaic industries promoting "graduated response" as authorizing any administrative authority to order restrictions on fundamental rights and freedom. Such a legalization of parallel administrative justice, comparable to the French “graduated response” is unacceptable. The European Parliament must strongly reject this huge threat to EU citizen's freedom.

Telecoms Package: Towards a bad compromise on net discrimination?

Behind closed doors, positions are being negotiated on the Telecoms Package among the rapporteur, the European Commission, and the Council of the EU. If those "trialogues" get to a compromise, it will simply be put to votes as a whole in committees instead of the amendments tabled in the Parliament. This opaque process is disturbing in itself, but the content of the compromise is even worse. Once again some powerful parties are fighting against equal access.

The European Parliament rejects "graduated response"... for the third time

Paris, 26 March 2009 - The European Parliament, endorsing the Lambrinidis report1 and turning its back on all the amendments supported by the French government and defended by Jacques Toubon and Jean-Marie Cavada, has just rejected "graduated response" for the third time.

EU citizens' rights and innovation at stake in European Parliament

Paris, March 26th - The European Parliament may be about to surrender absolute power over the Internet to the telecom operators. Under the false pretext that the existing rules governing market and competition would solve any problem, members of IMCO committee are about to allow "Net discrimination" in amendments pushed by AT&T and the UK government. If these amendments are approved, European innovation, Internet growth model and citizens' fundamental rights and freedoms may be in great danger.

Protect EU citizens in IMCO/ITRE votes on March 31st (letters)

Here are the letters (PDF attached below) La Quadrature du Net sent to members of IMCO and ITRE committees about the crucial votes on Telecoms Package second reading, on March 31st.

Letter to IMCO members

Protect EU citizens in the Harbour report!

Paris, March 26th

Dear Member of the European Parliament, dear IMCO member,

EU citizens: Save Internet from being turned into a TV!

Paris, Mar. 23rd 2009 - Harmful amendments to Telecoms Package 2nd reading may be voted on March 31st in IMCO and ITRE committees. They all have in common to give extra powers to established industries (telecoms, entertainment, IT security) starving for control over the Internet. “Net discrimination” amendments could allow operators to discriminate against types of content or services, or to give preferential access to certain services whilst blocking others. Such limitations to the websites subscribers can visit, and to services and applications they can use would mean the end of an open Internet as we know it. These amendemnents would have dreadful consequences for innovation on the network as well for citizen's Freedoms. European citizens must urge MEPs from IMCO and ITRE to protect their freedoms by voting for safeguarding amendments and rejecting all amendments allowing net discrimination, “three strikes” schemes and privacy breaches.

UK government pushes for discriminated Internet

Brussels, March 6th − La Quadrature du Net publishes a document, drafted by the British Government, with amendments to the telecoms package1. This proposal would turn the Internet into a Cable-TV network.