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

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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.

The European parliament and the European Council agreed today on a new text replacing amendment 138/461, though the original drafting was voted by 40 against 4 last week in the ITRE committee.

The HADOPI remains as contradictory to the new drafting as it was to the previous. However, where the former version imposed immediately an involvement of the judiciary, one will have to undertake long procedures before the European courts (or National courts judging in reference to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms) before being able to prove that the HADOPI, for instance, does not respect the right to due process.

“The European Parliament was shy when it was the matter to secure immediately enforceable protections for citizen rights in this legally binding text. This contrasts with the stronger position it took when adopting Lambrinidis own initiative report. There still exists possibility to correct this mistake through plenary amendments. The Members of the European Parliament must demonstrate their commitment to protect citizen rights and freedoms from badly influenced governments” concludes Philippe Aigrain, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net.

“Replace AM 46 concerning Article 8, paragraph 4, point h of the Framework Directive with a new paragraph 3a in Article 1 of the Framework Directive as follows:

Article 1(3a) of the FD

3a. Measures taken regarding end-users’ access to or use of services and applications through electronic communications networks shall respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons, including in relation to privacy, freedom of expression and access to information and the right to a judgment by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law and acting in respect of due process in accordance with Article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

With a corresponding recital:

(3a) Recognising that the Internet is essential for education and for the practical exercise of freedom of expression and access to information, any restriction imposed on the exercise of these fundamental rights should be in accordance with the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Concerning these issues, the Commission should start a wide public consultation.