News

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.

A week left to respond to the European Commission on the future of Copyright

The European Commission has launched a consultation regarding the future of creative content online.

This move is a first step towards legislative action at the EU level, and the consultation could shape the nature of the upcoming debate on copyright reform.

Copyright: Towards a recognition of users' rights at WIPO?

Last week (December 14th-18th), the World Intellectual Property Organization's standing committee on copyright and related rights (SCCR) was considering, among other things1, a proposal by Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay for an international treaty aimed at increasing the accessibility of books for blind people. The SCCR eventually decided to initiate "focused, open-ended consultations" regarding exceptions and limitations for print-disabled persons, and will then consider whether it is ready to move forward with a treaty.

Questions for the new European Commissioners

Paris, December 16th, 2009 - 2 weeks after launching a consultation, la Quadrature du Net is submitting to the European Parliament a set of questions to be asked to the Commissioners designate.

ACTA: A Global Threat to Freedoms (Open Letter)

Updated on December 24th, 2009

Paris, December 10th 2009 - A worldwide coalition of Non-Governmental Organizations, consumers unions and online service providers associations publish an open letter to the European institutions regarding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) currently under negotiation. They call on the European Parliament and the EU negotiators to oppose any provision that would undermine the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens in Europe and across the world.

European Parliament to adopt a report on IPR enforcement

The European Parliament is in the process of writing an own-initiative report in response to the Commission's communication on "enhancing the enforcement of intellectual property rights".

La Quadrature meets with French Telecoms Regulator on Net neutrality

Yesterday, La Quadrature du Net was invited by the French Telecoms Regulator for an informal meeting by the working group in charge of Net neutrality.

(In French)

Dangerous Anti-sharing Law in Spain

The Spanish government just announced a new bill that would grant an administrative body –the Commission for Intellectual Property– the power to order the take down or blocking of websites that “allow or facilitate” copyright infringements. Even more dangerous for civil liberties and freedom of expression, the Commission would be allowed to determine on its own whether judicial intervention is necessary.

European Commission's views on ACTA draft Internet chapter leak

Yesterday, the Commission's analysis of the US proposal regarding the draft Internet chapter of the ACTA leaked. The document confirmed what was previously reported, namely that the US proposal would extend an extremist regulation of the Internet to all signatory countries, with the implementation of three-strikes schemes and content filtering.

You can find the full analysis here.

Ask what the next European Commission will do for our Freedoms!

Paris, November 26th 2009 - La Quadrature is calling on European citizens to submit questions aimed at finding out where the next European Commission (2010-2014) stands on EU citizens' fundamental freedoms on the Internet.

The Council of the European Union and the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, just agreed1 on a college of Commissioners designate. The Parliament will now conduct hearings2 before appointing the full college.

  • 1. http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/09/522&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=fr
  • 2. More infos about the Commissionners hearings: http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Hearings_Commissioners

ACTA, U.S Democracy and the Global Knowledge Economy

Eddan Katz 1 and Gwen Hinze 2 from the Electronic Frontier Foundation recently published a very insightful essay on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in the Yale Law Journal of International Law Online.

  • 1. International Affairs Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • 2. International Policy Director, Electronic Frontier Foundation

Telecoms Package: A Missed Opportunity for Citizen's Rights

Paris, November 24th, 2009 - There is no reason to celebrate the general outcome of the Telecoms Package. The final text voted today is far from satisfactory: while it includes some consumer protections, they fall short of compensating for the various loopholes and threats to fundamental rights contained in the rest of the text.