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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.

[] Norm-setting on copyright limitations and exceptions: would the European Union be ready?

The European Parliament’s committe for legal affaires (JURI) adopted the “Medina Report” on the harmonization of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society on January 20th [see the - still non-official - consolidated version of the report including the JURI amendments, available on La Quadrature du Net's website and here].

This report, drafted by Spanish socialist MEP Manuel Medina Ortega (check his profile on the “political memory” webpage from La Quadrature du Net), with the help of MEPs Janelly Fourtou and Jacques Toubon, is meant to be a preliminary report on the application of Directive 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.

[] Internetsperren und Filter erneut auf der Brüsseler Agenda

Für eine "abgestufte Erwiderung" auf Copyright-Verstöße bis hin zu Internetsperren ("3 Strikes") und den Einsatz netzseitiger Filter hat sich der Rechtsausschuss des EU-Parlaments in seinem Votum über einen Berichtsentwurf (PDF-Datei) zur Urheberrechtspolitik ausgesprochen. Mittels Filtern soll nach Ansicht des Ausschusses "einfach zwischen legalen und raubkopierten Produkten" im Internet unterschieden werden können. Zudem sollen Provider stärker mit Rechteinhabern kooperieren und die Verantwortung der Zugangsanbieter im "Kampf gegen die Piraterie" überdacht werden.

Scharfe Kritik an den Empfehlungen übt die französische Bürgerrechtsorganisation La Quadrature du Net. Angesichts der Tatsache, dass sich das EU-Parlament im Rahmen eines anderen Berichts sowie zuletzt bei der 1. Lesung der laufenden Novellierung des Telecom-Pakets ausdrücklich gegen Internetsperren und Filtervorstöße ausgesprochen hat, sprechen die Aktivisten von einem kaum mehr ernst zu nehmenden neuen Vorstoß. Die wieder ins Spiel gebrachten "repressiven Maßnahmen" entsprächen der "vollständigen Wunschliste der Unterhaltungsindustrie gegen das Internet und seine Nutzer". Die Bürgerrechtler fordern die Abgeordneten daher auf, den Bericht bei der demnächst anstehenden Abstimmung im Plenum entschieden zurückzuweisen. Wenige Monate vor der Europawahl, so der Wink mit dem Zaunpfahl, würden die Bürger besonders genau auf die Vertretung ihrer Interessen achten.

[] Three Strikes struck down in the UK, Big Brother thwarted

The UK government has rowed back from what appeared to be position that supported a version of the '3 strikes and you're out' approach to Internet file sharing 'offenders'.

[Times Online] Music pirates will not be disconnected from the internet

Internet service providers will not be forced to disconnect users who repeatedly flout the law by illegally sharing music and video files, The Times has learnt.

Andy Burnham, the Culture Secretary, said last year that the Government had “serious legislative intent” to compel internet companies to cut off customers who ignore warnings not to pirate material.

[] El dogmatismo del copyright golpea ridículamente al Parlamento Europeo

El Comité de Asuntos Legales (JURI) del Parlamento Europeo votó la semana pasada el informe Medina sobre el Copyright.

El informe (sobre la armonización de determinados aspectos del copyright y otros derechos afines en la Sociedad de la Información) del Eurodiputado socialista español Manuel Medina Ortega (ayudado por Janelly Fourtou y Jacques Toubon), votado en la sesión del JURI del 20 de enero, es el texto más extremista y ridículo sobre los derechos de autor visto en mucho tiempo en el Parlamento Europeo (P.E.) . Pronto será propuesto para votación en plenario para una resolución del P.E.

La Quadrature du Net invita a los ciudadanos europeos a pedir a sus eurodiputados que rechacen enérgicamente el informe Medina en el plenario. Una herramienta basada en la wiki, Political Memory, está disponible para ayudar a contactar con los eurodiputados y hacer un seguimiento de sus votos en asuntos tan cruciales*

"Los eurodiputados deben permanecer en contra de la posición del JURI y rachazar este informe. A pocos meses de las elecciones europeas, los votantes vigilarán con detenimiento si los eurodiputados representan sus intereses o los de industrias en decadencia que hacen la guerra contra sus clientes", concluye Zimmermann.

*Nota: en dicha wiki pueden consultarse los perfiles de los actuales eurodiputados, las posiciones que han defendido sobre temas concretos así como los teléfonos de sus oficinas para poder contactar con ellos o sus asistentes. Incluye también un enlace directo para poder llamar mediante los programas de VoIP (como Skype, por ejemplo) mediante un simple clic.

Net neutrality burns hot on the EU telecoms agenda -

Pushed by an AT&T lobbyist, some revised amendments to the Telecoms Package could usher in filtering, and have rocketed net neutrality from a non-issue to one of the hottest under discussion in the Telecoms Package trialogues.

A raft of new “compromise” amendments to the Telecoms Package is circulating in Brussels. On the surface, they state that telcos, network operators and ISPs should be able to “address unjustified degradation of service”, and impose “reasonable usage restrictions, and price differentiation” without any regulatory interference. The sub-agenda however, is that these legal texts could enable network operators to shrug off accountability for filtering, throttling and degrading user traffic, including access to content. With obvious implications for the neutrality of the network.

Here is the original AT&T lobbying document.

[The Raw Story] NSA spied on everyone, targeted journalists

Sen. Rockefeller believes NSA may have spied on him; Ex-NSA analyst believes program a remnant of 'Total Information Awareness'

Former National Security Agency analyst Russell Tice, who helped expose the NSA's warrantless wiretapping in December 2005, has now come forward with even more startling allegations. Tice told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Wednesday that the programs that spied on Americans were not only much broader than previously acknowledged but specifically targeted journalists.

"The National Security Agency had access to all Americans' communications -- faxes, phone calls, and their computer communications," Tice claimed. "It didn't matter whether you were in Kansas, in the middle of the country, and you never made foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications."

[Slashdot] Dutch Study Says Filesharing Has Positive Economic Effects

An anonymous reader writes "In a study conducted by TNO for the Dutch government the economic effects of filesharing are found to be positive.

According to the 146 page report (available for download, but in Dutch) filesharing is good for the prosperity of the Dutch: with filesharing more media are available, even though this costs the media industry some profit. One of the most noticeable conclusions is that downloading and buying are not mutually exclusive: downloaders on average buy just as much music as non-downloaders, but they buy more DVDs and games then people who don't download. They also tend to visit more concerts and buy more merchandise."

[] Isle of Man wants legal P2P blanket

Tax haven the Isle of Man, with a population of around 80,000, wants to introduce a compulsory blanket licence for music downloads. Broadband ISP subscribers would pay a "nominal" compulsory tax, but be able to share music legally.

Surprisingly, the proposal has won approval from the chief executive of the BPI, Geoff Taylor.

"At the end of the day, we are not going to stop piracy, so let's embrace it," the Manx government's inward investment minister Ron Berry told the MidemNet conference this weekend.

The idea of legalising P2P rather than stopping it is an ancient one: it's been used to create for new technologies for over a hundred years. Where it's too complicated and/or expensive to count or police individual exchanges, a blanket licence has been issued. It's five years since Jim Griffin explained the merits of these here.

It's ironic that the Isle of Man is proposing a compulsory tax. The island has no capital gains tax, corporation tax and income tax is ten per cent. Industry sectors deemed to be of strategic importance - including movies and fishing - are zero rated.

[ars technica] 37% of P2P users say they'll ignore disconnection threats

ISPs have hoped that 70 percent of file-swappers would pull down the Jolly Roger after they receive a mere notice. New research suggests that only 41 percent will stop; the rest require tough sanctions, and even disconnection won't stop many.

But most Internet users aren't sharing music at all; even the IFPI's own numbers show that only 18 percent of Europeans engage in any file-swapping. So the real question is not how all Internet users will react, but how the file-swappers will react.

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