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Council of Ministers move to delete vital safeguards from EU Telecoms Package
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| Back in September MEPs responded to public concerns over the EU Telecoms
| Package by voting through vital safeguards that would help ensure that only
| proportionate and just sanctions against illicit filesharing could be
| proposed by national governments. Since then, you’d be forgiven for thinking
| your internet connection was safe from disconnection via corporate fiat.
| We’re lucky, then, that cyberlaw expert and ORG Advisory Council member
| Professor Lilian Edwards, together with her former student and now trainee
| barrister Simon Bradshaw, have been scrutinising the ongoing negotiations
| process, and the resulting proposed texts. In a 14-page paper [.pdf]
| analysing the various Directives that make up the Telecoms Package (as
| amended by Parliament in September) and the reactions to these amendments
| from the Council of Ministers and the Commission, they conclude:
| “On the basis of our analysis it is clear that the package does, or at least
| can, provide a mandatory basis for the “warnings” part of a French-style
| connection sanctions law (the “strikes”) (see para 12 of brief), and also
| potentially provides a means by which public CSPs (ISPs and the like) can be
| compelled by the national regulator to work with (”promoting cooperation”)
| rightsholders to implement a disconnection scheme (the “you’re out” – see
| para 19 of brief). Wording in various places of the latest version seems to
| confirm that this “co-operation” is a more extensive obligation than simply
| providing copyright-related public interest information.
Share This: The Internet is a Right
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| But not content with penalising French Internet users, and chilling
| creativity in that country, Sarkozy seems determined to bend Europe to his
| will (the infection has already spread to the UK).
| First, attempts were made to sneak an obligation to impose the “three strikes
| and your out” approach (rebranded as “graduated response”) into a complex and
| irrelevant EU telecoms package. The European Parliament, to its credit,
| pushed back, and added several clauses to preserve fundamental freedoms, like
| the right to judicial review of any attempts to cut Internet access.
| This means that the French/European moves must be nipped in the bud if we are
| to prevent a massive leap backwards for global online rights. And that,
| perhaps, is the key argument that can be used here: that the Internet is now
| so interwoven with everyday life (in developed countries at least, and
| increasingly elsewhere) that cutting it off is akin to cutting off someone's
| electricity or water supply. Nobody would countenance that, and only
| retrogressive monopolists like the recording and film industries would
| contemplate it for the Internet.
| So here's something concrete that everyone can do: start sharing. No, I don't
| mean copyrighted content, but this meme: that the Internet is a right. Pass
| it on.
Music stars unite to seek control
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| UK pop and rock stars are taking action to try to gain ownership and control
| of their work from record labels.
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