But what of intermediary liability? Iptegrity has examined the Lescure report.
The French government, led by the Socialist President Hollande, is to partially reverse the controversial 3-strikes (graduated response) law and re-modelling it in what government hopes will be a more user-friendly format. France is also bringing in a range of new measures that are intended appease the copyright industries. Among them is a proposal to tax devices such as smartphones and tablets. Whilst these measures will grab the headlines, there are other proposals lurking beneath the surface that are less clear, for example, the French government’s approach to intermediary iability in this context.
The European Commission has confirmed that is is looking at a Europe-wide approach to intellectual property enforcement on the Internet. In light of its ACTA defeat, the Commission is being deliberately ambiguous as to the nature of the measures under consideration. But could it mean pan-European web blocks?
Loathe her or love her, Margaret Thatcher’s telecoms policies have strongly influenced the structure of European Union policy. But how far did they pave the way for Internet communications?
As we learn of the death of Baroness Thatcher yesterday, it is worth reflecting on the ways in which her policies have shaped the telecoms industry that we have today. She was politician who prompted very mixed and divided reactions, and her policies were not always welcomed or liked. And it is so with her telecoms policies.
A June deadline is looming for the EU Council of Ministers to give its blessing to a mandate for EU –US trade talks. That’s when European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht would like to have it settled. The issue that may delay the mandate is what to do about support for the European film industries. It's an issue that splits the Commission internally. The elephant in the room is copyright and IPR. Both issues lead to Hollywood.
In the political battle over the European Data Protection Regulation, a vibrant front is emerging around the issue of profiling – the automated montoring of users Internet browsing habits. What’s at stake is whether or not profiling should come under the auspices of the regulator and what level of regulatory control is appropriate. One argument concerns whether or not data that has been processed under a “pseudonym” is addressed by the regulations. On this point, the European Data Protection Supervisor has weighed in.
For those who missed it, the European Commission consultation on IPR enforcment (IPRED directive) closed yesterday. It’s a very odd closing date, being Easter Sunday and a public holiday throughout the EU, and also being the day before April Fools day. Does it make you suspicious? One quick glance at the IPRED consultation questionnaire should tell you – it is seriously problematic.
The EU Data Protection Regulation has four times the number of amendments as the Telecoms Package. How will the rapporteur handle this disproportionate application of lobbying?
The full scale of the lobbying crisis over new European privacy rules has been exposed today as the rapporteur, Jan Albrecht, published his full draft report with amendments. They total a staggering three thousand, one hundred and thirty-three, on 1347 pages. He will need a court-room trolley to carry them around. How will he handle the massive conflict that the content of the amendments reflects ?
The review of the European privacy law – also known as the Data Protection Regulation – has come in for some comment about the lobbying and the eye-opening revelations about the scale of the corporate lobbyists amendments that have been tabled by MEPs. But I feel that this is a rather simplistic way of looking at it. As academics, we have more sophisticated job to do. We have to ask, what is the politics? What is problem that we are being critical of? To say, there’s a lot of lobbying may be a starting point, but is a very long way from the end-game. So what does it really take to analyse amendments in European legislation?
The Pirate Bay founders have lost their appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which handed down its decision on their case this week. The ECHR has upheld the Swedish judgement on the bit-torrent file-sharing site – a judgement that imposes a prison sentence and a massive damages claim, on the basis of secondary liability for copyright infringement. What’s interesting is how the ECHR views the balance of copyright versus fundamental rights.
It’s all about money, get it!
Apart from banker bashing and fishing quotas, the toughest political battle in the European Parliament this year will be the one over data protection. Indeed, if the Telecoms Package fight over copyright was hot, this one is a cauldron of fire. MEPs will have to step carefully where angels fear to tread.