Big tech accountability? Read how we got here in  The Closing of the Net 

"3-strikes is no-one's idea, no-one has ever proposed that."  Will his words come to haunt Luc Devigne, EU ACTA negotiator? Can we believe what he says?

Luc Devigne, the European Commission's   negotiator on the ACTA (Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement), took the hot seat yesterday as he was quizzed by NGOs and telecoms industry lobbyists about the Internet provisions this secretly negotiated IPR enforcement treaty.  Speaking at the European Commission's ACTA  Stakeholders' meeting, he came under under pressure from several questioners. And he insisted that  ‘there will be no 3-strikes rule"   In this short clip,   he is under fire from  Jeremie Zimmerman of La Quadrature du Net on the question of 3-strikes and ISP liability:


Right at the end of the seminar, Mr Devigne is asked again about 3-strikes. His answer

may well live to haunt him: "3-strikes is no-one's idea, no-one has ever proposed that." You can hear  it at the end of this clip :


Another point which got my attention is Luc Devigne's response to Sylvie Forbin, the lobbyist for the French content company Vivendi, who is married to the former French Ambassador to the EU. Note how he smiles at her. Her question contains a hidden bullet. She asks about how ACTA will handle future technology developments. This is the big issue at the moment in the UK with the Digital Economy Bill, which includes clauses to deal with  such 'future technology developments'.  This is rights-holder code for a catch-all clause with a right to  block websites and/or to alter the law at any time without scrutiny. Beware!!

Sylvie Forbin's question is in the middle of this clip:


Also worth a look:

Joe McNamee of European Digital Rights asks about ISP liability  and whether Devigne will respect the Parliament's Resolution to limit ACTA to counterfeit only. 

Devigne  refuses to answer this question, and does so again when it is repeated by Erik Josefsson, adviser to  the Green group. Incidentally, if you watch the clip, Devigne does cite the wrong number of the clause in the Resolution. Clause 9 Calls on the Commission to continue the negotiations on ACTA and limit them to the existing European IPR enforcement system against counterfeiting. 


Devigne  reminds me of   George Bush senior,  in 1988, when he made the pre-election promise which he was not able to keep: Read my lips, no new taxes .After being elected, he did put up  taxes. 

Devigne will not be able to keep his promise either. 


**For further reporting on the European Commission's  ACTA Stakeholder meeting, Michael Geist   clarifies the  matter of ISP liability and ACTA

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK:England and Wales License. It may be used for non-commercial purposes only, and the author's name should be attributed. The correct attribution for this article is: Monica Horten (2010) EU ACTA negotiator: Read my lips - no 3 strikes 23 March  2010

Iptegrity in brief is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I’ve been analysing analysing digital policy since 2008. Way back then, I identified how issues around rights can influence Internet policy, and that has been a thread throughout all of my research. I hold a PhD in EU Communications Policy from the University of Westminster (2010), and a Post-graduate diploma in marketing.   I’ve served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe  Committee on Internet Freedoms, and was involved in a capacity building project in Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine. I am currently (from June 2022)  Policy Manager - Freedom of Expression, with the Open Rights Group. For more, see About Iptegrity is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

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