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American University College of Law Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property PIJIP Research Paper Series 2010

1 October 2010

Monica Horten
Where Copyright Enforcement and Net Neutrality Collide - How the EU Telecoms Package Supports Two Corporate Political Agendas for the Internet

This paper discusses a change to European Union (EU) telecoms law which de facto permits operators to impose restrictions on network traffic, and which enables such restrictions to be imposed for the purposes of copyright enforcement—thus it simultaneously facilitates two different policy agendas from the copyright and telecoms industries—'three-strikes' as well as 'traffic management.'

The mechanism is a provision concerning users' contracts, supported by generic provisions addressed to EU governments and regulators. The change went into law in late 2009, within the so-called 'Telecoms Package,' which, together with the E-commerce directive, establishes the EU legal framework for telecoms networks. In terms of the latest initiative on IP Enforcement, ACTA, this is the muchcited EU aquis communitaire, with which ACTA must comply. This paper addresses how the change came into being and possible interpretations and implications for copyright enforcement policy. The research for this paper forms part of the author's doctoral research.*

The Telecoms Package policy process was observed contemporaneously as part of a cross-disciplinary policy study, and the analysis of the legislation in this paper relies on original EU policy and legislative documents. *The author successfully defended her thesis on 7 September 2010.

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Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor: online safety, technology and human rights. In April 2024, I was appointed as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on online safety and empowerment of content creators and users. I am a published author, and post-doctoral scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Westminster, and a DipM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I cover the UK and EU. I'm a former tech journalist, and an experienced panelist and Chair. My media credits include the BBC, iNews, Times, Guardian and Politico.

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