European Union IP Policy

The European Union has many policy  intiatives related to the Internet, ecommerce and online content or copyright. In fact, there are so many, it is frequently difficult to keep up with them. In 2015, these were grouped together under an umbrella initiative called the 'Digital Single Market'.

In this section, I report on Internet-related matters within the EU institutions -  European Commisission, Council and  Parliament -  and the activites of the key policy-makers. I log policy initiatives that cut across the traditional policy silos. Specific policies  such as the IPR enforcement directive and IP or copyright reforms  are reported in a dedicated sub-section for IPRED. The sub-section on Internet Threats looks at any  EU policy initiatives other than copyright which imply Internet blocking. The sub-section on Internet Freedoms has a focus on rights and freedoms and the European Convention on Human Rights.


If you are interested in EU policy for IP,   you may like my book The Closing of the Net which discusses it in the light of influencing factors by States and industry stakeholders.

If you are interested in copyright policy, you may like my previous books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

Copyright enforcement remains an ongoing policy issue, with the current processing of the new Copyright Directive in the European Parliament.

This article is the text of my speech at the Council of Europe "Freedom of Expression Online"  conference in Nicosia, Cyprus on 28 April 2017.  The speech is entitled Balancing freedom of expression online: insights from copyright cases. I address Member State and ECJ caselaw, taking copyright enforcement cases, mainly from the UK, as examples. The cases concern the blocking or filtering of content, and balancing the conflicting rights of copyright versus freedom of expression. 

Read more: Balancing freedom of expression online: insights from copyright cases

EU Copyright directive draft 2016




In what can only be called a policy bombshell, proposed new EU copyright rules will force social media sites to police content. A leaked version of a proposed new copyright directive seeks to impose draconian monitoring obligations any sites that support content uploaded by  users. If the leaked draft to be believed, content platforms will have to install content scanning systems to monitor and remove copyrighted material. In addition, they will have to  report back to rightsholders.

Read more: EU copyright bombshell: social media sites to police content

The European Commission announced today  radical plans to overhaul copyright. The proposals  focus on users’ability to legally access copyrighted content across borders, and they are understood to have upset the entertainment and music industries. This  is not surprising since the changes will cut right through their copyright-supported distribution infrastructure.

The main plank for change will be the territoriality of copyright. Territoriality refers to the way that the entertainment industries are organised around national borders for the granting of rights and the distribution and  sale of goods. On the Internet, this system is  managed by asking intermediaries to block content that is not

Read more: EU announces radical copyright overhaul for cross-border content

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The Copyright Enforcement Enigma 'accurate and absorbing account of the story of the Telecoms Package' -Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology

'...a must read for those interested in knowing in depth about copyright enforcement and Internet.' -Journal of Intellectual Property Rights.  

Read more  

Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

European Parliament launch for Copyright Enforcement Enigma

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Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is  a trainer & consultant on Internet governance policy, published author& Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She served as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on  Internet freedom. She has worked on CoE, EU and UNDP funded projects in eastern Europe and beyond.  She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012. Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and now Brexit). Iptegrity has a core readership in the Brussels policy community, and has been cited in the media. Please acknowledge Iptegrity when you cite or link.  For more, see IP politics with integrity

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The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review