Report on EPP-ED Hearing, Creative Content Online, European Parliament, 12 June 2008
The French government will use its presidency of the EU to push through legislation necessary for copyright enforcement. The aim is to have everything ready for a Council of Ministers meeting in November. This was revealed by Ms Laurence Franceschini, director of creation and broadcasting at the French Ministry of Culture, who had the longest speaking slot - 20 minutes - at this event. She gave a series of dates for Presidency events where cultural issues and online content would be discussed, and stated that the French government's "objective is to prepare Council conclusions for November".
Ms Franceschini also spoke of the plans for the so-called "telecoms package": 'In the amendments added, we have seen a clear political will to raise awareness of measures which are there to educate the consumer on piracy and respect of copyright'. And she underlined the need to get the right legal and fiscal instruments in place - but she did not expand, notably on what she meant by" fiscal" instruments.
Ms Franceschini's statements are worrying for privacy campaigners and indeed for the ISPs and telecoms industry. The telecoms package contains a number of hidden amendments which will compromise privacy and enable draconian copyright enforcement practices to happen throughout Europe. MEPS voted in April against such measures being brought in, clearly stating that criminalising people for copyright infringement, and / or cutting off Internet access, is not acceptable (see here for French and here for English version). The MEP Guy Bono continues to campaign against copyright enforcement in the EU - see his website here.