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IPR Enforcement

IPR enforcement on the Internet is highly contrversial as measures may entail some form of content blocking and  impose new liabilities on  ISPs and content platforms.  Blocking measures immediately engage the right to freedom of expression.

This section  monitors  aspects of EU policy which relate to IPR and copyright enforcement from 2009. It covers a variety of industry-led proposals, including early moves against Internet providers. Iptegrity provided almost exclusive coverage of the European Commission's proposed Notice and Action Directive. It was  subsequently shelved - but will it re-appear? The section also logs industry moves which may influence the policy agenda and seeks to understand ways in which European  IPR enforcement policy could change or evolve.

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

You might also like my latest  book 'The Closing of the Net' which examins corporate power and Internet policy, including 3 chapters on copyright.

The European Commission's Blueprint for Intellectual Property rights is out today. It has the expected attempts on ISPs 'at source'  and eBay.  And  there is  a distinctly  unpleasant  sting in its tail.


The European Commission released its blueprint for intellectual property enforcement today, and as predicted, it targets  the Internet.  The real intention of the  document is only very thinly  veiled. The European Commission is signalling a move against  Internet intermediaries in all forms - that is ISPs, ecommerce platforms  and web hosts, and will try to get legislation at European level which will force them to block content or sanction their customers.


The 'blueprint' is released under the name of the French Sakrozy-ite Commissioner Michel Barnier. And  his recently-appointed ex-IFPI head of copyright, Maria Martin-Prat,  is now firmly in her seat. On that basis,  a head-on attack on Internet companies and users was perhaps only to be  expected.

The unexpected proposal concerns the  European  Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy.  This institution was set up by stealth to monitor

Read more: Red alert! Europe's IPR Blueprint threatens Internet surveillance

The European Commission  threatens to  handbag* all speakers who go over  3-minutes at a public hearing on the IPR Enforcement directive (also known as IPRED).   A key focus of the hearing will be Internet copyright enforcement and peer-to-peer file-sharing.  What will the Commission's new, ex-IFPI, head of copyright have to say? 


Following the demise of its secret ‘stakeholder dialgoue', the European  Commission has   announced a public hearing on intellectual property enforcement in the digital environment.

 The  hearing  - on the enforcement of intellectual property rights: Challenges posed by the digital environment  - is the final  part of DG Markt's consultation exercise regarding the IPR Enforcement directive (IPRED). The Commission's objective is to obtain further feedback to its plans for revision of this directive.

 According to the Commission's Communication on the IPRED  review, the main focus of the policy

Read more: 3-minute speech limit at EU copyright hearing

After almost a year's delay, the European Commission has finally dished up a report on the secret copyright enforcement talks it was hosting between ISPs and rights-holders. The Commission has done its best to put a nice gloss on  it, but reading between the lines, the fists came out on more than one occasion.


The report concerns the so-called ‘Stakeholder dialogue on Illegal Up and Downloading', a series of talks which took place in the European Commission's offices  from 2009-2010 and  for which the  objective was to draw up a Europe-wide agreement or  Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) mandating  ISPs to enforce copyright on the Internet.  The talks were terminated very suddenly a couple of months' ago. The termination   was apparently prompted by  a letter to the Commission from the telecoms industry lobby group,  ETNO, stating that it  would no longer  participate.


The report  has been carefully written by the European Commission, and vetted by the participants including major rights-holders such as the IFPI and the Motion Picture Association, as well as the large telcos  in  ETNO and ECTA. It is trying to clean up the egg from the Commission's face over the failure of the talks to reach any agreement.  Notably, the report does not

Read more: European Commission comes clean on "anti-piracy" talks



States v the 'Net? 

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

In 2012, I presented my PhD research in the European Parliament.

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a 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 the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and related issues on 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 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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The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review