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

Member States

Now that there is a European Copyright Directive  (2017) this section may look out of date. At the time when most of these articles were written - 2008-2012 - matters were more fluid. Several Member States were look at how they could implement laws to address the problem of the day, which was peer-to-peer file sharing.  For those who are studying this area of policy, it's an important part of the context for the 2017 law, and indeed for subsequent developments that may not deal with copyright, but do seek to enforce against content using similar measures.

This section of discusses Internet policy initiatives in the EU Member States, between 2008-2012, with the exception of France and Britain which are discussed in individual sections of the site.

If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in how policy for Internet, copyright, and net neutrality is made in the EU Member States, 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’

If you are interested in EU policy on Internet governance,   you may like my book The Closing of the Net .

Copyright enforcement by blocking websites  has divided opinion in Spain and  gets the thumbs down from the law-makers. But newly released  Wikileaks cables  flush out how the USTR offered to 'help' shape the text. 

A  Spanish Parliamentary committee has rejected  a new  law  which would have permitted the enforcement of copyright by putting block on websites which are alleged to carry infringing content. The outcome flies in the face of new information from freshly-online Wikileaks cables showing  how the USTR worked to get the law drafted.

The Spanish approach is quite different from the French or the British. It does not target

Read more: Spanish Parliament throws out draconian copyright sanctions

Astonishing revelations  of a US plan to get Spain to block websites and implement a graduated response.  IPR and copyright held as high a priority as  Afghanistan and Iran  in diplomatic talks.  Rights-holders collaborated with the US. Citizens opposition  groups such as the Internautas, named.


Diplomatic cables made public by Wikileaks show how the Spanish government has been  pressured  by the US  to bring forward  a  draconian copyright enforcement law to address peer-to-peer file-sharing. The US authorities were acting on behalf of rights-holder organisations including the  Motion Picture Association (MPAA) which represents the big Hollywood studios.

One of the levers used against Spain was to place it on the US notorious

Read more: Wikileaks cables - Spain threated by US over copyright

Germans protest against data retention, and plans by the German families Minister for Internet filtering to ‘protect the children'. In a separate move, the German government has held talks on  ISP 'co-operation'  on copyright enforcement.



On September 12, 25,000 people joined  the Freedom not Fear  march against surveillance and Internet filtering in Berlin. Timed just before the general election on 29 September, the march highlights the efforts of the German government, and in particular of the families minister, Ursula Von der Leyen, to put in controls on the Internet.


The Germans call it ‘Internet Sperrung'  - Internet lock-up -  and some groups fear that plans already underway for Internet filtering to

Read more: Berlin: 25,000 march for 'Net freedom


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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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.

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review


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