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European Union Tech Policy

I have been logging EU policy since 2008. The information in these blog posts is deep background on the policy battles of the 2020s. What happens now, rests on what went before.

It's often easy to forget the history of policy, as we get embroiled in the latest lobbying scam or arguments between different sets of interests. It all seems new, and so urgent and important. In fact, many of the battles are re-runs of earlier ones. We've seen before how these things get resolved. We also see the mistakes of the previous legislation, as well as the successes.

What the European Union does in tech policy matters on a global scale. It has led the world with its legislation on privacy (GDPR). It is now hoping to repeat that with new laws to regulate Internet platforms. In that regard, the jury is still out.

As a guide to my somewhat eclectic headings, the sub-section IPRED discusses the IPR enforcement directive and other IP or copyright initiatives. 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'

Equipment manufacturers like Ericsson, Cisco and Nokia are trying to convince the network operators that a ‘hollow' network is a good idea. But is it? What are the political implications of ‘hollow-ness'?


The telecoms equipment manufacturers want to take over the management of the networks, and they are wrapping it up in a snazzy-sounding marketing concept called the ‘hollow' network. It means that companies which have hitherto only operated in the background of the telecoms business - manufacturers such as Ericsson, Nokia, Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco - will become more involved in the day-to-day running of the networks.


Beneath the marketing razzamattaz there hide some  serious issues. At a time when  the European Commissioner for Information Society, Viviane Reding,   believes that the telcos will power Europe out of recession, is this really the right move? Moreover,    if the network operators are

Read more: Has Mrs Reding heard of the hollow network?

The European Commission has quietly released the Final Report on the Content Online Platform. Does it serve the interests of serious policy-making for online film and music?


Full of grammatical errors and lacking in substantial understanding of the issues, the Final Report on the Content Online Platform  poses a challenge to anyone seeking a serious policy proposition.


The report purports to present the findings of a 'stakeholder discussion'  in relation to policy for creative content on the internet.  It is presented on the DG Information Society website as an EU  policy document.  The policy issues are framed as  online piracynew

Read more: Content Online Platform - mind the gap!

Copyright term extension plans on hold. Czech Presidency proposal rejected by Council bureaucrats. British music industry unhappy with UK government. Signs of rift between Ministries.


Proposals to extend the term of copyright protection for performing artists  from 50  to 90 years got a serious setback last night in Brussels and they appear to be on hold until after the European elections at least.  The  British music industry has reacted sharply to the news - an unnamed executive is reported as saying it is "un-bloody- believable"!

 It is not entirely clear what has happened, but early  reports indicate that a meeting of COREPER - this is the group of  civil servants who work for the Council of Ministers - have thrown out a

Read more: Set-back to copyright term extension "un-bloody-believable"


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About Iptegrity

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.

Iptegrity.com is made available free of charge for non-commercial use. Please link back and attribute Dr Monica Horten.  Contact me to use any of my content for commercial purposes.  

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review