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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'

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.  

 

2nd report: European Commission  High Level Conference on Counterfeiting and Piracy 13 May 2008

 Is the online auction platform, eBay, going to be the next Internet  target for the legislators? Judging by the mood at the  European Commission's policy forum on counterfeiting, the answer could be 'yes'.

Phillippe Lacoste, chairman of the clothing manufacturer of the same name, and grandson of the champion tennis player and  founder,  served first. His charming manner belied a tough message:   "eBay..ils doivent prendre responsabilite" (eBay must  take responsbility) he said.  M.Lacoste alleged that

Read more: Is the EU gunning for Ebay?

Report on European Commission  High Level Conference on Counterfeiting and Piracy 13 May 2008

John Kennedy, chairman of the International Federation of Phonographic Industries (IFPI), has accused the telcos and ISPs of filibustering and avoiding coming to the table to discuss co-operation measures with the music industry. His attack was delivered during an event organised by the European Commission to discuss policy issues related to online piracy and counterfeited goods.

 Mr Kennedy said that he first called on the ISPs at a conference organised by ETNO (European Telecommunications Network Operators Association)  in 2005, and "three years later, there has been little or no action from the

Read more: IFPI accuses telcos of filibustering

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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