For the backstory to the upload filter check my book The Closing of the Net - PAPERBACK OR KINDLE - £15.99!

Policy matters

Policy does matter. We may think that the Internet is a free digital environment, where no laws apply but there are many cases which contradict this notion.

In this section of Iptegrity.com, I  report on EU policy related to the Internet and online content, in particular, where policy intiatives affect   access to film, music and television, and I highlight issues for the  policy debate in relation to the Internet.  For 2008-2009, copyright enforcement has been the hot topic, with net neutrality emerging as well, in 2009.   My focus is on the European Union and  its member states - for example,  I am currently covering Internet  policy - specifically copyright enforcement intiatives - in France and the UK.

I am most interested in the citizen's perspective. However, the issues I cover will affect the Internet and telecoms industries, as well as the media and entertainment industries.  

Iptegrity.com offers  original reporting from the EU, as well as comment and opinion on issues raised in other media, including non-English language media in Europe. Iptegrity.com is the main English-language news source for the Telecoms Package review of EU telecoms law.

The European Parliament's Culture and Education committee has voted on a draft report in respect of culture and the Lisbon agenda. According to reports on some US-based websites, it has rejected amendments in favour of ISP filtering and copyright term extensions. I would make a couple of comments here. The Lisbon agenda relates to economic growth in Europe, but it has no budgetary commitment and operates purely as an inter-governmental umbrella policy. Secondly, the vote did not relate to any legislation, as far as I can see. And thirdly, I can't find the final report on the EP website!! However, I look forward to seeing the confirmation of those US reports.

 

Updated 25th March 2008: The plenary vote on the Bono report will be on 10th April.  Rumours from Brussels suggest there will be another attempt by the industry lobby groups to get amendments included. The significance of the report is that it may set the tone for policy, even though it is not a legislative document.

The music industry's woes - tumbling CD sales and the competition from online  - get short shrift from  that august organ of the money men, the Financial Times .  Prompted by the £4 billion sale of recording industry giant EMI to private equity company Terra Firma, it asked:

"Is a brash but brainy outsider what the industry needs at a moment of crisis or will such culture clashes make him the latest wealthy amateur to fail on its glittering stage?". The question refers to the financier Guy Hands, who heads up Terra Firma, and who is, according to the FT, creating a number of cultural changes within the company.

The article does nothing to offer to offer comfort to industry executives and in fact offers a rather glum outlook for the immediate future. It  predicts that retail shelf space for CDs will dramatically reduce in 2008, and  that some record labels will disappear as online music promotion grows.

 In a related piece , the FT describes how EMI's new owners are asking for EMI executives to provide greater financial justification for new projects including the provision of business plans before signing new artists or undertaking promotional activity. 

From a policy-making perspective, the two articles provide food for thought at a time when  the music industry continues to lobby heavily for  a  clampdown on music downloading.  The general suggestion is that the industry's  problems are caused  as much by  internal, as   external, factors - and that the solutions will also be found internally. 

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States v the 'Net? 

Read The Closing of the Net, by me, Monica Horten.

"original and valuable"  Times higher Education

" essential read for anyone interested in understanding the forces at play behind the web." ITSecurity.co.uk

Find out more about the book here  The Closing of the Net

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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

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Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is  a trainer & consultant on Internet governance policy, 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 beyond.  She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012. Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and now 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

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