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The G8 Deauville Declaration is positioned as ' A new step for liberty and democracy'. But whose liberty?

Last week's inter-governmental summit of the heads of the so-called G8 group of nations took place in the fresh air of the French seaside resort of Deauville. But the sea air does not appear to have had a beneficial effect on final communiqu, which incorporates a call for stronger enforcement of intellectual property online.

The call is positioned as an economic priority for governments worldwide, and it is a coded demand for 3-strikes and website blocking.

The so-called Deauville Declaration, in the context of 'a new step for liberty and democracy' wants to see national frameworks to improve 'respect' for

IPR incorporated in legislation, notably "procedures permitting the prevention of actual or future infringements". It calls for the 'co-operation' of all political actors involved, working with the private sector.

The Internet section of the Deauville Declaration was drafted at the eG8 meeting, convened by President Sarkozy as a precedent to the main G8 economic summit, and, according to a New York Times report , the Communique text was prepared in advance of the summit with Sarkozy's agenda as the top priority.

The dangerous move which has been slipped in is the expansion of the possibilities for such legislation. Whereas until now the 'respect for IP' generally refers to copyright only, the Deauville Declaration expands it to all areas of intellectual property. It includes copyright, trade marks, commercial secrets and patents.

In the EU context, this will have implications because it implies changes to the EU acquis communitaire. It is trying to expand enforcement measures by the back door.

The important language is this (translated from the original French by me):

"It is why we are renewing our effort to take firm measures against violations of intellectual property rights, especially measures which will enable the prevention of actual or future infringements."

Firm measures for the prevention of infringements can only imply either the blocking of websites, services and applications, or the blocking of user - ie 3-strikes.

Further threats of web blocking are incorporated in supplementary calls to address the exploitation of children, and protect children who are using the Internet; and to deal with network secrity.

Moreover, as La Quadrature du Net points out, the communiqu does not include any substantial proposal about the importance of net neutrality, or how governments around the world will silence or jail bloggers".

It is all couched in the positive objective of creating a blossoming digital economy - oh, and protection of liberty and democracy. But the question is, whose liberty is it protecting?

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The Deauville Declaration regarding Internet and IP enforcement - original l text (in French):

S'agissant de la protection de la proprit intellectuelle, en particulier des droits d'auteur, des marques dposes, des secrets commerciaux et des brevets, nous reconnaissons que nous devons mettre en place des lgislations et des cadres nationaux pour en amliorer le respect. C'est pourquoi nous renouvelons notre engagement prendre des mesures fermes contre les violations des droits de proprit intellectuelle dans l'espace numrique, notamment par des procdures permettant d'empcher les infractions actuelles et futures. Nous reconnaissons que l'application effective des rgles en matire de proprit intellectuelle ncessite une coopration internationale approprie entre les acteurs concerns, associant le secteur priv. Nous sommes dtermins trouver les moyens de faciliter un meilleur accs et une plus grande ouverture la connaissance, l'ducation et la culture, notamment en encourageant l'innovation dans le commerce en ligne de biens et de contenus, dans le respect des droits de proprit intellectuelle.

Please attribute this article is: Monica Horten (2011) G8 Deauville Declaration - Sarkozy's web of threats http://www.iptegrity.com 30 May 2011 .

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK:England and Wales License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/uk/ It may be used for non-commercial purposes only, and the author's name should be attributed.

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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor, with expertise in online safety, technology and human rights. 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.

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