A report that attempts to force the hand of the European Parliament on IPR enforcement - including a possible weakening of the Telecoms Package outcome - has been temporarily stalled.
The Gallo report dealing with copyright and IPR enforcement has been stalled following a vote today in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The Parliament voted 140 to 135 in favour of postponing it until September, which will allow more time for scrutiny of the text.
The Gallo report, named after the rapporteur, Marielle Gallo, is not a legislative proposal, and will not create any new laws. But it is important because it acts as a lever in the political processes which will establish the European Parliament's position on IPR enforcement. It may be used to guide MEPs in future votes on copyright and IPR enforcement matters, including the Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) .
The Gallo report sets out a position which broadly favours stronger enforcement measures for IPR, including trademarks and counterfeit, and for copyright on the Internet. 'Enforcement' means measures such as 3-strikes, website blocking, and other restrictions on Internet usage against allegations of copyright infringement. The report is written in the obscure language which is now becoming a familiar pattern, and it deals with
a broad range of IPR enforcement matters - I will here focus on those which relate to the Internet.
The report wants the EU to reconsider the criminalisation of infringements via the Internet. Criminal measures which were previously proposed were blocked in Council of Ministers, on the grounds that they were outside the EU competence.
Of particular interest is how it deals with the Telecoms Package outcome. The Gallo report resorts to the weaker language which was rejected by the European Parliament in the Second Reading of the Telecoms Package, stating that fundmental rights must be respected, and specifying only the right to privacy. Conversely, it fails to acknowledge the Telecoms Package final outcome (Article 1.3a Framework directive), which insists that fundmental rights shall be guaranteed.
The Gallo report also rides roughshod over the Telecoms Package by calling for:
non-legislative measures such as discussions on possible improvements to the digital market in Europe through voluntary harmonisation of procedures and standards amongst stakeholders can be useful to improve the application of IPRs, particularly measures arising from in-depth dialogue among stakeholders;
For this, read that Gallo wants ISPs to be pressured into some kind of ‘voluntary' 3-strikes and other Internet blocking measures. This is contrary to what MEPs wanted when they voted for the Telecoms Package.
One positive point for the Gallo report is that it calls for the Commission to act on the thorny issue of multi-territory rights, and enable a more conduicive form of copyright for Internet use in the EU. Such measures are essential if so-called "new business models" for selling music and film online are to be viable.
Read the European Parliament's Gallo report by MEP Marielle Gallo.
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. The correct attribution for this article is: Monica Horten (2009) Gallo report on IPR Enforcement stalled, http://www.iptegrity.com 5 July 2010 .