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IPR Enforcement

IPR enforcement on the Internet is highly contrversial as measures may entail some form of content blocking and impose new liabilities on ISPs and content platforms. Blocking measures immediately engage the right to freedom of expression.

This section monitors aspects of EU policy which relate to IPR and copyright enforcement from 2009. It covers a variety of industry-led proposals, including early moves against Internet providers. Iptegrity provided almost exclusive coverage of the European Commission's proposed Notice and Action Directive. It was subsequently shelved - but will it re-appear? The section also logs industry moves which may influence the policy agenda and seeks to understand ways in which European IPR enforcement policy could change or evolve.

If you like the articles in this section and you are interested in copyright enforcement policy in the EU, you may like my books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the 'Telecoms Package'

You might also like my latest book 'The Closing of the Net' which examins corporate power and Internet policy, including 3 chapters on copyright.

The European Commission is consulting on blocking orders against websites, and on privacy rules which relate to graduated response / 3-strikes measures. Interested Internet users have just over 2 months left to respond.

Just before Christmas, on 22 December, the European Commission snuck out a Report on the IPR Enforcement directive (commonly known as IPRED). This is the Report from the Commission on the Application of Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of Intellectual Property rights. The Report is the first shot in a Consultation process which ends on 31st March.

The main goal is to build new measures for copyright enforcement on the Internet into EU law. That is unmistakeably clear when you read the text of the Report. File-sharing is one target. Search engines are another. Anyone selling online is a third target group.

It is also very evident that the Commission proposes to use ISPs and

Read more: IPRED review: alarm bells for those who care about the 'Net

DG Markt has been secretly working on a file-sharing MoU for over a year. According to available sources, telecoms industry groups such as EuroISPA and ETNO have been sitting together with the rights-holders such as IFPI and Vivendi, in meetings chaired by Commission staff. But why did the Commission not reveal the MoU possibility in answer to a European Parliament question?

The European Commission is trying to get industry to agree to a "voluntary" MoU on file-sharing, and copyright enforcement. The MoU has been discussed in non-public talks with industry lobbyist along with a parallel initiative to update and amend the IPR Enforcement directive. On the table are blocking injunctions and privacy implications for 3-strikes, as well as so-called 'legal offers'.

The existence of the talks was first revealed by

Read more: Secrets and lies and EU file-sharing talks

The European Parliament has reneged on its previous position to protect users rights against 3-strikes/graduated response for copyright enforcement with a vote endorsing the Gallo report.

To make matters worse, the French media has exposed how the European Parliament was informed by questionable rights-holder lobbying which included the name of at least one dead person.

The European Parliament has taken a backwards step, an U-turned on its former position which protected Internet users' rights. Instead - unbelievably - it has voted in favour of the hard-line Gallo report which wants to see criminalisation of copyright infringements and ISP liability for copyright. These are the kind of policies which the European Parliament is opposing in the ACTA (Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement) and which it has previously opposed on several occasions over the past two years.

The Gallo report is an 'own-initiative' report written by the French, centre-right MEP Marielle Gallo. It is not

Read more: Gallo report: European Parliament U-turns on users rights

Iptegrity moves on!

May 2024: Iptegrity is being re-developed to upgrade the Joomla software.

Please bear with us until the new site is ready.

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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.