The Closing of the Net  "original and valuable"  Times Higher Education

 Key amendment switched at the last minute before the 7 July vote. What kind of law-making is this?


Annexe 1, Point 19 amendment to the Authorisation Directive has been deleted and replaced with an alternative text, that paves the way for ISP filtering at the framework level of EU law. 

Annexe 1, Point 19 of the Authorisation Directive  was an amendment which meant that EU governments could place copyright enforcement as a term of doing business for ISPs. In principle, it's a good thing that it has been deleted. What I am concerned about, is  the possible interpretation of the  text that has replaced it.

The deletion was voted through by the Industry, Research and Energy committee (ITRE)  on July 7th.  In its place, there is a new text, which  refers to another amendment  - Article 8 - point 4 - g. This amendment refers (via another linked amendment)  to co-operation between ISPs and rights-holders.  I have now been able to analyse it, and as I  suspected,  it means

more or less the same thing as the original amendment. It just says it in a roundabout way, instead of saying it directly, as the original one did.

Annexe 1, Point 19 of the Authorisation Directive   was  inserted by the College of Commissioners, with no scrutiny by the Commission Directorate responsible  for this legislation, and was largely overlooked in the discussion before the ITRE vote. This amendment - Point 19a -was not, to my knowledge, discussed as a compromise amendment. It has therefore had no scrutiny whatsoever, by any Parliamentarian.  I found it as Amendment 821 out of 830 amendments in  the ITRE committee report, so it's fair to ask whether it really got the scrutiny it deserved. 

 This is an appalling way to make laws. Amendments, hidden within a long text on a different piece of policy, suddenly switched at the last minute before a vote, in such a fashion that no-one even knows they are there. 

It would be comical, if it wasn't so serious and if it didn't mean the difference between a free or a restricted Internet. 

I have amended my paper of 21 July to include this change - click here to download the pdf.







The Copyright Enforcement Enigma tells the story of the 2009 Telecoms Package and how the copyright industries tried to hijack it.

'accurate and absorbing account of the story of the Telecoms Package' -Journal of International Commercial Law and Technology

'...a must read for those interested in knowing in depth about copyright enforcement and Internet.' -Journal of Intellectual Property Rights.  

Read more  

Ask your library to get it!

Order direct from the publisher.

Go to   Amazon

Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

European Parliament launch for Copyright Enforcement Enigma

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten, European expert on Internet policy and Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics & Political Science. She is an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee on Cross-border flow of Internet traffic and Internet freedom (MSI-INT). She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012. Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy. 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

Reads like a legal thriller!

The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the ‘Telecoms Package’

by Monica Horten

Available online from Amazon  or (libraries) get it from the publisher direct:

 is made available free of charge for  non-commercial use, Please link-back & attribute Monica Horten. Thank you for respecting this.

Contact  me to use  iptegrity content for commercial purposes