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Report from Brussels 

The controversial Amendment 138 has set EU officials searching for the rule books as they attempt to work out how to re-introduce it in the Second Reading of the Telecoms Package.

Amendment 138 states that sanctions cannot be applied against Internet users without a prior judicial ruling. It positions itself against measures such as graduated response or 3 strikes, where it is proposed to sanction users without going to court.

It was dropped without explanation by the Council of Ministers in their political agreement last November, but it is understood that MEP Guy Bono plans to re-introduce it. The rules for MEPs to table amendments in Second Reading are different from the first reading, where 40 signatures are required. It seems that even

those who work deep within the corridors of the EU offices are unclear how to do it.

What is clear is that Amendment 138 has created a political sticking point. Any action by the EU on copyright enforcement and graduated response measures cannot proceed while it lies in the balance.

Part of the difficulty relates to the intervention last year by French President Sarkozy, which forced the European Commission to support Amendment 138 and pushed it up the ladder of politically important points in the Telecoms Package. It has come to signify a European Parliament position against graduated response, and specifically against cutting users off the Internet as a sanction to support copyright enforcement, backing up the position taken with the Fjellner-Rocard amendment in the Bono report last April.




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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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

Don't miss Iptegrity!  RSS/ Bookmark is the website of Dr Monica Horten. She is a policy analyst specialising in Internet governance & European policy, including platform accountability. She is a 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 the Caucasus. In a voluntary capacity, she has led UK citizen delegations to the European Parliament. She was shortlisted for The Guardian Open Internet Poll 2012.

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