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

Do the amendments which would impose ‘conditions limiting'  access to Internet services and applications say the same thing in all languages? And what do they mean? The European Parliment's German translation of the Telecoms Package could clarify the matter.

 

When I recently presented in Germany, and showed the text of the key  Telecoms Package amendments  in German, there was a comment that the German translation might have got a slightly different interpretation from the English.

So here is the text in eight of the other EU  languages, where I was able to distinguish ( I hope correctly) two of the relevant articles.  The key text in the Telecoms Package is that which refers to ‘conditions limiting access to'  Internet services and applications. This is the text which will permit broadband providers to restrict or block access to services such as

Skype, or peer-to-peer file-sharing, or indeed any other services they choose. Arguably, it also permits governments to order the blocking of services to support specific purposes. Those purposes could be support of copyright, or ‘protect the children'.

 

Given the seriousness of what the Package will enable, it is important that the translations correctly reflect the meaning, and that the meaning is understood in all EU counrties.

 

In German, "conditions limiting access to and/or use of services and applications"   has been translated as ‘Einschränkungen im Hinblick auf den Zugang zu und/oder die Nutzung von Diensten und Anwendungen.'  Arguably, this is a slightly different interpretation but more direct,  because a reverse translation is ‘restrictions in respect of the access to and/or use of services and applications' .. etc'.

 

Actually, ‘Einschränkung' means either limitation or restriction. But there is another word ‘Begrenzung' which is used in the sense of expressing a limitation when it is a condition, as in Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung or speed limit. ( I have used the Oxford Duden German dictionary, third edition, 2005).  The choice to use Einschränkung in the German translation, clarifies the meaning of the amendment as one which permits access to  Internet  services to be restricted.

 

The question is whether the German interpretation is merely clarifying the meaning of the text which is (deliberately?) confusing in the original English. Or whether it makes any difference with a good lawyer to argue the point.

 

The text is now available in all of the EU languages via these links:

2ND READING TEXTS ADOPTED Universal Service Directive

 2ND READING TEXTS ADOPTED Framework, Access and Authorisation directive  

Note that under English law, something which is not forbidden, is by default, permitted. (These Amendments were written by  UK government lawyers).  Restrictions on access to Internet  services may not be mandated under the E-commerce directive. Therefore, if it is  not forbidden, the broadband operators are permitted to restrict. ‘National measures' currently refers to graduated response / 3-strikes but could refer to measures to protect children, or any future kinds of  censorship.

 Other amendments to read are:

 Universal services and users rights directive  See Recital 22, Art 21.3, 22.3, 33.3

 Access directive Article 9.1
Authorisation directive, annex 1, point 19

Universal Services Directive Article 1.2a

Universal Services directive Article 20.1b

ENGLISH

2a.  This Directive neither mandates nor prohibits conditions, imposed by providers of publicly available electronic communications and services, limiting users' access to and/or use of services and applications, where allowed under national law and in conformity with Community law, but does provide for information regarding such conditions. National measures regarding end-users' access to or use of services and applications through electronic communications networks shall respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons, including in relation to privacy and due process, as defined in Article 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

 

information on any other conditions limiting access to and/or use of services and applications, where such conditions are allowed under national law in accordance with Community law ,

DEUTSCH

1.2a Diese Richtlinie fordert weder von den Anbietern nach Maßgabe des innerstaatlichen Rechts auferlegte Bedingungen, die den Zugang zu und/oder die Nutzung von Diensten und Anwendungen durch die Nutzer einschränken, noch verbietet sie diese, stellt jedoch Information über solche Bedingungen bereit. Im Rahmen einzelstaatlicher Maßnahmen betreffend den Zugang zu und/oder die Nutzung von Diensten und Anwendungen durch die Endnutzer werden die Grundrechte und -freiheiten der Bürger, einschließlich des Rechts auf Privatsphäre und des Rechts ein faires Verfahren gemäß Artikel 6 der Europäischen Konvention zum Schutz der Menschenrechte und Grundfreiheiten, geachtet.

 

 

20.1 b

Informationen über alle weiteren Einschränkungen im Hinblick auf den Zugang zu und/oder die Nutzung von Diensten und Anwendungen, soweit sie nach innerstaatlichem Recht im Einklang mit dem Gemeinschaftsrecht zulässig sind

 

 

FRANCAIS

2 bis.  La présente directive ne prescrit ni n'interdit les conditions imposées par les fournisseurs de services et communications électroniques accessibles au public pour limiter l'accès aux services et applications et/ou leur utilisation, lorsqu'elles sont autorisées par le droit national et conformes au droit communautaire, mais elle prévoit des informations concernant ces conditions. Les mesures nationales relatives à l'accès des utilisateurs finals aux services et applications, et à leur utilisation, via les réseaux de communications électroniques respectent les libertés et droits fondamentaux des personnes physiques, y compris eu égard à la vie privée et au droit à un procès équitable, tel qu'il figure à l'article 6 de la convention européenne de sauvegarde des droits de l'homme et des libertés fondamentales.

 

20.1 b

l'information sur toutes autres conditions limitant l'accès à des services et applications et/ou leur utilisation, lorsque ces conditions sont autorisées en vertu du droit national conformément au droit communautaire,

 

ESPAGNOL

2 bis.  La presente Directiva no establece ni prohíbe condiciones, impuestas por los proveedores de servicios y comunicaciones electrónicos disponibles al público, que limiten el acceso o el uso de los servicios y aplicaciones, cuando así lo permita la legislación nacional y de conformidad con la legislación comunitaria, aunque sí proporciona información sobre dichas condiciones. Las medidas nacionales relativas al acceso o al uso por parte de los usuarios finales de los servicios y las aplicaciones a través de redes de comunicaciones electrónicas respetarán los derechos y libertades fundamentales de las personas físicas, también en lo que se refiere a la intimidad y a un proceso con las debidas garantías, tal como se define en el artículo 6 del Convenio Europeo para la Protección de los Derechos Humanos y de las Libertades Fundamentales.

 

20.1 b

información sobre cualquier otra condición que limite el acceso o la utilización de los servicios y las aplicaciones, cuando tales condiciones estén permitidas por la legislación nacional con arreglo a la legislación comunitaria ;

ITALIANO

2 bis.  La presente direttiva, pur non prescrivendo né vietando condizioni, imposte dai fornitori di servizi di comunicazione elettronica accessibili al pubblico e di servizi della società dell'informazione, atte a limitare l'accesso e/o l'utilizzo di servizi e applicazioni da parte degli utenti, ove consentito dalla legislazione nazionale e in conformità del diritto comunitario, prevede tuttavia la fornitura di informazioni in ordine a tali condizioni. Le misure nazionali in materia di accesso o di uso di servizi e applicazioni attraverso reti di comunicazione elettronica da parte di utenti finali rispettano i diritti e le libertà fondamentali delle persone fisiche, anche in relazione alla vita privata e al giusto processo, come definiti all'articolo 6 della Convenzione europea per la salvaguardia dei diritti dell'uomo e delle libertà fondamentali.

 

20.1b

informazioni su eventuali altre condizioni atte a limitare l'accesso e/o l'utilizzo di servizi e applicazioni, ove siano ammesse dalla legislazione nazionale in conformità del diritto comunitario ;

 

PORTUGUES

2 bis.  2-A. A presente directiva não mandata nem proíbe condições, impostas pelos fornecedores de serviços de comunicações electrónicas acessíveis ao público, limitando aos utilizadores o acesso e/ou a utilização de serviços e aplicações, sempre que tal seja permitido pela legislação nacional e em conformidade com o Direito comunitário, mas faculta, ao invés, informações relativas a estas condições. As medidas nacionais relativas ao acesso ou à utilização de serviços e aplicações através de redes de comunicações electrónicas pelos utilizadores finais devem respeitar os direitos fundamentais dos cidadãos, nomeadamente em relação à privacidade e ao direito a um processo equitativo, tal definido no artigo 6.º da Convenção Europeia para a Protecção dos Direitos Humanos e das Liberdades Fundamentais.

 

20.1b

informações sobre quaisquer condições que restrinjam o acesso e/ou utilização de serviços e aplicações, caso essas condições sejam permitidas pela legislação nacional em conformidade com a legislação comunitária ,

 

SVENSKA

2a.  I detta direktiv varken föreskrivs eller förbjuds villkor som införs av leverantörer av allmänt tillgängliga elektroniska kommunikationstjänster och som begränsar användarnas tillgång till och/eller användning av tillämpningar och tjänster, om dessa villkor är tillåtna enligt nationell lagstiftning och stämmer överens med gemenskapsrätten; däremot ges information om sådana villkor. Nationella bestämmelser om slutanvändares tillgång till eller användning av tjänster och tillämpningar över elektroniska kommunikationsnät ska vara förenliga med fysiska personers grundläggande fri- och rättigheter, inklusive rätten till personlig integritet och rätten till ett korrekt rättsförfarande, så som dessa definieras i artikel 6 i Europeiska konventionen om skydd för de mänskliga rättigheterna och de grundläggande friheterna.

 

20.1 b

information om eventuella övriga villkor som begränsar tillgången till och/eller användningen av tjänster och tillämpningar, om sådana villkor är tillåtna enligt nationell lagstiftning i enlighet med gemenskapsrätten ,

NEDERLANDS

2 bis.  Deze richtlijn voorziet niet in en verbiedt evenmin voorwaarden die aanbieders van openbare elektronische-communicatiediensten aan gebruikers opleggen, waarbij de toegang tot en/of het gebruik van diensten en toepassingen wordt beperkt, indien deze krachtens de nationale wetgeving zijn toegestaan en in overeenstemming zijn met het Gemeenschapsrecht, maar verstrekt wel informatie over dergelijke voorwaarden. Nationale maatregelen betreffende toegang tot of gebruik van diensten en toepassingen door de gebruikers via elektronische communicatienetwerken moeten de fundamentele rechten en vrijheden van natuurlijke personen eerbiedigen, waaronder het recht op privacy en het recht op een eerlijk proces, zoals bepaald in artikel 6 van het Europees Verdrag tot bescherming van de rechten van de mens en de fundamentele vrijheden.

 

20.1b

informatie over eventuele beperkingen inzake toegang tot en/of gebruik van diensten en toepassingen, indien zulks volgens de nationale wetgeving overeenkomstig de Gemeenschapswetgeving toegestaan is ;

POLSKI

2a.  Niniejsza dyrektywa nie dopuszcza ani nie zakazuje warunków - na?o?onych przez dostawców publicznie dost?pnych us?ug ??czno?ci elektronicznej - ograniczaj?cych u?ytkownikom dost?p do us?ug i aplikacji lub korzystanie z nich, o ile jest to dopuszczalne w prawie krajowym i zgodne z prawem wspólnotowym, jednak dostarcza informacji dotycz?cych takich warunków. Krajowe ?rodki dotycz?ce dost?pu u?ytkowników ko?cowych do us?ug i aplikacji lub korzystania z nich za po?rednictwem sieci ??czno?ci elektronicznej przyjmuje si? z poszanowaniem praw podstawowych i swobód osób fizycznych, tak?e w odniesieniu do prawa do prywatno?ci oraz prawa do uczciwego procesu, zgodnie z art. 6 Europejskiej konwencji o ochronie praw cz?owieka i podstawowych wolno?ci.

 

20.1 b

 

informacje o wszelkich innych warunkach ograniczaj?cych dost?p do us?ug i aplikacji ?lub korzystania z nich, je?eli warunki takie dopuszcza prawo krajowe zgodnie z prawem wspólnotowym,

 

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) EU Internet Restrictions in 9 languages, http://www.iptegrity.com 24 July 2009. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.  

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Copyright Enforcement Enigma launch, March 2012

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Iptegrity.com 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

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

by Monica Horten

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