Platform responsibility? Get the backstory - check my book The Closing of the Net - only £15.99!

Innovation does not come from boardrooms, and the view of the panel was that  discriminatory practices permitted under the Telecoms Package put innovation at risk.


Report from Green Group/Pirate Party seminar: Telecoms Package, preparing for a third reading, European Parliament 7 September 2009


Dr Malte Behrmann, of the European Games Developers Federation, said that games developers have found new business models, which are now under threat of blocking by telecoms operators. "The real problem is the risk of

abuse. He criticised the mis-use of  filtering technology in order to prioritise content  and asked "what happens when they mis-use competition? He went on to say  "there is no such thing as being a little bit pregnant" implying that 'a little bit free' is also not an option. The core of the Internet has to stay free, he said. "Co-operation and discussions are interesting, but that is not really the point. These amendments are innovation-hostile".


In Dr Behrmann's view, we need to understand who has a real interest in the Telecoms Package and restrictions on Internet content. It is "the people who want to leverage their oligopolies from off-line to on-line" he said.


Caroline DeCock, speaking for the VON coalition which represents voice-over-IP services,  was clear that blocking or degradation of Internet services could be devastating for innovation. She called for a clarification of the regulation of network management in the Telecoms Package, saying the discriminatory practices should not be permitted and the rules should be clear and maintain open access, without gatekeepers. The use of devices should not be restricted. She highlighted that peer-to-peer services are used for purposes other than the downloading of copyrighted content, and cited the example of the European nuclear research community.


Jeremie Zimmermann, of La Quadrature du Net, stressed that French all three mobile operators block Skype and peer-to-peer. This demolishes the argument of Telecoms Package proponents that market competition will resolve the issue. It clearly will not resove anything if all operators co-operate on blockages.


Magnus Eriksson, speaking for the Julia group, a new group of Swedish academics and citizens interested in Internet issues, warned against the use of blacklists and whitelists to create a divided Internet, and spoke of the need to preserve the  open Internet as  a facilitator for innovation. "Innovation does not come from board rooms" he quipped.


There is a  radical solution for the Telecoms Package, as pointed out  by Caroline De Cock: remove all of the provisions relating to content.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial-Share Alike 2.5 UK:England and Wales License. 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)Is the Telecoms Package innovation-hostile?, 10 September 2009.  



States v the 'Net? 

Read The Closing of the Net, by me, Monica Horten.

"original and valuable"  Times higher Education

" essential read for anyone interested in understanding the forces at play behind the web."

Find out more about the book here  The Closing of the Net


FROM £15.99

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.

Iptegrity  offers expert insights into Internet policy (and related issues on Brexit). 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 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