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

The Council of Ministers latest stealth move on the Telecoms Package - it sneaks the Harbour report, withs its chilling Internet restrictions provisions, into law - and does so without a prior statement to the Parliament or European citizens.

 

Bureacrats at the Council of Ministers have taken a unilateral decision behind closed doors to split the Telecoms

Package and adopt part of it - before the negotations with the European Parliament are completed.

 

The decision was taken last week at a meeting of COREPER - this is the committee of deputy ambassadors to the EU which runs the Council of Ministers. It chose to break from the previously understood agreement that the three directives in the Telecoms Package are inter-linked, and therefore can only be adopted or rejected together. Instead, it has broken out the Harbour report  - Universal  Services and ePrivacy - and the Del Castillo report  - on a pan-European regulatory body - and adopted them. Adoption means they will pass into EU law.

 

The adoption appeared on an agenda for Monday's meeting of the General Affairs council. It appears to have been put there without notice to the European Parliament. There was no discussion, the decision was simply rubber-stamped - which is why they did not need to put it to the specialist Telecoms Council. The only explanation forthcoming is that there was a deadline for adoption, because the vote was in May - however, this must be countered by the official line  published on the European Parliament website in May, - that the three directives are linked and cannot be split.

 It raises questions about the policy process and how it is being handled. Which is it - linked or split? And why is a committee of desk-men able to take a political decision of this nature without even notifying the Parliament?

 The Harbour report will enable 3-strikes measures of the type announced yesterday by Lord Mandelson in the UK. It will permit broadband operators to block content, as Deutsche Telekom  and Telefonica are  blocking Skype. This cocktail of copyright enforcement measures and discretionary blocking by operators will create a patchwork of networks across the 27 EU countries, and risks destroying, not growing, the digital economy.  This is contrary to the spin put out by the EU  - those who suggest that there are good things these reports, should be explicit about the provisions they refer to and be prepared to debate them, which I note, they are not.

It is also in contradiction to US regulatory moves, which aim to preserve the open Internet and  which have been set out by the FCC   in a detailed policy document released earlier this week.

 

The Del Castillo report sets up a pan-European regulatory body, the problem is that it is toothless in the face of abusive behaviour by operators or governments. 

  For the full story of the Telecoms Package, see my book The Copyright Enforcement Enigma: Internet politics and the Telecoms Package

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) Say hello to EU  Internet restrictions  http://www.iptegrity.com 29 October  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.  

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! Iptegrity.com  RSS/ Bookmark      

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

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:

 

 

 

 

Iptegrity.com 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