Monica Horten says that the proposed rules that will be voted on by European Parliament on September 23, do not bode well.
"The Telecoms Package (Paquet Telecom) is a review of European telecoms law. Ordinarily, it would deal with network infrastructure and universal service and other purely telecoms matters. However, buried within it, deep in the detail, are important legal changes that relate to enforcement of copyright. These changes are a threat to civil liberties and risk undermining the entire structure of Internet, jeopardising businesses and cultural diversity.
The bottom line is that changes to telecoms regulations are needed before EU member states can bring in the so-called "3 strikes" measures - also known as "graduated response" - of which France is leading the way, but other governments, notably the UK, are considering whether to follow. A swathe of amendments have been incorporated at the instigation of entertainment industry lobbying. These amendments are aimed at bringing an end to free downloading. They also bring with them the risk of an unchecked corporate censorship of the Internet, with a host of unanswered questions relating to the legal oversight and administration.
The Telecoms Package is currently pending a plenary vote in the European Parliament, scheduled for the morning of 23rd September. It follows a brief debate on 2nd September, and a committee vote in July. This timetable has not left much time for public debate, and it reminds me of the rushed passage of the data retention directive (see Data Retention on this site). It is, if you like, regulation by stealth.
I had originally planned to keep this site neutral. But it feels wrong to me to have such critical changes - which will infringe on people's freedoms and fundamentally alter the social and legal character of the Internet - happen without at least the opportunity for a full and frank public debate. So I am setting out the issues as I see them here. "
More info at http://www.iptegrity.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=35&Itemid=62
Monica Horten MA DipM
PhD research, Communications and Media Research Institute, University of Westminster
Tel: +44 (0)1628 672155
Mobile: +44 (0)7787 512887
The Political Battle for Online Content in the European Union - downloads v copyright v free expression
In the media: Telecom TV - Deep Packet Inspection Under its own Spotlight http://web20.telecomtv.com/pages/?newsid=43798&id=e9381817-0593-417a-8639-c4c53e2a2a10