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Anorak | The Telecoms Package, Copyright And Civil Liberties

The Telecoms Package, Copyright And Civil Liberties

by | 9th, July 2008

THE EU is watching you:

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 in the committee stages of the European Parliament, with a plenary vote due on 1st or 2nd September. This does not leave 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.

Wrong.

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Posted: 9th, July 2008 | In: Politicians Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink