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[Nettime-nl] EU regel maakt het mogelijk film- en muziekindustrie naw-ge
lucas.evers on Sat, 13 Mar 2004 09:09:09 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-nl] EU regel maakt het mogelijk film- en muziekindustrie naw-gegevensvan P2P gebruikers te achterhalen

9 maart jl vond er een stemming plaats in het EU parlement over een
richtlijn die het mogelijk maakt voor muziek- en filmindustrie naam en
adresgegevens te vragen van gebruikers van P2P software. 307 stemmen voor,
185 stemmen tegen.

(sorry dat ik slechts engelstalige tekst en links kan geven)


Contact: Robin Gross, IP Justice Executive Director
email: robin {AT} ipjustice.org
phone: +33 (0)3 88 15 49 00 (room 330) - in Strasbourg
phone: +1 415-553-6261 - in San Francisco

EU Passes Dangerous IP Law, Despite MEP’s Conflict of Interest
“Midnight Knocks” by Recording Industry Executives Get Go-Ahead

Civil liberties in Europe were handed a severe set-back today as the
European Union Parliament passed a controversial directive that will
treat average consumers who accidentally infringe a single copyright
with the same harsh penalties formerly reserved for large commercial

The EU Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive creates
powerful new enforcement measures to be applied throughout the EU that
permit Hollywood and recording industry executives to civilly prosecute
consumers for minor and non-commercial infringements of intellectual
property rights.

The directive’s most controversial issue, Article 2, which widened its
scope to include any non-commercial infringement, passed in the EU
plenary with a final vote of 307-185. Never did the parliament provide
any justification or public policy rationale for why average consumers
who make a single private copy should be treated as if they were
peddling counterfeit pharmaceuticals by European law courts.

The enforcement directive creates a broad new “Right of Information”
which requires Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to disclose personal
information about their customers to recording industry executives for
civil prosecution of Peer-2-Peer (P2P) file-sharing and other
activities. Similar subpoena powers, created under the notorious US
Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) have been abused by the US
recording industry to obtain personal information on thousands of US
consumers and have resulted in financial settlements from those
consumers, including 12-year girls who live in public housing and
70-year old grandparents. Under this directive, the personal
information of European citizens must be forcibly disclosed to
companies such as Vivendi-Universal who can now harass and financially
extort European consumers as well. And the EU directive applies to all
types of intellectual property infringements, not just copyrights.

It also provides for Anton Pillar orders or “midnight knocks” that
permit private citizens’ homes to be raided by recording industry
executives, and Mareva injunctions, which freeze consumers’ bank
accounts and other assets without the need for a court hearing.

ISPs are concerned about the directive because it allows for their
equipment and servers to be confiscated and destroyed without the need
for a court hearing for the allegedly infringing activity of their

“Traditional civil liberties, fairness, balance, and proportionality
have all be thrown to the wind in the over-zealous rush to pass this
dangerous directive,” said Robin Gross, Executive Director of IP
Justice, an international civil liberties organization that promotes
balanced intellectual property laws.

During the 9 March final vote, UK Green Party MEP Sir Neil MacCormick
commented on the inherent conflict of interest for the directive’s
Rapporteur, French Conservative MEP Janelly Fourtour, who will directly
profit from the new EU law she rushed through the parliament without a
usual “Second Reading” debate. Fourtour’s family owns the world’s
largest entertainment company, Vivendi-Universal, and has today been
granted powerful new enforcement provisions to prosecute consumers for
minor and non-commercial infringements.

“How can a member of parliament be in the official position to shepherd
through a law in which she personally stands to gain millions of
Euros?” asked Gross, a civil liberties attorney. “Such a glaring
conflict of interest calls into question the entire legitimacy of the
EU Parliament’s law-making capacity,” she added.

A set of key amendments proposed by Italian Radical MEP Marco Cappato
to narrow the directive’s scope to only commercial infringements in
order to protect consumers from the law’s excesses did not pass in the
final vote. The European Council is expected to approve the directive
on 11 March and Member States will have 24 months in which to implement
its provisions in their own countries.

More Information:

Campaign for an Open Digital Environment (CODE):

Text of EU IP Rights Enforcement Directive:

IP Justice's Top 8 Reasons to Reject the EU IP Rights Enforcement

8 March Consumer Rally Against Directive:

IP Justice is an international civil liberties organization that
promotes balanced intellectual property laws. IP Justice defends
consumer rights to use digital media worldwide and is a non-profit
organization based in San Francisco. IP Justice was founded in 2002 by
Robin Gross, who serves as its Executive Director. To learn more about
IP Justice, visit the website at http://www.ipjustice.org.

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