The European Parliament voted today on corrections and adumbdumbs to the so-called Telecoms Package.
Graduated response, a dream cooked up by the IFPI and consorts which made media law boffins laugh out loud throughout the whole of Europe and gave digital rights groups irritable colons, was finally thrown out. Graduated response encompassed the idea that people being naughty because they were caught downloading content they didn't buy or hold rights to would be warned two times before getting cut off from the net. The proposal is being bashed about by French actionist and president Nicholas Sarkozy, despite having neither legal grounds nor prerequisites in the continental European tradition of codified law. As France currently holds presidency of the EU, it can be reckoned they'll try stuffing graduated response down throats once more.
Tory MEP Malcolm Harbour found his suggestion that internet providers hand out log files and other personal user data to corporations so they can sue users sockless for perhaps breaching intellectual property rights was also thrown out of the package, although Mr. Harbour certainly would've needed the writ bashed over his head for thinking that companies should be given the same sort of powers reserved only for executive authorities in a democratic state. Back in July, members of the EU Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) voted against forcing providers to monitor the internet connections of their customers.
Nonetheless, the European Parliament decided it would be spiffing if internet providers would work together with friendly neighbourhood corporations like Vivendi, Bertelsmann and groups like the IFPI to make sure the net is a safe place for an industry which in the past has seemed totally unable to adapt to either cassette recorders, CD R/W drives, Skype and Bittorrent. Let us also not forget different national laws - German national law for instance allows punters to make seven digital or analogue copies of a CD and distribute them to friends and family, online or offline. However, the industry seems to be understanding the new world order, as Slotmusic seems to demonstrate.
In more positive news, parliament voted for an addendum supported by civil rights organisations. The addendum calls upon regulatory bodies to make sure the EU charta for human rights is upheld in the digital domain, with exceptions for prosecutors and executive authorities. The entire package also foresess additional privacy laws for consumers and new rules on how member states should sell frequencies. X