Sunday, 24 July 2011

The EU Gets It Right!

EU Copyright Legislation Opposed By ISPs, Professors and Users

In the middle of July 2011, the European Commission published the results of a public consultation on the EU copyright directive IPRED. The responses have created a huge gap between rights owners and ISPs, professors and consumers, who claimed that the measures mentioned in IPRED threaten fundamental human rights and stifle innovation.
Within the past few years controversial copyright-protecting measures have been proposed in the European Union and outside of it. The most recent proposal (IPR Enforcement Directive, better known as IPRED) also proposes measures affecting online freedom and transforming Internet Service providers into Internet cops.
Earlier this year, different stakeholders and European citizens received the chance to take a stand against the proposed legislation. Now the results of the public consultation are published with a total of 380 responses received. Around 50% of all responses belong to individuals.
The summary, published by the EC, showed that there are in fact two rival parties formed, one of them being rights owners, and the other including Internet users, broadband providers and academics. While copyright owners are calling for stricter rules for copyright violation and illegal file-sharing, the second party is insisting that such measures shouldn’t apply for a number of reasons.
For example, Internet service providers complain that harsher rules would suffocate innovation, while Internet users, consumer groups and professors claim the legislation violate fundamental human rights. So, the European Commission made a conclusion that the overwhelming majority of consumers and academics strongly argued against regulation of IPR infringements, particularly in the context of the Internet community. Therefore, censoring of content and monitoring traffic on the web were regarded as threats to basic rights and clearly rejected. In addition, lots of the respondents pointed out that the entertainment industry itself is the piracy’s catalyst, because it doesn’t offer legitimate content.
Meanwhile, many respondents proposed for legalizing file-sharing throughout time, which would help the free exchange of data and consequently helping spread culture along with increasing creativity without affecting industry and society as a whole.

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