Thursday, 26 November 2009

EU telecoms chief Viviane Reding shakes the liberty tree

Viviane Reding shakes the liberty tree
In a surprise, but welcome move, EU telecoms chief Viviane Reding has come out strongly against the growing trend by EU national governments imposition of draconian 3 strikes internet policies.

Specifically, and as reported by EJC, she warned that the European Commission would take action against Spain if the government moves to cut the internet access of content pirates.

As background the report notes, 'that earlier this year, France introduced new legislation that cuts off internet access to copyright scofflaws and the UK is expected to present similar legislation in the coming weeks. Spain is also understood to be looking into such measures, but the government has yet to announce any new laws"

"Ms Reding said that she had been "following with interest the discussions in Spain" and warned the government not to consider measures that ran afoul of the European-level protections of the rights of internet users. She argued that the development of a single European market for online content was a superior path to take to counter internet piracy, lamenting the fragmentation of copyright law across the EU"

quote source - EU Observer via  EJC

The New Zealand dimension
There is now a growing unease that the current NZ government is also captured by the illusion that  using ISP's as the reluctant prisoner/prefects to an NZ version of the the three strikes policy,  will solve the problems consequent to the global entertainment industry's failure to come up with sustainable 21st century online business models.

 Fundamental Rights
Like others active around the time of the Sec 92a controversy, I remain totally unconvinced that it is the role of the internet service provider to manage the murky world of fair use and copyright violation. Moreover, I also believe  some real big issues around  human rights, and internet privacy are in play here. Ms Reding seems to agree:
"The new internet freedom provision now provides that any measures taken regarding access to and use of services and applications must always respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens,"

Ms Reding reminded the Spanish CMT. "Effective and timely judicial review is as much guaranteed as a prior, fair and impartial procedure, the presumption of innocence and the right to privacy."

"We need to find new, more modern and more effective ways in Europe to protect intellectual property and artistic creation.

"Repression alone will certainly not solve the problem of internet piracy; it may in many ways even run counter to the rights and freedoms which are part of Europe's values since the French Revolution."
quote source - here

It is very good news to see someone of Ms Reding's status entering this debate. Her notion that we need to radical overal of the entire copyright framework around digital content is also welcome. Would be great if this could be heard in NZ.

Viviane Reding
Ms Reding's profile, CV, and ecent press releases and speeches are here.


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