Companioning ACTA, there are proposed changes to the E-commerce Directive, IPRED, Customs Enforcement, etc

The EU Commission is rushing hastily towards it’s Digital Single Market (DSM) and as well as unintended (or perhaps secretly intended) consequences for EU citizens and businesses, there will be speed-bumps along the w.

Near the end of EFF’s article on “EU Court of Justice: Social Networks Can’t Be Forced to Monitor and Filter to Prevent Copyright Infringement” [ http://tinyurl.com/7h99c9t ], there is this warning to Civil Society:

we recognize that the ECJ’s Scarlet and Netlog decisions will now lead to increased lobbying pressure from rightsholder groups to change EU law, perhaps as part of the European Commission’s review of the 2004 Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive.

That Directive is known as IPRED  (Directive 2004/48/EC http://tinyurl.com/762jyst ).

Another article, this time from iptegrity.com (I’ve posted this one before) broadens the warning:

EU gives notice of ‘Net blocking schemes

.. The E-commerce directive to date has been the protector of the open Internet, notably the mere conduit provision. (See Why we should protect ‘mere conduit’ and reject the copyright amendments ). The review sets out pivotal changes which threaten that protecting role of mere conduit. Notably, the Commission wants to introduce a pan-European notice and action scheme. This is based on other ‘notice and takedown’ schemes (such as the one in the American DMCA law) but with an important difference. The proposed EU scheme uses the word ‘action’ instead of ‘takedown’, where action could mean asking hosts to take down content, but also would seem to mean blocking of content by ISPs on request:

  • “The notice and action procedures are those followed by the intermediary internet providers for the purpose of combating illegal content upon receipt of notification. The intermediary may, for example, take down illegal content, block it, or request that it be voluntarily taken down by the persons who posted it online.”

The notice and action scheme was previewed on iptegrity.com in December last year: EU gives notice of net blocking schemes

In addition, the Commission wants to bring payment providers into ‘co-operation’ schemes between ISPs and rights-holders.This would mean asking the likes of PayPal, Mastercard, and Visa to block payments to websites or content providers, at the request of rights-holders:

  • “Cooperation between stakeholders, in particular internet providers, rights-holders and payment services, in the European Union and the US, may also help to combat illegal content.”

Both the notice and action, and the payment ‘co-operation’ schemes pre-empt another European Commission review – the IPR Enforcement directive (IPRED). The IPRED review will consider EU-wide policy for enforcing copyright on the Internet. It is not clear whether the payments ‘co-operation’ would be positioned within the e-commerce directive or IPRED, or both.

Both directives are under the remit of the French Commissioner Michel Barnier, who is understood to be close to President Sarkozy.
http://www.iptegrity.com/index.php/ipred/733-eu-gives-notice-of-net-blocking-schemes

Anti-ACTA (the draconian Intellectual property & Copyright Enforcement treaty) activists need to learn to multi-task!

We must fight on at least three fronts;
against ACT;
against rights-sapping changes to the original E-commerce Directive [2000/31/EC];
against rights-sapping changes to the original IPRED [2004/48/EC] that would harm EU businesses and citizens’ Fundamental rights and rights enshrined in other current EU acquis;
against rights-sapping proposals is described in this excellent blog: “proposed EU regulation regarding Customs Enforcement of IPR”:  http://grahnlaw.blogspot.com/2012/02/european-parliament-imco-customs.html

La Quadrature du Net (and many other Civil society actors) is on the case regarding the E-commerce Directive changes [COM(2011)28]: https://www.laquadrature.net/en/notice-action-eu-commission-must-put-freedom-of-expression-first , and IPRED changes: http://www.laquadrature.net/en/ipred

The EU Commission want to finish it’s review of IPRED this spring (2012): http://www.futureofcopyright.com/home/blog-post/2012/02/06/ec-presents-roadmap-on-the-revision-of-the-ipr-enforcement-directive-1.html and adopt the revised IPRED in September 2012 according to their Roadmap: http://ec.europa.eu/governance/impact/planned_ia/docs/2011_markt_006_review_enforcement_directive_ipr_en.pdf

Here is the latest EU Commission document I can find (11 January 2012) on the E-commerce changes (COM(2011) 942): http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/consumer_research/market_studies/docs/communication_digital_single_market_ecommerce_en.pdf

Vigilance is becoming my new hobby as well as collecting the spiders-web of various EU legislation tags but I confess, it is confusing, like a giant jigsaw puzzle with the pieces spread out all over various places.

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