New EU Parliamentary Forum To Push For Even More Draconian Copyright Laws And Enforcement

from the more-is-never-enough dept

Last year, Techdirt reported on the approval by the European Parliament of the Gallo Report, which calls for harsher enforcement of intellectual monopolies. Although the Report has no legal force, it's important, since it functions as a framework for future legislation in this area. And now the eponymous French MEP Marielle Gallo is at it again, with her new "IP Forum":
The IP Forum is a new platform that intends to trigger a dialogue among parties, experts and policymakers in the areas of copyright and industrial property.

The main objective is to bring together policymakers and stakeholders from different industries and to reflect on the upcoming legislative and non legislative proposals of the European Commission that are of paramount importance for the competitiveness of the EU economy.
In other words, this is designed as another talking shop to give industry lobbyists an opportunity to bend the ear of European politicians. Conspicuous by their absence, of course, are any representatives of those most affected by legislation -- the public.

It's also a chance for copyright maximalists to get together and repeat the same unsubstantiated claims about the "damage" caused by piracy and the need for urgent action, as Gallo's first conference, "IPR enforcement in the digital era", makes clear:
Thanks to the Internet, dissemination of copyrighted works has never been so easy. At the same time however, several studies have demonstrated the negative impact of piracy to the cultural and creative industries and to the economy altogether. The transfer of the European Observatory of Counterfeiting and Piracy to the OHIM will enable policymakers to dispose, in the future, of data on the effects of piracy that may not be put into question. In the meantime there is still a pressing need to act.

During this conference, we will have the opportunity to listen to Victoria Espinel, the US IP Enforcement coordinator, who will give us an outlook on the current state of play in the United States of IPR enforcement on the internet. We will also exchange our views with several associations and companies on the possible review of the IPR Enforcement directive and also on the specific changes that policymakers should bring about.
But there simply aren't "several studies" that genuinely demonstrate the negative impact of piracy; the UK's Hargreaves Review looked for some, and this is what it found:
The Review team has examined numerous studies, including those in the table above, and a supporting paper looks at the methodological strengths and weaknesses of this work. With the exception of the Industry Canada study, we have either not been able to examine the methodology of the studies or, where we have, we have discovered problems with the methodology. Consequently, we have not found either a figure for the prevalence and impact of piracy worldwide or for the UK in which we can place our confidence.
Translated from British English, that roughly means "they're all garbage."

In fact, Gallo herself touches on this key issue when she writes of future "data on the effects of piracy that may not be put into question" -- tacitly acknowledging that the current data can be put into question.

She has more to say about the international angle on her Policies page:
Our industrialized trade partners ... have taken all necessary measures to protect effectively their companies from counterfeiting and piracy. These measures have been welcomed by trade unions. At the same time, through its trade policy the European Union participates internationally to the creation of an appropriate legal framework in order to enable our companies and their employees to benefit fully from globalization.
This gives a hint of some of the likely aims of Gallo's new forum: helping to push ACTA's "legal framework" through the European Parliament and perhaps even drumming up support for a European SOPA, just as the US DMCA was transposed into the EU's EUCD. Once again, Gallo's new initiative shows that no matter how much the copyright maximalists get in terms of legislation and treaties, they always want more and will work in concert to get it.

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Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 5:21am

    Thanks to the Internet, dissemination of copyrighted works has never been so easy. At the same time however, several studies have demonstrated the negative impact of piracy to the cultural and creative industries and to the economy altogether.


    This is where they really loose credibility.

    Piracy certainly effects businesses although the extent of the damage is wildly unknown. The studies all rely heavily on assumptions that cause wild swings in the results and business models also really shift the effect and extent of infringement.

    However, the loss an impact on the overall economy is near zero. Piracy neither creates nor destroys money and people know exactly what they're getting. Worst case, it just means that fewer dollars go to the IP industry and more go to someone else. It could be the local Starbucks, or theater, or Walmart but the money is still around to be spent on something.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 5:36am

    You're trying to make "unquantified" = "unsubstantied".

    As shown here by my emphasis: "Consequently, we have not found either a figure for the prevalence and impact of piracy".

    Along with maintaining that individual instances of piracy have no effect on the gross profits of an entire industry.

    You're basically trying to maintain that piracy doesn't even exist -- while trumpeting how easy it is now.

    AND DESPITE "Hargreaves Review's" best efforts, the briefest of looks at The Pirate Bay, Rapidshare, Megaupload, Filesonic, and numerous other sites shows piracy is rampant.

     

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  3.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 6:04am

    Re: You're trying to make "unquantified" = "unsubstantied".

    AND DESPITE "Hargreaves Review's" best efforts, the briefest of looks at The Pirate Bay, Rapidshare, Megaupload, Filesonic, and numerous other sites shows piracy is rampant.
    The problem was finding studies that "genuinely demonstrate the negative impact of piracy", not that piracy merely exists. You're moving the goalposts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 6:08am

    Re: You're trying to make "unquantified" = "unsubstantied".

    so I just read this comment about 15 times trying to figure out what you are trying to say.

    I came up with "look at me, I'm cooler than you"

    is that about right?

     

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  5.  
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    anonymous, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 6:09am

    in other words, she is receiving 'encouragement' from the industries to follow the complete f**k up that is going to be made in the US if SOPA/PROTECTIP get passed into law. she is ignoring the decision by the EU Parliament that condemns the proposals of the US because they will break the internet, whilst doing nothing except allowing the entertainment industries to relax on their backsides and stay in the internet stone age and she is ignoring EU Commissioner Kroes warnings about stricter copyright. she should be removed from office! no MP, Europe or otherwise, should be allowed to continue in office, when there is a blatant disregard of public interest in favour of business, and a continual challenge to previously made decisions. she needs to be investigated, as all MPs do, to find out who is doing the 'encouraging' and what 'incentives' she is receiving.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 6:11am

    Re: You're trying to make

    Notice that there's no known hard figure for the effects of piracy, negative or otherwise. This is little more than dictatorship under the guise of protecting IP.

     

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  7.  
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    Prisoner 201, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 6:13am

    Re: Re: You're trying to make "unquantified" = "unsubstantied".

    But but but... it's common sense that every time a pirate pirates pirate goods, God kills an artist, five kittens and that cute blond girl in accounting.

    I dont care what scientists say. Commons sense and kneejerk reactions simply can't be wrong.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 6:20am

    Re: You're trying to make "unquantified" = "unsubstantied".

    Piracy does exist, and it is most likely good.

    Piracy is not impeding production since plenty of stuff is being produced (just look around you), and piracy increases the distribution and lowers the overall price for the public. Piracy is economically good.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 6:22am

    The effect of piracy is well known and documented, big number of losses both financial and people employed. However if you want to know how this numbers were formed you can't, its a secret ;D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 7:07am

    Re: You're trying to make "unquantified" = "unsubstantied".

    AND DESPITE "Hargreaves Review's" best efforts, the briefest of looks at The Pirate Bay, Rapidshare, Megaupload, Filesonic, and numerous other sites shows piracy is rampant.


    Nobody will disagree that piracy is rampant. The real question is what does that mean? What is the overall impact? If you're going to make policy that effects everyone, you'd better know what you're doing.

    So far, the jury is still out on what piracy does. The "sky is falling" for the music/movie business but the movie business has had 4 or 5 of their biggest yearly box office takes in the last 5 years. That's hardly bleeding money and failing. There are numerous other case studies with similar "curious" outcomes to logically correlate with a "sky is falling" decree.

    Every one of the studies on piracy has suffered massively from assumption biasing. Different assumptions result in massively different outcomes. Then, some of the studies won't even tell you what those assumptions are!

     

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  11.  
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    Another AC, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 7:23am

    Re: Re: You're trying to make "unquantified" = "unsubstantied".

    If by 'piracy' you really mean the efficiency and efficacy of the Internet, then I agree.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 7:29am

    As soon as you use a term like copyright maximalist, you pretty much lose credibility, except with the usual group of supporters.

     

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  13.  
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    Jay (profile), Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 7:44am

    Re:

    And why is that? It explains exactly what they are doing. Using copywrite law to maximize profits for a business.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 8:38am

    US pirates are costing European jobs, we need a Stop Online piracy act here.

    And so it goes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 8:48am

    Re:

    No, changing the subject instead of actually arguing the issue causes you to lose credibility.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Mike42 (profile), Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 9:25am

    Here's an idea...

    How 'bout w let ONE country take copyright to it's draconian extreme. France would be the perfect place, since they voted Sarkosy and Gallo in (and also because I don't live there!) We'll just track their GDP for 5 years, compare it to other countries GDP and the past GDP, and we can get some real data on the effects of copyrights on an economy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    OJSlaughter, Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 10:47am

    The EU has no direct copyright laws and cannot enforce any of these suggestions throughout the member states: still, expect any 'suggestions' by the EU to instantly be taken up by France and Germany (which means the whole Eurozone by proxy)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 11:14am

    Re: You're trying to make "unquantified" = "unsubstantied".

    Why are you spending $100 million on a movie?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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