EU Proposal Would Outright Ban BitTorrent Sites, Make ISPs Copyright Cops & Use 3 Strikes

from the just-what-the-industry-ordered dept

You have to give the entertainment industry lobbyists credit for one thing: they never give up. When one of their proposals gets slapped down they always have many other efforts underway to give a similar proposal life somewhere else. So what if the EU Parliament said that using a three strikes policy went against basic civil rights? Just get another person to come up with a proposal that’s even more strict. That seems to be what’s happening as the EU Parliament may consider a proposal by Manuel Medina Ortega, which TorrentFreak notes basically is a perfect wishlist of the Big Copyright players. You’ve got your three strikes policies, your demands that ISPs “take responsibility” and (best of all) the declaration that all BitTorrent and file sharing services are 100% illegal — no questions asked. Hmm. Apparently someone forgot to inform all the creative folks who are happily using such systems to distribute their works… I don’t know enough about European politics to know if this is likely to go anywhere, but given earlier EU Parliament rulings, I’m hopeful that this is quickly tossed aside as being completely out of touch with reality.

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Comments on “EU Proposal Would Outright Ban BitTorrent Sites, Make ISPs Copyright Cops & Use 3 Strikes”

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27 Comments
peniis says:

hmmm

ok ban file sharing services, but you can’t ban people from having an FTP server and some friends… you can’t force people to buy your crap if they don’t want to when anyone can make a copy of something in a digital age. there will ALWAYS be a way. this just parallels ‘uncrackable’ hardware, where sadly, the public is already 10 steps ahead of you.

nasch says:

Re: hmmm

I’m not sure either of those things are true. In theory at least, it would be possible for a government to ban FTP servers. I mean if they could consider banning one protocol, they could ban some other one. I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but it’s not impossible. And they can certainly force people to buy their crap, via a mandatory music fee/tax. Technically that only forces people to pay for their crap, not actually obtain it, but that’s splitting hairs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: hmmm

> ok ban file sharing services, but you can’t ban people from having an FTP server and some friends…

Really? Did you notice that most ISPs already ban ALL SERVICES on their customers’ computers, not just FTP? If not, perhaps you should read the terms of your contract. And maybe you also noticed that most ISPs already block all traffic from third parties to their customers, thus making it impossible for granny to offer her pictures on the web from her own computer. That is why people have to rely on commercial (ad supported) third party sites.

The reason why ISPs already obey all orders from the entertainment industry is simple: they are part of the MAFIAA. We have the same situation in the EU and US. And I think there is only one solution to sponsor the Internet as a network: break up the industry, separate the ISPs from the entertainment industry. Then we will have a fair market. Perhaps we could also eliminate the middleman by opening up wifi access points and using cable connections as backbone. The truth is that the backbones are already heavily subsidised, very much like public roads.

Dr.A (user link) says:

maybe this can explain it

If you succeed in cutting off the torrents, many of the “global” artists will be much less popular, leaving the space for local artist to get noticed by the public. “American” / “English” culture will become much less influential in most of these countries.

Free pirated american media acts in a way like the free food we send to Africa, preventing any chance of a real agriculture developing there.
For tangible goods you have a dumping price policy but it is difficult to apply that to the unlimited free goods.

Daniel Lucraft (profile) says:

Think there's been a mistake

If you check the actual text of the report, it seems to recognize the controversial nature of P2P sites, and specifically leaves them out of the ‘illegal’ part:

“One very sensitive area is that of ‘peer-to-peer’, i.e. the phenomenon of websites and software
whereby internet users share, either directly or via a shared site, files containing reproductions
of protected works or services without the consent of the rightholders (Napster (centralised),
Kazaa (decentralised)).

The activities of websites that are NOT part of the peer-to-peer phenomenon and which allow
downloading of protected works or services without the necessary authorisation are illegal,
and no exception can be applied to them.”

So I think there’s been a mistake somewhere with this article.

Claes says:

Here in Sweden the attempt to get this passed has been seen by some as a way to politically influence the outcome of the trial against Pirate Bay which will be held in just two weeks. The Pirate Bay is explicitly mentioned in the Medina proposal as an example of a site that illegaly spreads copyrighted works on the internet (even though it’s of course only a torrent search page and a bittorrent tracker).

Now there are of course different jurisdictions within the EU and activity of The Pirate Bay may be legal in some countries and illegal in others (just like providing a YouTube-service probably wouldn’t be possible under Swedish law), but still it almost seems to be bordering on slander to call the site illegal when its legal status is still unclear in most european countries and there hasn’t been any conviction.

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