EU Has A 'Public/Private' IP Observatory To Watch For Copyright Infringement Online

from the how's-that-work? dept

Bas Grasmayer points us to a blog post by Christian Engstrom, an EU Parliament member (yes, from the Pirate Party) who notes that while he was in a committee trying to address whether or not an “IP Observatory” should be created, he discovered it already existed. The Observatory appears to have been set up not to promote progress or even to make sure that intellectual property was a net benefit, but instead it appears to just start from the unproven premise that of course it’s a net benefit, and thus it’s only focus should be on stomping out infringement. And, of course, it appears that most participants are actually from industry, with a few “nominated representatives from Member States” along for the ride to give the Observatory a sheen of legitimacy as a quasi-gov’t organization, even though it appears like just another industry association. Engstrom finds the whole thing baffling:

So much for the involvement of the European Parliament on this issue. We have been invited to hold an exchange of views in the JURI committee, and we are currently spending time on drafting a resolution on if and how the IP Observatory should be set up.

But before we (the parliament) were invited to join the discussion, the decision had already been taken, and the IP Observatory had already been set up and started working. It’s just that the representative of the Commission forgot to mention this detail when she was presenting the initiative to the JURI committee.

Government for the people?

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Comments on “EU Has A 'Public/Private' IP Observatory To Watch For Copyright Infringement Online”

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ethorad (profile) says:

Re: Don't be ridiculous.

I would say Government for the people is a European ideal (in no way suggesting that it is not also an ideal in other parts of the world). Just to my knowledge no country anywhere has ever managed to effect it (massively sweeping statement I know). Seems that everywhere ends up being run by an elitist group of individuals who believe they know best and if you disagree you’re dumb. Recently the UK had Tony “God” Blair, America currently has Obama’s healthcare bill.

Brings to mind Churchill’s quote that “democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”

Have to say though that the EU parliament is a particularly good case study of goverment NOT for the people. Bunch of incompetent corrupt moneywasting buffoons in my not-so-humble opinion 😛

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Liberties with the word piracy

I love how they throw the word piracy in every chance they get while discussing counterfeiting. The email response posted to the comments section on Mr Engström’s blog from the Observatory is very telling in their attitude, my summary:

‘Counterfeiting is bad, think of the harm done by counterfeited goods, oh and we also fight piracy because that obviously goes hand in hand with counterfeiting’

Remind anyone of ACTA?

Jesse says:

Promote Progress

Hey Mike,

I agree that copyright, if it’s going to exist, should have a net benefit. However, “promote the progress” is an American thing. It would be worthwhile to research the legal intentions for copyright in other countries before assuming that the “promote the progress” is universal. At the very least, I was reading a legal opinion piece that the aim of copyright in Canada is not at all clear.


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