EU Parliament Member Asks EU Commission What It Will Do If Italy Approves One Strike Copyright Law

from the good-for-her dept

We recently wrote about a ridiculous copyright law being proposed in Italy, that could ban people from using the internet based on a single accusation of infringement. As we noted, the law did not appear to agree with overall EU law. Some in the EU Parliament are taking notice. MEP Marietje Schaake has now officially posed a Parliamentary question to the EU Commission questioning how it would respond to such a law:
Via the press it has come to my attention that the Italian Parliament is currently considering a draft law by which internet users can be disconnected and blacklisted if they have been accused on an intellectual property infringement. The accusation does not necessarily need to originate from the rights holder of the work in question.

The draft law as it is proposed, violates several EU laws and principles, including:

- Article 1(3a) of the telecoms package, amending the Framework Directive 2002/21/EC,
- Article 6 ECHR concerning a fair trail
- Article 10 ECHR concerning the freedom to seek, receive and impart information,
- The principles of necessity and proportionality, and,
- Depending on implementation, the exemptions of intermediary liability in E-Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC,

Does the Commission agree the Italian proposal is in violation with EU laws and principles? If not, why not? What concrete action will the Commission undertake to put a halt to measures being implemented by Member States by which citizens may be disconnected from the internet?
While it will be interesting to see how the EU Commission responds, just the fact that such questions are being asked should hopefully generate some attention to this awful proposal.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Prisoner 201, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 1:16am

    1) Get dox on politicians and their relatives and/or friends
    2) Accuse of infringement
    3) ?
    4) Law gets removed

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    anonymous, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 1:52am

    nothing will happen. they wont respond. too scared of the truth coming out of how the entertainment industries are running not just individual countries but the EU as well.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 2:16am

    Probably nothing.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 2:47am

    Probably not much. It isn't clear that an internet ban would be considered a "trial", as it appears to be more of an administrative deal and less of an actual criminal proceeding. So much of what he is pointing at may not apply.

    I also don't think that an EU article, such as article 10, can be construed to suggest that the transmission of pirated material is encouraged or supported.

    I would also have to say that this politician, while a member of another party, seems to agree with the pirate party people a lot. So perhaps her "call" isn't anything more than grandstanding.

     

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

  5.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 2:57am

    Re:

    "It isn't clear that an internet ban would be considered a "trial""

    The trial part would be referring to the fact that a mere accusation would be enough to remove internet access under this proposal. This is counter to every principle of free speech, due process and liberty.

    "I also don't think that an EU article, such as article 10, can be construed to suggest that the transmission of pirated material is encouraged or supported."

    That wouldn't be what it would be used to defend, it's to defend the access to perfectly legal speech that would be removed under this proposal.

    "I would also have to say that this politician, while a member of another party, seems to agree with the pirate party people a lot"

    You are aware, of course, that the "pirate parties" have a lot more policies than the one you might assume from their name? There's nothing wrong with agreeing with them, and you can agree with them on a lot of things that don't involve piracy.

    "So perhaps her "call" isn't anything more than grandstanding."

    Perhaps, but since you seem to have misunderstood every proposal here, perhaps not.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:07am

    Abolish ALL intellectual property privileges!!

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:02am

    Re: Re:

    Paul, I don't get where you are going.

    There is no trial, so how can article 6 apply?

    There should be no protection for illegally sharing files (movies etc), so how can article 10 apply?

    How can one claim the action (removal of internet service) is out of proportion with the use made of it?

    I cannot see how this is "misunderstanding", it's more wondering why she suddenly thinks they apply to illegal or bad acts.

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:17am

    Re: Re: Re:

    How can one claim the action (removal of internet service) is out of proportion with the use made of it?

    Wow! You really think that?

    You need to come into the 21st century and realise just how central the internet is to the lives of many ordinary people these days. It is at least as disproportionate as a driving ban on the basis of one accusation by a private individual of a parking offence.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Prisoner 201, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Exactly! As soon as a person is accused of a bad thing, then there is no need to apply the law to that person.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There is no trial, so how can article 6 apply?

    It applies precisely because there is no trial you dork!

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    fogbigzd, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:29am

    The scary part of the proposed law is not one strike. It is the part where you cannot cause anyone to THINK that infringing content might be available. The IP industry actually wants thought police. Yikes.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:37am

    Italy has become quite the laughing stock lately.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So, if I called you a paedophile and set the mob on you, that would be perfectly acceptable?

    Pull the other one, it's got pirates on it.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 4:56am

    Phonebook

    #1. Get Italian Phonebooks
    #2. Report infringement against the person at the beginning, continue on until the end
    #3. ???
    #4. profit

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Wig, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:04am

    Re:

    Just to clarify things:
    It isn't clear that an internet ban would be considered a "trial", as it appears to be more of an administrative deal and less of an actual criminal proceeding.

    And that is exactly the reason why article 6 applies: the fact that there is no trial, only one single accusation.
    I also don't think that an EU article, such as article 10, can be construed to suggest that the transmission of pirated material is encouraged or supported.

    Maybe not to infringing content, but article 10 certainly applies to all the other ways that the person in question would use the internet to seek, receive and impart information. She's saying (and I agree) that ban without trial and based on one accusation (not conviction!) would violate article 10.

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:05am

    Re:

    The scary part of the proposed law is not one strike. It is the part where you cannot cause anyone to THINK that infringing content might be available.

    Now if I get this right it is obvious that they would not bother with this law unless unfringing content was available. Therefore the existence of this law leads people to believe that infringing content might be available. Therefore this law is in violation of itself!

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There should be protection against abuse of the law.
    Since we all know that you a-holes can't even find the correct people to accuse.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:19am

    Wait a minute, if the right to a fair trial is supposed to be guaranteed in the EU then how have other European countries gotten away with this exact legislation, but with more strikes?

    Also for the Italian law, can you really even call it a strike anymore if you get severely punished for the first accusation of breaking the law?

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:19am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You are a pedophile and should be jailed how is that people allow you to be free you pedo.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    vadim (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:20am

    I suggest we push for this law approved

    Then organzie couple of thousands people to
    send infringement notifications on MPAA, RIAA and their political supportes sites.

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow, really? Wilful ignorance is not a viritue, so let's step through this again to see if you get the hint...

    "There is no trial, so how can article 6 apply?"

    The whole problem is that there is not a trial, genius. Article 6 begins:

    "In the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him, everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing "

    This is NOT happening under these proposals, hence the issue. If not a criminal charge, the punishment is vastly disproportionate and should not be sought.

    "There should be no protection for illegally sharing files (movies etc), so how can article 10 apply?"

    I take it you just chose to ignore my explanation above. I'll repeat: the proposals remove the right to ALL speech online, not simply what has been deemed infringing (with litte evidence other than an accusation, outside of a court of law). Most activity online is not infringing. It's like crushing someone's car because they jumped a stop sign.

    "How can one claim the action (removal of internet service) is out of proportion with the use made of it?"

    Very easily, we have someone who MAY (unproven) have committed an action that MAY (unproven) have caused financial loss to a company.

    In return the person gets their internet cut off without warning, which usually provide access to some or more of: communication with friends or family, telephony service, news source, platform to exercise free speech and participate in political process, banking, even business and/or their source of income (if home working or self employed from home), and a whole host more.

    How the hell is this not disproportionate?

    "I cannot see how this is "misunderstanding", it's more wondering why she suddenly thinks they apply to illegal or bad acts."

    She doesn't.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    any proof?

    Nope.

    Moron.

    (oh and yes, your post proves it, have a nice day).

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:26am

    Re:

    Wait a minute, if the right to a fair trial is supposed to be guaranteed in the EU then how have other European countries gotten away with this exact legislation, but with more strikes?


    Because they all incorporate some kind of "trial" in the process.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You don't get sarcasm
    do you?

    You did a nice job of re-inforcing the comment that you answered!

    Well done!

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    ASTROBOI, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:41am

    Scare of the week?

    It seems that the fear of file sharing has finally reached critical mass. No longer is it necessary to invent figures showing losses, no longer necessary to make up silly stories about low level workers losing their jobs, it is only necessary to bitch about the act itself which is now seen as evil all on its own. So file sharing joins the great scares of the past. We had the Red Scare, fear that commies were everywhere. We had the Satanic Panic, fear that every day care center was a secret coven that turned little kids into sacrifices to the devil. We had the Missing Child scare that generated the face on the milk carton that continues to this day. Never mind that most of the kids were not missing at all. So, we wait it out. And like the Video Nasty scare in Britain, eventually the fear-mongers will find something new to tremble about and we will get our movies at last. Chalk it up to human nature.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I thought you people didn't need proof just accusations.
    Surely if you are asking for proof others can be extended the same courtesy no?

    Why? because you are a pedo and they are pirates?

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    Berenerd (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 6:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is the issue dumbass. You would be jailed simply because someone said you were one. They don't need proof to accuse.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    Sean T Henry (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 6:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Any proof?"

    No proof would be needed as "based on a single accusation of infringement" or in the above statement based on a single accusation of infringement pedophilia.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 7:36am

    It's hard to see this as being anything more than a shock tactic to be used to get 3 strikes through relatively unchallenged, because it suddenly becomes a compromise soulution.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 7:39am

    Please Please Please

    Let this law pass. It would be so hilarious!

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    AndyD273 (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 7:46am

    Re: Phonebook

    #1. Get Italian Government Officials Addresses
    #2. Report infringement against the person at the beginning, continue on until the end
    #3. ???
    #4. profit

    There, FTFY

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    The Incoherent One (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 7:55am

    Re:

    Ever seen "National Treasure"?

    The reason I ask is that like the movie the law shall be written with a hidden exception that can only be seen by moon light with a special set of lenses. It will exempt all EU government members from having to abide by this overreaching law.

    It is similar to how the US Congress exempted themselves from the universal health care law passed a couple years ago.

    "Its good enough for the rest of you, but I think we will sit this one out."

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 8:05am

    Re:

    In France the first 3-strike law was blocked because there was no trial. In the new version a judge will look at the 3 accusations so now there is a "trial".
    Problem is the judge gets 5 minutes to judge the case.
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090704/1607575444.shtml

     

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

  34.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 9:24am

    an apology

    Sorry, I misunderstood the "one strike" law and I think it got muddled up with some other legislation doing the italian rounds...

    "one strike" refers to the number of times Berlusconi is allowed to bitchslap any woman he considers "uppity" or threatens to sell their story to the media (unless he makes her vice president....VICE...you see?...oh never mind)

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    hmm (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re:

    The judge will LOOK at the accusations....no-one forgot to say they have to be in a language the judge can understand however...or that he's not allowed to have an RIAA/MPAA lobbyist under his desk giving him a handjob/bribery cash in a plain envelope....

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 9:39am

    Re:

    Indeed. If IP rights were now, the way the were the day Mr. Gutenberg was born, we would have a lot less to talk about today.

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Haha

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:19pm

    Re:

    This is a typical tactic, and one that the copyright industry have mastered. If you ask for something small, you won't get it. Ask for something grandiose (i.e. insane), and watch as everyone in parliament jumps to support the first reasonable proposal to come along simply because it's a little more sane than the original request.

     

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

  39.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:45pm

    Re:

    It's a revocation of something the EU considers a basic human right, without trial or hearing, for life. No proof need ever be brought that any crime or civil infraction was ever committed by the accused, the simple accusation strips the accused of a basic human right. Even convicted murderers in EU prisons can't easily be denied that right under EU law, and doing so requires a hearing, not simply a vague accusation.

    And you can't see why doing this to anyone at all is punishment without trial?

     

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

  40.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And yet, if you substitute the term "copyright pirate" for "pedophile" and the phrase "permanent revocation of a basic human right" for "jailed" (which is also a revocation of a basic human right), we'd have the law Italy is considering, that you have no apparent problems with.

    Both situations are punishment and revocation of rights without a trial, just an unsupported accusation.

     

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

  41.  
    icon
    Bergman (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Re:

    Any anti-piracy propaganda campaign by whatever the Italian equivalent of RIAA/MPAA would result in the immediate, permanent shutdown of their servers...because they caused people to think that infringing content might be available somewhere.

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    arcan, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 7:34pm

    Re:

    5) profit

     

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


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