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07.10.08

Off Topic: Snapshot of ‘Soviet Internet’ Proposal

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 1:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ACTA keeps marching in. but Heise reports that the media lobby’s Internet monitoring proposal has been rejected, at least for now.

The Telecommunications Package will not prescribe uninterrupted monitoring of the internet as demanded by the Conservatives on behalf of the media and entertainment industry. On Monday evening, the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) of the European Parliament voted on around 1,000 changes to the EU Telecom rules, consolidated into over 30 amendments. The compromise proposal put forward by the rapporteur for the draft framework directive, Catherine Trautmann, was accepted. The Conservatives are said to have become more sceptical about “internet monitoring”.

On the other hand, according to Glyn Moody’s conversation with a high-level figure, nothing is over. We’ve recently seen that amendments typically sneak in at the 90th minute.

Of course, that still leaves ground for concern – not about the intentions of Dr Kamall, but about the way in which the proposed amendments might be co-opted by the media industry against ISPs and their customers. It is clearly vital that the proposed changes be drafted as tightly as possible to avoid any function drift.

Charles is concerned enough about the role of Sarkozy that he wrote a letter to his president.

An Open Letter to the the French President Nicolas Sarkozy

[...]

This, is simply not acceptable of a country like France. People should not be forced to live their cultural lives based on how a secretive but powerful lobby would like them to, and oppressive measures should not be enforced against a whole population just because those “happy few” refused to accept that the world has changed since the 1960’s. Culture does not work that way, but one particular industry does, and if it does not change it will die.

A last word, Mr President. I love my country too much to think that the French culture, that is supposedly “in danger,” is a subculture of made up pop singers and evanescent starlets. Not everyone that speaks, writes and sings in French is worth to promote because a record label, or a publisher has acquired its rights and claims it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Perhaps you will remember that no one wanted to read François Villon and so many others; yet they are now considered to be national treasures. Forced consent is not an art. Delusion is not culture.

I therefore ask you, Mr President, to stop this unfair, lobby-inspired legislative agenda on the “Three Strikes” approach and trust you will see truth and fairness in this request.

Stay tuned. This debate is related to that of software patents. It’s an ugly case of rich companies (a tiny privileged minority) writing new laws to serve themselves better at the expense of the digital majority. Such is the nature of software patents that serve monopolies with gigantic portfolios. It’s only there for the solicitors.

“Idiots can be defeated but they never admit it.”

Richard Stallman

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