Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fighting 3 Strikes, the French way?

If you have been following the 3 strikes in Europe saga thus far on this blog, you may be interested in taking part in the campaign La Quadrature du Net has now launched to preserve Amendment 138, the amendment to the Telecoms Package which expressly preserves both the right of due process and the right to fundamental liberties such as privacy, in any extra-judicial process designed to impose sanction on filesharers.

It is dfficult to see how any democratic organisation could object to such values being embedded in any type of dispute resolution process, and indeed the Amendment was passed by 88% of European MEPs and endorsed in the Commission report; however the Council of Ministers removed it from their draft proposal, and will almost certainly be continuing this opposition when the Telecoms Package comes to its next major vote on Nov 27th.

The right to due process, if preserved, will indubitably strike a significant blow against Sarkozy's plans to introduce a 3 strikes law and thus this vote is of particular importance to the French.

However it is significant in many other European countries too, notably our very own United Kingdom of GB, where the result of the current (now closed) consultation on the BERR-sponsored Memorandum of Understanding might well be the introduction of a similar process a similar process compelling ISPs to clamp down on alleged filesharers, and similarly lacking safeguards of impartialitry, exaination of evidence and opportunity for legal assistance in the UK. Indeed the UK process might turn out to be more damgerous, since while the French law primarily contemplates outright disconnection, the UK process might include less transparent and more obscured sanctions such as traffic slowing and filtering. Opponents of covert censorship thus have an agends here as well.

If you are worried, check out the La Quad site and see what you can do.

If you want to read more about this and see more legal backing for these claims, see the brief prepared by Simon Bradshaw and myself on interpreting the Telecoms Package.

If you want to see a video of a Swedish MEP explaining what he sees as at stake here, see here.

No comments: