View Full Version : File-Sharers Protected Under Proposed EU Legislation

11-05-2009, 09:31 PM
File-Sharers Protected Under Proposed EU Legislation
November 05, 2009

" European Internet users accused of illicit file-sharing will not be disconnected on the whims of the entertainment industries. After an all night session European Union lawmakers agreed on a compromise text. Those accused will be entitled to a “fair and impartial” procedure, which will include the right to be heard.

Last night a committee comprised of EU government representatives, Members of the European Parliament and the European Commission settled their differences, which will now lead to a vote on acceptance of the controversial EU Telecoms Reform Package, aimed at boosting competition.

With a vote of 407 in favor, 57 against, with 171 abstentions, EU lawmakers sent the package back to the Council in May, due to concerns that Internet users would not have their rights sufficiently protected.

After all night negotiations the deadlock was broken after a compromise agreement was reached. Internet users in all 27 EU states will be entitled to be put through a “fair and impartial procedure” (although what that means exactly is far from clear), including the right to be heard in response to allegations before being subjected to the ultimate sanction – disconnection.

Christian Engström of The Pirate Party helped to shape the modified text that was accepted in a unanimous vote last night.

“The Telecoms Reform Package neither demands nor prohibits the implementation of three-strikes legislation to disconnect alleged file-sharers by member states,” Engström told TorrentFreak, adding that if they do implement such measures, they will have to be within the parameters of the directive.

Engström said the vote for the text was a positive surprise as he thought this agreement would never happen. Although in an ideal world it is not everything he could have hoped for, it is a big step in the right direction.

“We would never have been able to achieve this without all the work that the community of net activists has put in,” he further notes. “We have shown that ordinary citizens working together can make a difference. And this is only the beginning. The Internet community has begun to flex its muscles.”

Engström told TorrentFreak that although he is happy with the outcome, there are still many battles to be fought. “Nobody should be disconnected from the Internet in an open and free society,” he said.

The European Parliament and Council is due to make a decision on the Telecoms Reform Package in late November, with the laws coming into force early 2010. Member countries will then have 18 months to pass the legislation into their own national laws. "

:source: Source: http://torrentfreak.com/file-sharers-protected-under-proposed-eu-legislation-091105/:view: Homepage: http://torrentfreak.com