IPRED Consultation Campaign
Following recent Press Releases, EU Governments United Against the Knowledge Society? and European Commission Plans for All-Out War Against Sharing, La Quadrature du Net calls on all European citizens to respond to the IPRED consultation.
What is IPRED?[modifier]
IPRED (Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive) is a European directive from 2004 which is due to be updated in the near future.
We call it the “anti-sharing directive”.
6 years after IPRED came into application, the European Commission has produced an application report which calls for harsher measures against online filesharing, following the trail of the Gallo Report the European Parliament adopted in September 2010.
This application report is to be the basis of IPRED's new version.
The European Commission has launched a consultation on the application report which will last until the end of March 2011.
This consultation is essential for freedoms and fundamental rights online.
A dogmatic vision is at the basis of such repression, as the report calls for disproportionate measures that will inevitably lead to Internet filtering in the name of copyright and the economic interests of the copyright lobbies.
The IPRED text is here: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32004L0048R%2801%29:EN:NOT
What is the goal of this anti-sharing directive?[modifier]
Sanctions against the public[modifier]
IPRED harmonises civil (and soon, criminal) sanctions, at the European level, for all kinds of infringements to “intellectual property” rights:
copyrights, patents, brands, plant breeders' rights, etc.
As such, it organises repression against all kinds of sharers, remixers, but also coders and inventors.
The aberration is that IPRED covers non-commercial activities .
For example, Member States should (through ISPs) grant major labels access to alleged infringers' personal data, even in the case of sharing without commercial motive.
By granting such a legal arsenal to the large companies that control culture and knowledge, the EU has arbitrated in favour of obsolete economic models based on information control and rent.
Commission dogmatism, growing repression on the Internet[modifier]
In many areas, new ways of organising how knowledge and culture are managed are emerging. But the European Commission (in charge of revising the anti-sharing directive) is turning a deaf ear and prefers to side with the lobbies. This is especially true of the Interior Market direction where Michel Barnier, one of the commissioners, is showing a dangerous kind of dogmatism.
War on sharing[modifier]
It is clear from works in progress that, this time, the Commission intends to modify IPRED in order to “adapt” it to the digital environment.
In other words, this is about keeping up with the war on sharing on the Internet, in line with ACTA.
IPRED calls for massive Internet traffic filtering to fight file sharing: the Commission believes that Internet Service Providers should “cooperate” in this war so as to evade the threat of legal proceedings. Search engines, hosting providers, or even torrent trackers and ISPs run the risk of being required to implement filtering and control mechanisms in order to avoid being sued.
The fundamental rights to freedom of speech, fair trial and privacy will be put at risk, as will be the free movement, knowledge and free culture ecosystem.
How can I act?[modifier]
As many people as possible need to write to the Commission and tell it to change its plans.
We have published a draft of our response: https://lqdn.co-ment.com/text/YXu6CePuHNi/view/
A shorter and final version is available in pdf format.
(Please add us as Blind Carbon Copy / BCC (contact_at_laquadrature.net) so we have an idea how many answers are sent)
How to respond ? There are no specific questions, your answer is a free-form text.
- You can write in the language which you feel most comfortable with. Any language spoken in the European Union is acceptable.
- There is no requirement regarding the length of the document.
- You can address the issues of your choice, as you are of course not required to answer all the points raised by the report.
- Once your answer written, just put it in the message's body and send it. :)
Each answer counts! Consider that usually, only a few citizens respond to consultations, whereas lobbyists respond every time.
Each response from a citizen carries that much more importance as it is more visible. A few hundred responses can effectively wheigh in on the consultation, and can make your voice heard on your refusal of a Internet where ISPs and technical intermediaries would be Copyright's private police.
If nevertheless it is impossible for you to write your own response, you way use some elements of our response and send them by email to the commission, though this will have less of an impact than a personnally worded answer.
It's not too late to answer! The consultation ends today officially (Thursday march 31st 2011), but if you are polite (and send an email explaining proofreading your answer is taking longer than expected, for instance) you can surely get a little extra time and send your response to the consultation until this week-end. This gives you a bit of extra time to send an response, even a short one! :)
Meanwhile you can also learn more about IPRED by reading the articles we have published on the anti-sharing directive: http://www.laquadrature.net/en/ipred
You can also take action by helping to analyse the Commission's documents, commenting both texts on the collaborative tool Co-ment:
Draw attention to the issue[modifier]
BLOG, TWEET, TALK ABOUT THE ISSUE, CREATE CAMPAIGN TOOLS… All contributions are useful.