Maria Martin-Prat, who took a leave from her job at the European Commission to work as Deputy General Counsel and Director of Legal Policy and Regulatory Affairs for the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI -- thee international version of the RIAA, CRIA and BPI, though they're all basically the same companies), has returned to the EC to run its copyright unit. While Martin-Prat was enjoying her holiday as a lobbyist for the industry she now regulates, she took a number of extremist copyright positions, including lobbying against the private copying exemption (part of European Fair Dealing), and arguing that it should be illegal to break the DRM on the media you buy, even if you don't violate copyright in doing so.
Christian Engström, Pirate MEP, writes, "Welcome to the European Union, where the big business lobby organizations are calling most of the shots at the Commission, and where citizens are just seen as a nuisance to be ignored. I guess the only real news is that they don't even bother to try to hide it any more."
Two MEPs are openly questioning Martin-Prat's appointment. Liberal Dutch MEP Marietje Schaake and Swedish Pirate Party MEP Christian Engström have written to the European Commission, asking, "Does the Commission not see any problems in recruiting top civil servants from special interest organisations, especially when being put in charge of dossiers directly related to their former employers? If not, why not?
Maria Martin-Prat reported to replace Tilman Lueder as head of unit for copyright at European Commission
"Does the Commission feel that such an appointment would help to build confidence with the European Parliament and the general public that the Commission can be trusted to handle copyright-related issues in a fair and balanced manner?"
(via /. and Ars Technica
CEOs whose businesses are complicit in human rights atrocities — like the mass murder of people who object to land-grabs by mineral extraction companies — can now be tried in the International Criminal Court in the Hague.
The European Commission’s “Copyright Modernisation” effort has wrapped up, and it’s terrible.
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, “What do comedian Hari Kondabolu, Lost star Evangeline Lilly, a Navajo punk band, and one of the dudes from Chumbawamba have in common? They’re all part of a nationwide tour to raise awareness about the dangers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement: Rock Against the TPP.”
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