The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Danny O'Brien writes,
On Tuesday, the
CULT committee (the part of the European Parliament responsible for culture
and education) is voting on what needs to be done to support the "Cultural
Industries" in Europe.
The report, headed by Member of European Parliament Guy Bono, started off well
– but the music industry have
stuck in several hand-grenade amendments that could mess up European
culture and the Internet for decades: They're pushing for ISPs spying on
traffic, "dangerous" sites being blocked online AND copyright extension, all in
Here's the back-story. The International Federation of the Phonographic
Industry (IFPI) has been lobbying Euro-parliamentarians to introduce ISP
filtering and blocking across Europe, and pushed to get language supporting
these ideas into this report. EFF
briefed the committee members on why this would be a terrible idea for privacy,
Europe ue process, free expression – and wouldn't work to stop infringement.
So now IFPI has changed tactics. A new amendment, number
82, has popped up, proposing EU-wide law that would extend EU copyright
terms "to protect artists who risk seeing their work fall within the public
domain in their lifetime, and to consider the competitive disadvantage posed by
less generous protection terms in Europe than in the United States".
(The UK's Gowers
report already put pay to both of these canards: artists hardly benefit
from extensions 95 years after they recorded the song. And there's no
"competitive advantage" when extending EU copyright terms means you're paying
foreign rightsholders more by charging your own citizens extra.)
Europeans who would like their Internet free from constant monitoring for
suspected infringement, and their cultural works not trapped in amber for
nearly a century, write to your CULT committee members now. Phone numbers and
email addresses are available
on the Europarl site. Tell them to keep ISP filtering, site-blocking, AND
copyright extension out of the Guy Bono Report, and out of Europe!
Update: My MEP, Tom Wise, wrote in to say this: "I am proud to have been the proposer of an amendment in July 2005
scrapped the proposal for an EU software patent. What worried me then,
and still does, was the response from an EU Commission official at the
time. I quote, "Colleagues, we are disappointed, WE will just have to
bring this back before a more acquiescent Parliament"
I guess that this is part of that process.
"Please believe me, YES, I will vote against this and collaborate with whomsoever wants to join me to defeat it."