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EU amendment lets surfers appeal Internet cutoffs

updated 05:00 pm EDT, Wed May 6, 2009

EU web bill ammended

Despite European Union members approving a reform to EU telecoms rules, the European Parliament has ordered a revision to the proposed legislation, as it believes it restricts Internet users' rights to challenge accusations of piracy, a report says on Wednesday. The state governments and lawmakers will have two months starting in September to reach a new deal or the draft reform will not pass through to become law.

The package has three parts that were adopted, but because one of them was successfully amended, the deal with the EU states is opened up again, as changes to one aspect require the entire package to be reviewed. A meeting of EU telecoms ministers is scheduled for June 12, where they will have the option to accept the amendment made by parliament to avoid conciliation of the legislation. This represents a victory to lawmakers who wish to make it harder for authorities to cut off Internet access to subscribers suspected of illegally downloading or sharing copyrighted files.

The proposed amendment says a court ruling is necessary before Internet connections are severed. Before it, the states wanted to give Internet users recourse through an independent tribunal.

The legislation was deemed necessary to update existing EU telecoms rules which were not made to handle the sort of newfound Internet traffic and usage from the European Union's 495 million citizens.

by MacNN Staff





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