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EU formally adopts file sharing rights

updated 12:55 pm EST, Wed November 25, 2009

EU rule will minimize Internet cutoffs

The European Parliament late yesterday officially approved a final key rule in its telecoms package that will require legal rights for those threatened with losing Internet access in piracy cases. The measure will only allow EU member states to cut off access if it's deemed "appropriate, proportionate and necessary within a democratic society." Any decision will require an objective procedure that allows the accused to defend themselves as well as presumptions of innocence and a right to privacy.

The measure is a partial reaction to France's three-strikes law, which cuts off access after a third notice and has a relatively limited "fast track" system for defense. It currently meets the requirement for self-defense, but it's unclear whether the EU has tested the French law for compliance with its new standards.

Other components of the package include a centralized telecoms authority that can more easily mandate EU-wide regulation, require that carriers port cellphone numbers within 24 hours of a switch, and require consent to the use of cookies to store private information. The rules also account for the future by streamlining how wireless frequencies are apportioned out for new services, including in the frequencies that will be cleared by the switch to digital over-the-air TV in 2012.

All of the EU member states have to enshrine the new rules in their own laws by May 24th, 2011.

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Please? Consumers don't need MORE rights. They have more than enough rights as it is. If anything, we should start taking away some rights from people. Make them more responsible. Stop this c*** about fair trials and requiring warrants and producing them before performing a search and seizure.

    Oh, wait. That's the USA...

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Hey EU peeps

    Tell me: Do you like giving up the sovereignty of your legal systems?

    Even with the current DMCA treaty in the works with our executive branch trying to shove it through, you can bet your a** Americans wouldn't stand for it usurping our own laws.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    An EU peep responds

    Well, it's about the same as the United States of America - in that individual states gave up (or lost in war) sovereignty, and handed some powers over to Federal government, and flattened out some of the legal differences between states - which seemed to have worked out pretty well for you guys, as you suddenly became this great big unified power.

    Of course, there are still lots of people who don't like it (particularly those states on the losing side of the civil war, and who have never really liked that bit in the constitution about all men being born equal).

    And there are people who don't like democratically elected local governments.

    (For what it's worth, I don't like undemocratic systems, like the WTO and the EU Commission making policy, but I don't have a problem with a democratic European government, or with trying to unify laws and regulations, because that makes it easier to do business within the EU).

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    two sides

    on the one hand I'm all for allowing capping and even cutting off access to know uploaders and such. it the ones that know they are doing something wrong. on the other, cutting off access for downloaders, some of which might be kids on the family computer that doesn't understand the legalities and ethics of the sitch, seems a tad harsh. Cap them sure, but to ban them. It's like hanging someone for being a pickpocket.

    of course the ISPs want to limit high bandwidth users cause it creates bottlenecks that force them into improving their systems and dealing with complaints. so at the same time, I'm glad someone is stepping up to decide what power the ISPs can and can't have.

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