Loz Kaye : Three Strikes Struck Out - Lessons for Digital Europe

The French government has just dealt a serious blow to the big entertainment lobby's assault on the Internet. The Hadopi "three strikes" law has been, well, struck out. The Hadopi measures were introduced in 2009 by President Sarkozy, and threatened to disconnect from the Internet those suspected of online copyright infringement after three written warnings. This flagship "anti-piracy" measure has now run aground.

The new French culture minister said "Hadopi has not fulfilled its mission of developing legal content offerings...In financial terms, [spending] 12 million Euros and 60 agents—that’s expensive to send a million e-mails... the suspension of Internet access seems to be a disproportionate penalty given the intended goal."

All of us in the digital rights movement had pointed out years ago that this was a disproportionate tool, not least because it could lead to collective punishment of entire households. Equally, we warned that it would be an administrative nightmare, a waste of money with no positive aims. 

The French retreat from the three strikes approach has lessons for policy making across Europe. In the UK the 2010 Digital Economy Act contained so-called graduated response legislation. It has not come in to force yet and remains firmly in the long grass. We must surely ditch the Digital Economy Act now, and EU governments should reject the hounding of individuals and Internet cut offs. There has been a long and tedious discussion about the merits of graduated response legislation. We now know it is simply not tenable.

This is a good moment to take a step back in what has been a fraught debate. Let's stop digital policy being hijacked by narrow interest groups claiming to speak for the creative sector. 

O'Dwyer US extradition to go ahead

Friday, 13 January, 2012 - 15:15

By supporting the baseless US extradition case against Richard O'Dwyer today at Westminster Magistrates Court the judge Judge Quentin Purdy has failed to inject the much needed shot of rationality into the insanity of the UK-US extradition arrangements we had all hoped for. The Sheffield student is accused of infringing copyright by setting up the popular UK website TV Shack.

European Governments in Massive Sell-Out to Recording Industry

Monday, 12 September, 2011 - 11:45

In a move heavily lobbied for by the music industry, the EU Council has voted, without debate, to extend copyright monopolies on sound recordings from 50 to 70 years. Despite opposition from many countries, and the European Parliament, governments across the EU have once again shown how out of touch they are with the public mood.

Newzbin2 Judgement: Day One of state censorship of the Internet in the UK.

Thursday, 28 July, 2011 - 13:45

The Pirate Party expresses serious concern at the judgement handed down today in the so-called "Newzbin2" case (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp & Ors v British Telecommunications Plc). Major film studios have successfully been granted an injunction against British Telecom, forcing BT to block internet users from accessing the Newzbin2 file-sharing site. This is the first case where a UK ISP has been ordered to restrict their service in some way to prevent users from accessing a third party, external service.

Scottish nurse handed harsh sentence for non-commercial file-sharing

Tuesday, 31 May, 2011 - 15:15

The UK Pirate Party are disappointed and concerned with the news today that Anne Muir, a 58-year-old axillary Nurse Ayr who is said to suffer from depression, has been handed what we believe to be a massively disproportionate sentence of 3 years probation for sharing music.

Hargreaves review: A starting point for a brighter digital future

Wednesday, 18 May, 2011 - 21:45

Responding to the the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth released today, the Pirate Party UK welcomed the conclusion that copyright and patent law must adapt to the changing world in which we live.

As we made clear in our submission to the review, the Pirate Party agrees that copyright and patents should 'make not break markets' and that the rights of innovators and artists should be balanced with those of the public to enjoy such work.

Stop Copyright Extension Now

Will Tovey's picture

Once again a move to extend copyright is making its way through the European Parliament. The move to extend the copyright on sound recordings (and other "neighbouring rights") began in April 2009 when, under intense pressure from the music publishing lobby, the European Parliament agreed to increase the duration of this copyright from 50 years to 70 years (compromising on the Commission's and lobbyists' demand of 95 years).

However, before this could be implemented, elections were called and a new Parliament was voted in, including one member from the Pirate movement. Now, nearly two years later, this process has been resurrected following a change of heart within the Danish government.

The Future of the Digital Economy Act

Will Tovey's picture

This is one of a set of posts detailing the main arguments made in Court during the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act - R (on the application of BT and TalkTalk) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. This post covers the fourth day. A summary of day one can be found here, and day three here.

The final hearing of the Digital Economy Act Judicial Review took place this morning, with the absence of the government's lead barrister. However, the defence was continued by the barrister representing the copyright industry (both copyright owners and other parties).

Defending the Digital Economy Act

Will Tovey's picture

This is one of a set of posts detailing the main arguments made in Court during the Judicial Review of the Digital Economy Act - R (on the application of BT and TalkTalk) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. This post covers the third day. A summary of day one can be found here, and day four here.

This morning the judicial review of the Digital Economy Act resumed with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills defending the Digital Economy Act. Before the arguments got underway, it was agreed that the hearing would spill over to Monday, with the final matters being dealt with then.

IP Review - Final Call for Evidence

Will Tovey's picture

The UK IPO is currently running an Independent Review of IP and Growth. As part of this, they are calling for evidence from interested parties or individuals, asking "what, if anything, should we do to change the UK's IP system in the interests of promoting more rapid innovation and economic growth?"

I am hoping to submit a response for this on behalf of the Party. For this I need your help.


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