Europe votes on anti-piracy laws

Europeans suspected of putting movies and music on file-sharing networks could be thrown off the web under proposals before Brussels.

The powers are in a raft of laws that aim to harmonise the regulations governing Europe's telecom markets.

Other amendments added to the packet of laws allow governments to decide which software can be used on the web.

Campaigners say the laws trample on personal privacy and turn net suppliers into copyright enforcers.

MEPs are due to vote on the so-called Telecom Packet on 7 July. The core proposals in the packet were drawn up to help European telecoms firms cope with the rapid pace of change in the industry.

Technological and industry changes that did not respect borders had highlighted the limitations of Europe's current approach which sees national governments oversee their telecoms markets.

"The current fragmentation hinders investment and is detrimental to consumers and operators," says the EU document laying out the proposals.

View: BBC News

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40 Comments

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If they keep invading peoples privacy for whatever reason people will just start encrypting all their traffic.

There is no law against it and if questioned by your ISP as to "why" you just say "To keep nosey ******* like you looking at my traffic"

How about throwing the one polluting the traffic as a result of lack of security! I got so tired of the lack of effort to secure servers and workstations that I now drive a dump truck for work. The polluters include banks and law offices as well as government offices (no need for security in these places ).

So you all are saying it is alight if I copy your game or software and put it on the internet so people can get it without paying you for it? You are essentially talking like pirates.

Sharing information on the internet is great but sharing pirated information is not.

When I was little, and somebody tried to explain that you couldn't copy a cassette (old times, ey?) to give it to a friend I simply wouldn't believe it. It felt so natural, I always felt like I was buying the physical medium, not all the license crap surrounding it.

Anyway, should something dramatic happen to the internet, I guess we'll all be going back to taping songs on the radio and taping shows on tv. (I had a LOT of vhs tapes many moons ago) If DRM allows it, of course!

One day you will understand that things like "laws allowing governments to decide which software can be used on the web." are wrong.

It really sucks how the majority of the population has zero influence on what goes on in the world. All we can do is kick and scream when we watch this stuff happen.

You can write to your MP and MEP. You can stop using ISPs like Virgin that cave in to media company pressure. I don't know what else you can do though.

True, true...

And a lot of people actually don't have a clue about what's happening. Just feed them a few lines of disinformation and they'll just say "Right, ban those pirates, stop the terrorists!" and be done with it.

Like the song, that article about "regulating the internet": the masses are asses

It's about time the EU gets a bit more democratic, too! The way the voting happens now is way too fragmented...

These laws are probably going to pass. Those corporations have more influence than the general population.

Oh please, everything the EU has been doing recently has been protecting the EU against big business - that's why they fined Microsoft and have been coming down hard on phone providers. I imagine parts of it will make it into law but not the controversial parts like restricting internet software and kicking people off the internet. This article just paints a worst case scenario.

I bloody hate the EU.

Also, they can't do this. They can't throw you off the internet if you're suspected of downloading illegal stuff. You have to have been caught downloading illegal stuff, and they can't do that, because they can't see what you're downloading, as that's an invasion of your privacy. If in the future, they can see what you're downloading, you can hide your P2P connections behind an encryption (uTorrent has this feature), and you're safe; because it is illegal to hack an encryption. And if they made it legal, the hackers would just run riot!

They can't do a thing to stop people downloading illegal stuff. Period.

(MightyJordan said @ #12)
that's an invasion of your privacy.

Your priv... what?

If this law gets finally aproved you won't have such thing.

They already are... Government isn't motivated by people. It's motivated by whoever can lobby the most money to politicians.

the whole world broski. The world is fast turning into a one world government. one economy..better yet globalization. The US will be in lock step VERY soon I'm sad to say with the crashing of the Dollar.

(ChrisJ1968 said @ #10.1)
the whole world broski. The world is fast turning into a one world government. one economy..better yet globalization. The US will be in lock step VERY soon I'm sad to say with the crashing of the Dollar.
You can't say that! They'll make some stupid comment about foil hats! Until it's really in effect then the whole world will be thinking "Oh, they were right".

(ChrisJ1968 said @ #10.1)
the whole world broski. The world is fast turning into a one world government. one economy..better yet globalization. The US will be in lock step VERY soon I'm sad to say with the crashing of the Dollar.

Only if a Democrat wins the next election

(z0phi3l said @ #10.3)

Only if a Democrat wins the next election


well, if McCain wins, it's another 4 years of Bush politics. we have bad choices on either side of the fence but pick the least of two evils. politicians are politicians, they are all about themselves

just like the movie hackers screamed, if they do get this put into law, hack the world!!!!

(Island Dog said @ #10.5)

Which will only speed up the process. ;)

Yep, sad to say, the liberal controlled and dominated media in America certainly wants a democrat in office, they are far easier for the liberals to manipulate than a republican is.
Say goodbye to privacy and freedom of speech and hello to intimidation and censorship.

Other amendments added to the packet of laws allow governments to decide which software can be used on the web.

So does this mean that software companies would need a licence to access the web? And does this mean that if (hypothetically) Microsoft feed a government money, Firefox could be banned from web access (not that it will happen)?

-------------

Stories like this are exactly what I imagine to be the start of the end of the internet. ISP's are there to Provide an Internet Service. ISP's don't need to 'big brother' my connection, I can tell them that I do occasionally break the law regarding the internet, instead they should work on keeping their systems and hardware up to date to provide me with the best connection I can get. Don't like it? Don't be an ISP.
In the end, if ISP's start monitoring connections and inspecting packets then people will just end up encrypting their connections, and all the taxpayer money spend on bull like this is nullified.

they can take DPI or suspicion and shove it where the sun doesn't shine. internet is a place anyone has right to go on and can't be blocked from because of corporate bureaucracy.

European politicians have voted in favour of amendments to telecoms law which campaigners say could be used to curb privacy online and file-sharing.

but...

The vote on whether to approve the Telecom Packet, which is a raft of laws aimed at harmonising European telecoms regulation, takes place in September.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7495085.stm

the legislative procedure is complicated. as can be seen in this diagram

link

basically there's more than one reading of the legislation and it has to be approved by the council as well (the upper house)

Am I the only one who can't see the problem in the current system? ISP's should not be monitoring for copyright infringement, other than reporting possible infractions. With the internet being part of life now, could this be taken to the european court of human rights? (so much as I'm against the european court, it may be useful)

I think this is also partly an attack by proprietary software companies against free/open source software. Much of the distribution of large open source software programs is through bittorrent. Many people spread Linux distros that way. This saves them money. Trying to close down bittorrent and other file-sharing algorithms is also suspiciously in the interest of closed source companies like Microsoft and Apple :suspicious:

Well, the article made no mention of targetting any distribution medium. Just monitoring the traffic for all protocols, etc.

The part about the potential to overlook software as being "ok" and the rest forbidden seems like a scary sort of whitelist to me. Anytime a government bureaucracy gets involved, you know there are going to be problems.

"Other amendments added to the packet of laws allow governments to decide which software can be used on the web."

sad thing is, with lobbying, i can see this happening. but if it does than the underground will come out in full force and we'll see encryption & freedom like we've never seen before

the tighter the governments make the rules, the more motivated they'll get and the harder they'll push back. that's the beauty of the internet. the very premise of it is to share information; and that will be the governments undoing

I hear you! That's exactly the kind of thing I'm expecting.
Hell, I'm sure I'll be on the front line should a huge demonstration occur in Brussels!

Anyway, I'm glad I see someone else who feels the same way.