back to article Europe drafts law to disconnect suspected filesharers

France has suggested an amendment to the pan-European Telecoms Package, which would bar broadband access to anyone who persists in illegally downloading music or films. Last month, the government of Nicolas Sarkozy insisted on a similar "three-strikes-and-you're-out" scheme for France. Under a cross-industry agreement, ISPs …

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Jon
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To me this is like the post office banned people from sending letters

It is the Police job to pursue criminals and whether I write something in a letter or I share CD I have bought, it should be the police that police this.

I think it is just fundamentally wrong that the a broadband provider gets involved with policing what people use their broadband connection for.

I don't have an issue with the police finding and prosecuting criminals (file sharing et al) but I do not want my post office to read my letters and then make a decision whether I should be allowed to send any further letters.

That is the police job

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For more information

Visit this site for another analysis very much worth a read

http://www.digitalmajority.org/forum/t-72379/european-parliament-rushes-towards-soviet-internet

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Paris Hilton

Insane!

This is like being refused the sale of a Ford because you crashed a Kia. Couldn't possibly be legal in the realworld, 'legislated' or not.

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Will this include some rules

So far it seems the anti piracy group provide a time and IP of the suspects.

How is this evidence secured, are there any controls over it, I can dump data from any torrent but how do I prove my computer is not comprimised.

The time anyone fights a case it should be the first point.

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Collective punishment?

There are probably quite a few families where one or more children are using filesharing to download music and/or films - and where the parents are completely clueless as to what is happening. If said parents cannot get to grips with controlling the filesharing, the whole family will be punished - including the family members who weren't doing anything wrong. That doesn't sound like justice to me.

Is it just me or has anyone else thought that nobody cares about the regular copyright violations performed using photocopiers in companies everywhere?

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Joke

Are They Realy Going To Act So Blindly?

The govenments are crossing a thin line with the three strikes system because people are yet to be proven guilty of any "crime"/act.

All the ISP's can do is trace IP's back to the address and bar the account holder. But lets say there is a flat full of students with an unsecure wireless connection that the nabor is tapped into.

Firstly the nabor could be the one downloading these tracks and wam, good bye internet for the residents.

Secondly a flatmate downloads some tracks, yes its within the household but the account holder itself gets done.

Thirdly your IP is being spoofed by some random net user with more sence then to leave his/her own visable. Again it gets traced back to the address and wam the account holder is accused.

I myself had a flatmate at our old flat using an unsecured wireless network (but wouldent admit it) and had our connection sapped dry.

My question is are they dumb anough to bar someone without definate evidance that the person in question sat at his/her pc and "clicked" download? My thaughts stray to the grandmother that has a class action lawsuite againsed the RIAA for false acusation.

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Flame

Disconnect SUSPECTED filesharers

So now it's finally official - you can be punished even if you haven't been proven guilty. Of course, we've all known this for years, but now - at last - the dictators of the New World Order have finally given this atrocious practice the official seal of approval. No more inconvenient due process. No habeus corpus. No right of defence or appeal or any of that other human rights rubbish. Just - We say you're out, you're out.

What They forget is that if They take it all away from you, you have nothing left to lose. And who has nothing left to lose has nothing left to live for - except revenge against Them.

Like V.

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ROG

Here we go...

P2P is driving the engine for consumers to buy more gadgets. Players and phones to play music on. Hard drives and other various discs for storage. People wanting more bandwidth for downloading. If this goes through, a good portion of this market will go down the tubes. Here's hoping it is defeated and a compromise can be had...

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not to worry

they have 2 options:

1. have a requirement that it actually be proved, leaving us in the current situation of not having to worry about it (as they can't prove anything, which is why they insist on never going to court, courts need this "proof" thing)

2. they say any copyright holder sends 3 complaints they cut them off for a year, meaning every single customer online at a certain time gets cut off for a year after an automated script sends out 3 emails for every IP Address the ISP has assigned, quickly bankrupting that ISP (or they could chose to pay me huge amounts of money for refusing my demand to disconnect everyone)

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I'm no advocate of piracy...

...but aren't these laws really just giving a little too much power to large international corporations for no reason?

They shouldn't be targeting the individuals anyway. It's the pirating "companies" they need to smack around. These are the groups that make the difference in profits.

90% of individuals who pirate stuff once or twice a week at most (which, lets face it will be those caught by these laws) would simply ignore the content they are pirating if they can't pirate it. They do not intend to buy it (or watch/listen for free on FTA TV/radio). There is no loss to the publisher. In fact, it's not uncommon for someone to pirate something and then later buy the content legitimately! Especially those on lower incomes (students in particular).

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Paris Hilton

Blunt Instrument.

So long as legitimate users of file-sharing do not get caught up in this, fine, it was going to come sooner or later this crackdown. I read somewhere that some company etc was working on a way to use bit-torrent like process to share real time tv over the net. Clearing all the dodgy file-sharers out of the way so the bandwith is available for media companies to distribute ads, sorry content seems like a good justification.

Paris? Because ahh, uumm, the bike race to Paris is on? (isn't she a bit of a bike?)

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Sarkozy...

...go shaft.self

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So what's it gonna be?

Will it be like speed cameras, whereby if you go on a long journey and get snapped by several different ones you can lose your license in one trip? What I mean is do they just have to catch you downloading 3 different things or will they have to send a warning and allow reasonable time for you to have received and read it to give it chance to take effect before catching you again?

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Anonymous Coward

At last ... The 1984 Show

Sharing information is double-unplus good. Don't you know there is war on?

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Unhappy

Thats some massive bribes in action

How many industries’s can claim to have the power of law over other industries?

Why the hell are entertainment companies now law enforcers? Holding the power to cut people off from services hosted by a completely different industry?

Money talks, and it’s not just the English politicians that take backhanders

It looks like the French Revolution beheaded the wrong scum

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Stop

Games? Software?

Surely if they're going to ban people for illegal filesharing it should be ANY illegal filesharing?!

The music/movies focus just shows that they're playthings of the RIAA/MPAA rather than serious about being touch on filesharing.

The ISPs should just be pipes- how would water companies feel if suddenly asked to stop supplying water to people who were using it to keep a terrorist hydrated or grow those oh-so-lethal strains of skunk we've all heard about?

Or if the sewage companies were asked to keep a look out for any waste, keeping detailed files on it for government use (i.e. looking for flushed drugs/pets, peoples' food intake habits, etc) for purposes of national security. And then found out that the information was being used by the food standards agency in conjunction with CCTV and credit card records to find out which food establishments were making people ill rather than fighting terrorists.

This sort of scheme really should be illegal to so much as propose.

Other point: Surely if they're stopping people downloading the files, they're making it more likely that people will sell the CDs/DVDs/BDs illegally at markets and the like? Which, rather than stopping the entertainment industry from making as much of a profit, would stop them making a profit AND help fund organised crime and terrorism. Paedophile rings could help get funding through this as well.

Clearly this is a Terrorist-Mafia-Paedophile plot and must be stopped. Won't someone PLEASE think of the children/soon-to-be-decapitated horses/lightly damaged airport bollards this will hurt?!

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Stop

ISP's should just do THEIR job!

This is really starting to hack me off, its not down to the ISP's to enforce copyright protection. I can just see a ream of false positives and people losing a LOT of money (you can guarantee that it will be in the contract that if disconnected, you will need to pay the remainder).

ISP = Internet ***Service Provider***

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Quelle Idée Stupide

Of course there are never instances where multiple users share the same ISP connection...

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Accusation, evidence, proof, conviction

Acts to disconnect anyone who "persists in illegally downloading music or films."

No, not quite. It is acting to disconnect anyone foolish enough to be persistently accused of illegally downloading music or films. The EC (and the Labour Party here also) seems to have difficulty distinguishing between being accused of having done something, and being proved to have done it.

I have nothing against disconnecting proven copyright violators, if that is the sanction established in democratically passed legislation. However, to disconnect people, or apply any other form of sanction, merely because of repeated accusations from some self appointed guardians of copyright, is a form of state sanctioned vigilantism.

That way totalitarianism lies. This is the point of principle this stuff has to be fought on. By all means punish criminals. But AFTER you have convicted them, not after some one or other has simply accused them a few times.

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In other words...

... France has realised that this may disadvantage it in technology circles and wants to try and level the playing field by disadvantaging everyone else.

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Anonymous Coward

Presumption of Innocence

Well, hardly.

I'd love to say, "If the evidence has not been tested in court and the accused convicted, then it's outrageous to do that" .... but, I suppose we get into contractual relationships with ISPs and acceptable use policies and so on. Then again, even with a parking infringement, there is the option to contest the alleged offence in court.

It seems very heavy handed to introduce a law that does not require (or at least provide the option of) testing of evidence in court.

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Anonymous Coward

and why could they...

Not have done this years ago with the matter of Child Pornography ?. I recall all the ISP's telling the Met Police how they could not do anything about it. Strange therefore that all of a sudden they can do anything and block access to music files. Shows me that money is valued above all else, including privacy as well. Is this the thin end of the wedge and what will be next ?. Are the ISP's doing music industry a favour, or are they gaining something ?

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Democracy in action huh?

Innocent until PROVEN guilty? Not in this world... not any more.

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Alien

Worse than RIAA

Hello USA. What you can do, we can do better ! Sarky needs to prove himself on international stage and this is where he starts. I suspect Bush's visit had something to do with this. (Also Frances decision to rejoin NATO! ).

TIme for some protests like the French Farmers.

Anyone listening ?

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Flame

Bet this don't get printed

Fuck off France!!! Fan the Flames of Freedom. The end result of 'no lawlessness' is what invaded your country in the 40s until the British killed nazism (nazi-ism?).

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Pirate

What?

Never heard such a load of crap in my life...

What next? Sniffing your local network?

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Unhappy

Hanh on a minute.......

A law to disconnect "suspected" file sharers! It might be right for the Napoleonic code of laws but surely not in Britain were we (supposedly) are guilty until proven innocent.

I don't file share (as far as I know) and wouldn't know a "bit trident" if if stabbed me painfully. However, I may become suspected of file sharing and then pooof would go my internet connection, mais non??

If my ISP has evidence of me of braking my commercial agreement then they may tell me that the intend to suspend my service. We'd then settle down to a battle. This is a little different to "suspects" I anticipate.

Mr S can keep his French Laws for France and the rest of us will live on.

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Black Helicopters

We know the answer to that one

I presume that it wont be long before we see the rise of one or all of the following

Various kinds of DarkWeb.

Private Internets.

Peer to Peer "Obligatory" Encryption.

Anonymized seeding ( Is this possible ).

Specially Encrypted Packets.

Specialied ISP's offering guaranteed NO DPI.

I hope that Tim Berners Lee can come up with a new Web Definition which would remove all the Black Helicopter possibilitys.

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If that doesn't work, do more of the same

Once again we treat the symptom, not the cause.

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Alert

Well, if they succeed...

If they do it this would be the worst blow to privacy in the last decade in the whole European Union. Comparison to KGB anyone?

Of course, I can predict that anonymizing services will be much more popular in the nearest future. They already enjoy some good profits (as an insider to one of such service I have my trustworthy sources).

Full VPN high-speed anonymous access costs only around $35 (yes only about £17) per month and that seriously cheaper than being disconnected for a year from the net.

There are also plenty of web proxies, not suitable for P2P but very much suitable for direct downloads (like rapidshare etc) for just under $20 PER YEAR. Worth notice that these servers are commonly not in the EU jurisdiction, so good luck in catching all of the users :) And even common rapidshare-like websites are good enough to find thousands of albums just sitting there...

A hint to newbies regarding their P2P being tracked:

as per previous emails sent to poor Virgin customers and so on, it is clear that they simply log on same P2P networks and monitor peers IP.

That could have happened years ago as this kind of feature (or bug) is shared by many P2P designs. Luckily authorities are very slow and we had a number of years of comparetevely trouble-free life.

Couple of suggestions from the Sensei to you:

install peerguardian or other similar P2P firewall, it has frequently updated lists which ban IPs belonging to goverments, commercial organisations (inclusive of BPI) etc. It is not a newsflash this software was available years ago and still not being properly used :)

do not download data on public torrents and other similar networks. peers data is commonly available on the tracker's webpage even without logging on the network.

However a simple question: can they easily found out you're using members-only-club invite-only torrents?

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Coat

damn french....

yet another reason to pull out of Europe and fill that tunnel in....

mines the one with "the who won at Waterloo?" winners badge on the lapel

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Great idea!

Hey, what a wonderful idea! Let's ignore the fact that the Internet in general requires "broadband" access now -- www.theregister.co.uk (221KB), www.yahoo.com (221KB), www.msn.com (188KB), www.bestbuy.com (446KB), www.netflix.com (170KB), www.whitehouse.gov (315KB), www.fbi.gov (714KB), www.dhs.gov (226KB), www.uspto.gov (345KB), www.myspace.com (667KB), www.facebook.com (175KB), www.nytimes.com (584KB), www.washingtonpost.com (765KB), www.massrmv.com (264KB), www.mass.gov (195KB), www.citibank.com (437KB), www.bankofamerica.com (230KB), www.chase.com (214KB), www.hsbc.com (241KB), www.holidayinn (490KB), www.bestwestern.com (314KB), www.delta.com (222KB), www.southwestair.com (458KB), www.united.com (379KB), www.ryanair.com (262KB)...

That's just typical web browsing. That doesn't even begin to cover the countless megabytes of patches for the various software packages we use -- WinXP SP3 (316MB), Office 2003 SP3 (117MB), Office 2007 SP1 (218MB), Windows Vista SP1 32-bit (544MB) and 64-bit (873MB), browser updates at 5MB+, antivirus updates at 10-40MB+, the monthly patches from Microsoft...

Now let's remember what "dial-up" means. The maximum theoretical speed of an analog dial-up modem is 56Kbps. The maximum speed allowed in the US is 53Kbps, and the typical connection speed is 33.6-45Kbps. Those people who have ISDN (very rare in the US) have 64 or 128Kbps. A 1MB download takes 4.06 minutes at 33.6Kbps, 3.03 minutes at 45Kbps, 2.13 minutes at 64Kbps, and 1.06 minutes at 128Kbps. A "small" 10MB antivirus update would take between 10.66 minutes (128Kbps) and 40.63 minutes (33.6Kbps) on dial-up. The 32-bit Vista SP1 (544MB) would take between 580.26 minutes [9.67 hours] (128Kbps) and 2,210.53 minutes [36.84 hours] (33.6Kbps).

Ignoring the convenience aspects of the Internet (general browsing for entertainment), if Europe is anything like the US, many companies now require you to apply for employment through their websites -- the companies will not accept applications anywhere other than their website. Similarly, many companies require you to contact them via email. Credit cards, utilities (phone, cable, etc), and others typically pester you with HTML-laden email. And let's not forget the friend or relative who needs to send pictures from their digital cameras using up countless megabytes of our inboxes.

There's also the hypocrisy of it. If a person buys a pirated DVD or CD from ebay, and it arrives through the post, will the person be banned from using the post after "three strikes"? I understand this law was most likely crafted with good intentions. The problem is that the punishment does not fit the crime.

Having said all that, is small-scale copyright infringement (receiving one, or even three, pirated films/albums) a crime in Europe? In the US, I think (though I could be wrong) that only large-scale infringement is a crime; small-scale is a civil matter.

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Wrong approach

I am against all the illegal file sharing of copyright material, music and video in particular. It is after all just plain theft. But another reason I am against it is the negative consequences it will have on the management of the Internet and ALL its users, inevitably having an unsatisfactory impact on the freedom of the Internet for everybody.

Is that what we really want?

However, I believe it is the uploaders and other facilitators of the illegal file sharing who should be targetted. Furthermore I also believe that ISPs should under no circumstances be turned into a private enforcement agency. It is for the properly authorised agencies of law enforcement to carry out this function, namely courts, police and if relevant the CPS.

Additionally, under these proposals, your child or other person sharing your connection can get you cut off and this may have serious consequences for you if your Internet connection is fundamentally important to you.

My own personal opinion is that this illegal file sharing should have been nipped in the bud at least 10 years ago. Now it is a very difficult task as the scale of sharing has ballooned exponentially, and the younger generation in particular consider it a norm.

Bottom line, all Internet users will suffer. One more step to a surveillance and control society wholly unacceptable in principle and far more dangerous than Phorm.

Go on - Flame me!

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Flame

Enforcability?

How is this thing meant to be enforced anyway? They cut me off (not that I pirate ;) and then my gf/parent/m8 signs up for DSL with another company, or do they block on phone number, in which case I claim I moved.

If anything it would almost be a good thing. Good way of getting out of a contract - do they expect you to pay for your full 12 months if they cut you off after month 3?

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The China model...

The net is slowly but surely becoming more & more regulated under the excuse that it will clamp down on the current dual political bogey-men of terrorists & pedophiles, with P2P being a 3rd excuse to monitor EVERYONE.

I think that with the way control & regulation is being imposed by most government's now it's probably going to only take another 5-7 years for the chinese model of internet policing to become the norm i.e. you get access to most webpages & net services but the goverment monitors everything you do online & has a centrally operated (and constantly updated) banned list of sites & services.

The Phorm system but on a larger scale essentially (everything routed through a proxy controlled by the government).

Instead of injecting adds it simply throws up a government warning page instead of the one you wanted.

On second thought they could stick some PSA's in there as well to further educate you on the evils of terrorists & what not (throw in some adds on erectile dysfunction as well to keep phorm happy :-).

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France: the new america?

Is this a case of "me too"? With the 'merkins throwing their weight around and imposing their own idea of what's right on the other 95% of the world, it looks like the french are trying to get in on the act as well - though in a smaller way.

While Sarkosy is entitled to think what he likes, including:

> "there is no reason that the internet should be a lawless zone".

You do have to wonder if anyone's explained (or if any politico actually understands) that the internet isn't actually a place - it's simply a set of rules for transferring data. And rules can be changed.

He can propose whatever laws he likes - some may even stick. Though given the ponderous speed of legislation through the european parliamentary process, it'll probably be sometime in the next decade before anything legal emerges from the morass.. However before that happens, we can fully expect that someone will come up with a technical alternative that leaves traditional filesharing about as well used as the "kermit" protocol . How can we be sure? Well, hackers are a damn sight smarter than politicians and implement things a great deal faster, especially when it threatens their access to pr0n, free music and videos.

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Anonymous Coward

Govt and ISP Interference

The answer is simple - send a bill to the ISP and to the government for interfering in you commerce -- a million or two so they notice.

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Anonymous Coward

Ahem...

Might i point out that this legislation does not allow for the barring of "broadband access to anyone who persists in illegally downloading music or films". It allows for barring any access to the net if ANY rightsholder claims infringement x3. Claims. Not proves in a court of law, merely the accusation is enough. I'm all for a fair system of payment for peoples creative output, but to allow any commercial interest to play judge and jury is suicide.

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Bronze badge

No need to buy the police...

Just say you're hunting copyright pirates....

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Alert

A reply from Mr. Harbour

I emailed MEP Mr. Harbour, one of the authors of the amendments, pointing him at La Quadrature's analysis and he replied very quickly, with his own (seemingly quite reasonable, for the most part) rebuttal. Here it is:

>Dear ...

>

> Thank you for your email.

>

> I am contacting you in response to the commentary by Christophe Espern

> of La Quadrature which you referred to in your email about some selected

> amendments tabled by myself and Mr Kamall, in advance of the vote on

> telecoms on Monday in Strasbourg.

>

> I was surprised to see your analysis of the amendments which we have

> tabled. I attach my analysis, which you will see contradicts the

> arguments raised in your commentary.

>

> I would have preferred to discuss the reasoning behind my amendments

> with you at an earlier stage to avoid the confusion that has been

> created but looking forward, I would be very happy to discuss my

> analysis with you in more detail if that would be helpful.

>

> I look forward to hearing from you,

>

>

> Malcolm Harbour

and here's the text of the document he attached:

Justification of amendments tabled by Mr Harbour and Mr Kamall

As is clear from the text, amendment H1 in fact gives national regulatory authorities and the Commission the power to take appropriate action to prevent degradation and slowing of traffic and against unreasonable restrictions of users' possibilities to access or distribute lawful content or to run lawful applications and services of their choice. Furthermore, recital 14 starts with the words: "It should be the end-users' decision what lawful content they want to be able to send and receive, and which services, applications, hardware and software they want to use for such purposes..." It also notes that "an unrestricted basic internet service" could be required as a response to a perceived problem.

It is evident that this protection should not extend to any unlawful content or applications. In fact, the question of lawfulness is outside the scope of this legislation and depends on the national laws of each country. It is to be decided by the relevant judicial authorities of each country, not by the ISPs.

Amendment K1 refers to the free movement of goods and makes it clear that a country can not start requiring manufacturers to incorporate features that would allow detecting or preventing for example copyright infringement, as that would hinder the free movement of the computers and other terminal equipment concerned. Any such requirements would have to be agreed by all member states of the EU. We are not aware of any such proposals.

We are seeking clarification on K2 (tabled by Syed Kamall) and will issue a response on this shortly.

Amendment H2 asks national regulatory authorities to promote - not force - cooperation, as appropriate, regarding protection and promotion of lawful content. It is entirely independent of "flexible response" and does not prescribe the outcome of any such cooperation.

As opposed to the text proposed by the Commission, amendment H3 shifts the burden of explaining the law from the ISPs to the appropriate national authorities. It also broadens the concept so that any type of unlawful activities are covered, not only copyright infringement. Such other activities could be for example child pornography. This public interest information would be prepared by the relevant national authority and then simply distributed by the ISP to all their customers. It involves no monitoring of individual customer usage of the internet.

None of the amendments have been drafted by any outside lobbying organisation.

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Regardless of the rights or wrongs of file-sharing...

... HTF is this within the remit of the EC rather than individual nations?

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Unhappy

Point?

What's the point in running this system? Everyone will just encrypt their P2P which means they have no physical way of telling the difference between a distro and an album. What do they do then? Just ban all P2P?

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Silver badge

What ever happend to innocent till proven guilty

Europe drafts law to disconnect >>>suspected<<< filesharers

So it's not JUST the UK hell bent on becoming a police state.

Filesharing is not illegal

Sharing files that you don't have to right to share is against the law but the only way to tell them apart is to read all the data. I thought one of the "Human Rights" was the right to privacy in communication.

I do not believe that people should share files that they do not have the right to share. But just because a few people mistreat this doesn't mean that everyone's rights should be swept away.

Wonder what David Davis would make of this one?

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Rather like the Human Rights Act

Put in by Tony when he was PM because he knew he couldn't get it past HIS voters, but when it is passed he can say "It was Europe made me do it" and we'd get Daily Mail readers bleating about the *European* Human Rights Act.

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Rob
Coat

I'll get my coat....

If this goes through I think there will be a slew of "I'll get my coat" icons on websites around the world!

I think I'm on my 6th strike today alone ;)

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Once again they don't care who they punish

When they can prove WHO fileshared, not just Who's internet connection that was used then they can try to block the filesharer getting thier own internet account.

In any case they are dealing with private companies, why should they be told who they can and can not do business with?

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So, the media firms are taking over the internet are they?

's a joke, isn't it?

Anyway, will the last person to leave the internet please turn off the power.

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Eh?

Where does it say this is being proposed by Sarkozy's government? Despite France holding the presidency, the lobby group's document attributes most of the proposed amendments to two Tory MEPs.

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But what about the story on Zdnet.co.uk in April?!?

I'm now very confused having read this article as a story on Zdnet.co.uk seemed to suggest that the EU had already voted against disconnecting file-sharers in April?!?

The piece is titled "EU votes against disconnecting file-sharers" which I would have said is pretty definitive, here's a link to it in case anyone missed it.

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/communications/0,1000000085,39384074,00.htm

Can the EU really just vote to do one thing one month then decide to do the exact opposite a few months later?

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