Christian Engström, Pirate MEP

19 maj 2010

EU’s Digital Agenda — Request For Comments

Postat i: Digital Agenda,English,informationspolitik — Christian Engström @ 15:12

Neelie Kroes, EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda

Today EU’s new Digital Agenda was presented by Commissioner Neelie Kroes. You can find information about it on the Commission’s site, including the full text of the communication.

This is one of EU’s ”flagship initiatives”, so it is a big framework that is expected to lead to a number of different legislative initiatives. The European Parliament will be involved in various ways at different stages.

To make sure I don’t miss a lot of interesting and important points that will be covered by this initiative, I will need help from activists and other interested citizens on the net.

What are the good, the bad, and the ugly points in this communication? What should I watch out for, and where are the hidden pitfalls? Where are the opportunities to change things for the better?

French activist organization La Quadrature du Net has already started analyzing it, but more eyeballs are needed. This is a job for the swarm on the net.

Please have a look at it, and tell me what I need to know about it. All comments are welcome, now or when you have had the time to go through the document.

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13 kommentarer

  1. Section 2.3 (pp. 16-18) appears interesting.

    What is ”Computer Emergency Response Teams”, ”European cybercrime platform” and ”European cybercrime centre”?

    Kommentar av Mark Klamberg — 19 maj 2010 @ 15:40

  2. Get the names of the companies that lobbied against open standards in the proposal.

    Lobbying in the European Union is intransparent.

    Kroes should give you the names.

    Kommentar av orbital — 19 maj 2010 @ 16:09

  3. ”In Europe, digital cinema take-up has been slower than foreseen because of technical (standards) and economic (business model) issues. Some types of cinemas are even threatened with closure because of the high costs of digital equipment. Therefore, support to digitisation of cinemas is necessary to safeguard cultural diversity.”

    I fail to see how using tax payer money on movie theater equipment would safeguard cultural diversity? Unless we’re talking about safeguarding all the diversity Hollywood has to offer, of course.

    Kommentar av lala — 19 maj 2010 @ 18:07

  4. section 2.7.2, pp. 29–30, discuesses a Health database of all Europeans medical records.

    p.18, proposes to set up hotlines for removal of offensive or harmful content from the internet.

    Lots of talk on how to identify yourself, how to harmonise e-identifications between member states.

    Kommentar av Werner — 19 maj 2010 @ 20:45

  5. ”In Europe, digital cinema take-up has been slower than foreseen because of technical (standards) and economic (business model) issues. Some types of cinemas are even threatened with closure because of the high costs of digital equipment. Therefore, support to digitisation of cinemas is necessary to safeguard cultural diversity.”
    +1

    Kommentar av Johio — 19 maj 2010 @ 22:58

  6. @Jens :
    ”I fail to see how using tax payer money on movie theater equipment would safeguard cultural diversity? Unless we’re talking about safeguarding all the diversity Hollywood has to offer, of course.”

    Especially considering the cinema industry is doing very well atm. This passage seems indeed to be the result of targeted lobbying.

    Kommentar av Maëlig — 19 maj 2010 @ 23:59

  7. @4,6,7
    There’s independent cinema’s operated by volunteers in many small communities in Sweden. For them the cost to ”go digital” is very high. These cinemas can be the only one in a rather large area. Everyone does not live in big towns where the corporations find it profitable to set up operations

    Kommentar av Andreas — 20 maj 2010 @ 5:50

  8. Some random thoughts:

    - We really need to promote open standards already, as suggested in 2.2.2. Encouraging adoption of Open Source software would definitely be nice, and it deserves a mention in there.

    - On the subject of standards and innovation, we have software patents. Do we need them? Also, should patents remain valid if they become industry standards? For instance, browser makers are having a lot of trouble deciding on a common video format because the industry standard, H.264, is patent encumbered.

    - Safe Harbours really belongs in section 2.4.3 about internet openness and neutrality. It’s becoming increasingly common that individuals sue the messenger (ISP or web host) instead of the actual culprits, usually because they know where the money is. Of course this applies to piracy as well, but I’m specifically thinking of a very worrying ruling in Italy where YouTube’s *execs* were punished for a video uploaded by a user. Search engines are also increasingly under pressure to censor themselves, and are in danger of being accused of copyright infringement because of how they provide extracts of text in the results (which is ”fair use” by any definition!).

    - Another big issue is ”the right to link”. News aggregators (like NewsNow in the UK) have recently come under fire (by Mr Murdoch) simply for linking to external sites.

    - I don’t think the words ”public domain” are even mentioned in the entire document, yet it repeatedly talks about curbing illegal downloads. If non-commercial filesharing is out of the question, then at the very least copyright duration needs to be reexamined. Enriching the commons will keep the ”virtuous circle of the digital economy” turning (fig. 1), as it can lead to an increase in service demand — if I’m not mistaken, the IT industry is several times bigger than the content industry, and keeping that wheel turning with already existing content is what the economy needs. They already want to look into out-of-print and orphan works, and it would be nice if at least some of those fall into the public domain (rather than some new license they make up).

    - Why the hell are ebooks more expensive than hardbacks?? Why are mp3 downloads more expensive than CDs?? If ”digital distribution of cultural, journalistic and creative content, (is) cheaper and quicker” online than offline, I have trouble seeing it. People won’t start buying online until the prices drop significantly!

    Kommentar av moop — 20 maj 2010 @ 7:22

  9. Do you know about this? http://www.computerworlduk.com/community/blogs/index.cfm?blogid=14&entryid=2957

    The part of the document about interoperability, which was once called “Open Standards and Interoperability” is now only “Interoperability and standards”. The text of the chapter reflects the change accordingly.

    MS lobbying perhaps? http://www.computerworlduk.com/community/blogs/index.cfm?entryid=2878&blogid=14

    Kommentar av optim — 20 maj 2010 @ 10:52

  10. [...] Des premières analyses se trouvent par ici et par là. Christian Engström, membre du Parlement européen pour le Parti Pirate, a lancé un appel à commentaires dans son blog. [...]

    Pingback av Cyberespionnage et Cyberjungle – L’Agenda Numérique Européen « vasistas? — 20 maj 2010 @ 12:02

  11. I second @2′s suggestion.

    Kommentar av moop — 20 maj 2010 @ 12:04

  12. I think orbital is right. To find out how the thing is going to be used, find out who was influential in creating it.

    Kommentar av Rick — 22 maj 2010 @ 18:55


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