Christian Engström, Pirat

12 januari 2010

Reding wants to scrap IPRED2?

Filed under: English,informationspolitik — Christian Engström @ 18:43

Viviane Reding in today's hearing

The confirmation hearings with the new EU commissioners are currently under way in the European Parliament. It is not really a setting where you expect surprises, at least not positive ones. But I think there was one today in the hearing with commissioner designate Viviane Reding.

Ms. Reding is being proposed for the portfolio of ”Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship”. As a member of the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee JURI, I got the chance to ask her a question today.

I had planned to ask her about the pending IPRED2 directive, which deals with criminal sanctions for intellectual property infringements. Just like its predecessor IPRED1 (which is already in force) it is a very bad directive that makes no distinction between commercial goods counterfeiting on the one hand, and non-commercial file sharing of copyrighted material on the other.

To mix up these two issues and treat them as one, is one of the standard techniques that the copyright lobby has used to get both the EU and national parliaments to introduce draconian measures aimed at file sharers, under the guise of trying to combat goods counterfeiting (which even we pirates agree is a bad thing). I have written about this mix-up earlier, in the context of another proposal that was being discussed in the JURI committee some months ago.

Before it was my turn to ask my question, however, Ms. Reding made some very interesting remarks in response to a question from another member. She said that she wanted to come forward with an initiative to combat goods counterfeiting, but she stressed that it should be about counterfeiting only, and that non-commercial copyright infringement (i.e.: file sharing) should not be part of that initiative.

Instead of the question that I had intended to ask Ms. Reding (which was about the legal basis of IPRED2 and its impact on fundamental rights), I said that I was very encouraged by the response that she had given earlier, and asked if this new initiative to combat counterfeiting should be seen as a replacement for IPRED2.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a very clear answer to that question, and the impression I got was that Ms. Reding was not really aware of the IPRED2 directive, at least not off the top of her head. Considering that the directive has been stalled in first reading in the Council of Ministers for several years by now, that is perhaps understandable. It is a directive that deserves to be forgotten, so if that has already happened, I certainly have no objections. 😉

But the fact that Ms. Reding was making such a clear distinction between counterfeiting and file sharing is a very good sign in itself. If this leads to IPRED2 being scrapped by the Commission remains to be seen, but maybe there is a chance.

This would be a good thing not only from a pirate perspective, but also for those stakeholders that have a genuine interest in combating counterfeiting, rather than just hunting file sharers at any cost.

It is far too early to open any champagne bottles to celebrate the death of IPRED2, but today’s hearing was still very encouraging. Things may be moving in the right direction.


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9 kommentarer

  1. It’s hard to imagine there being a through review when the members get one question each. I know, there are a lot of members and a lot of questions, but anyway.

    It’s good if the coming decade could the decade of privacy, human rights and reformed IPR-legislation.

    Kommentar av Johan Tjäder — 12 januari 2010 @ 19:07

  2. Dags att försiktigt fråga ut Ms. Reding om hennes åsikter om medborgarrättigheter? Någonstans har hon fått en uppfattning som verkar skilja sig ifrån den gängse.

    Och förresten, hur är det med benet? Hörde att du slagit dig och fortfarande drog in som en av svenskarna med mest närvaro. Gör mig glad att jag röstade i EU-valet. 🙂

    Kommentar av Scary Devil Monastery — 12 januari 2010 @ 21:59

  3. Guess your question wouldn’t got an answer in any case. – Go smoke else where..
    But I find it good that you’re engaged and report what’s going on in the EU politicians world.

    Kommentar av Bara jag — 12 januari 2010 @ 22:59

  4. Förresten, hur går det med löftet av Barroso som det skrivs om här:

    Kommentar av Gregor — 13 januari 2010 @ 4:13

  5. @Scary Devil Monastery,

    Hon pratade faktiskt väldigt mycket om mänskliga rättigheter, och jag tyckte det var en delvis ny ton i det, på ett positivt sätt, som om hon faktiskt menade det.

    Vem som helst kan förstås säga vackra ord, men jag känner mig preliminärt lite grand förhoppningsfull. Nu får vi se hur det blir i praktiken under de kommande fyra och ett halvt åren.

    Min fot var bara en stukning (det är farligt att sätta upp julgransbelysningar 😉 ), så den är bra nu igen.

    Kommentar av Christian Engström — 13 januari 2010 @ 9:23

  6. Bra jobbat Christian. Det är genom att ständigt jaga makthavarna med blåslampa som vi ser till att de inte glömmer bort de viktiga frågorna om mänskliga rättigheter i allmänhet och personlig integritet i synnerhet. Så länge vi håller frågorna aktuella är det svårt att ta bort dem, men om vi slutar prata om dem kommer rättigheterna snabbt försvinna.

    Kommentar av Albert — 13 januari 2010 @ 10:28

  7. OK no champagne yet. But a bottle of sockerdricka might be alright. Good work!

    Kommentar av Rick — 14 januari 2010 @ 3:49

  8. Frikännande i fildelningsmål UK; Svergige framstår som rena bananrepubliken vad gäller rättssäkerhet

    Kommentar av Peter — 17 januari 2010 @ 12:53

  9. @Peter (#8)

    Nja, brottsrubriceringen var ju helt annorlunda: ”stämpling till bedrägeri” är inte ens ett brott i Sverige.

    Hur som helst kan bedrägeri inte komma i fråga när det gäller BitTorrent, eftersom man ju inte förmår skivbolagen att göra något som man otillbörligen har fördel av, vilket krävs enligt svensk lag.

    ”Medhjälp till upphovsrättsbrott” som det var frågan om i Pirate Bay målet ska ju nu prövas av hovrätten. Så vi får se hur rimligt det resonemanget är.

    Kommentar av Johan Tjäder — 19 januari 2010 @ 16:10

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