This morning, the controversial ”Gallo report” about copyright enforcement was voted in the legal affairs committee JURI in the European Parliament.
It was a defeat for the Pirate/Green/Social Democrat side, who wanted the Commission to start evaluating copyright legislation in a fact based way, with a view to eventually legalizing non-commercial file sharing.
Instead the copyright conservatives won, with a majority consisting in most cases of the Christian Democrat group EPP, the Conservative group ECR, and the Liberal group ALDE.
In the final vote the report was adopted with 13 votes against 8, with some liberals abstaining in the end.
As it now stands, the Gallo report calls for stricter enforcement to be the focus of the Commission’s work on copyright. It asks for more figures on the impact of non-commercial file sharing to be collected, but instead of waiting for those figures to be evaluated, the report jumps the gun and asks for more and stricter enforcement of today’s copyright, regardless of what the facts may turn out to be.
This was a defeat, but the last word has not been said yet.
The next step is the vote in plenary. It is currently scheduled to take place in Strasbourg in the week starting June 14, but it is not at all impossible that it will be postponed to the last Strasbourg session before the summer break, in the week starting July 5. We’ll see, in due course.
In any case, I will be tabling an alternative resolution in plenary. Although the vote in the legal affairs committee JURI was a defeat on more or less all points, we were defeated by a quite narrow majority in most cases.
If we can get in particular the liberal Members of the European Parliament to think about the issue before the final vote in plenary, we have a quite realistic chance of actually winning in the end.
To have a chance, we will have to put in a lot of hard work, but it’s not impossible.
It ain’t over yet.
See also La Quadrature du Net: Copyright dogmatism wins a battle, not the war
Previous articles on the Gallo report (IP Observatory)