The Gallo report on intellectual property rights enforcement (i.e.: harder measures against file sharing) will be voted by the European Parliament tomorrow Wednesday.
Yesterday evening, there was a short debate in plenary on the subject. I managed to get 60 seconds of speaking time. This is what I said:
There are several problems with this report, but I will highlight one fundamental problem: inconsistency. It starts out by saying that we do not have the facts and figures necessary to legislate, so therefore we should have this IP Observatory to get those facts and figures. Then the report goes on to criticise the Commission for not having proposed legislation, and goes on to propose non-legislative measures, etc.
I agree with what was said at the outset: we do not have the facts and figures available to us as policy makers. That is the fundamental problem, and the reason why the European institutions have been unsuccessful in finding a good policy for these matters.
I therefore recommend the Greens, Social Democrats and GUE/NGL resolution, which states that we should by all means get the facts and figures, then consider what to do, and then we can legislate.
You can find video from the debate, including my speech, on this page (click ”Enforcement of intellectual property rights in the internal market” to expand the list of speakers).
60 seconds is not a very long time, and there is of course a lot more that I would have wanted to say. I have written more about the background, and about our alternative resolution, in this blog post from last week.
There is a major risk that the Gallo report will be accepted by the parliament, but it is not a done deal yet. There is still a chance that either our alternative resolution could be adopted, or that the parliament says no to both the alternative resolution and the original Gallo report.
Either of these outcomes would be a success, and a victory for common sense.
You can help by contacting MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) and explaining to them why they should support the resolution by the Green, Social Democrat and Left (GUE/NGL) groups, and vote no to the Gallo report.
French activist organisation La Quadrature du Net has put together an page with information about how to do and what to say. You should focus on MEPs from the Christian Democrat (EPP), Liberal (ALDE), and Conservative (ECR) groups, as it is these groups that are officially supporting the original hard-line Gallo report.
The vote is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon around 14.00 12.30.
The Gallo report as proposed by the rapporteur (EPP group)
Alternative resolution by the Green, Social Democrat and Left groups
Alternative Resolution by the Liberal group
Previous articles on the Gallo report