Posted by: euromediablog | November 4, 2009

“Hadopi” Law to be Adopted in the UK

Securing and  protecting copyrights in our digital environment has turned into  one of the main objectives  of the European information society governors. The biggest question was HOW. In a landscape, where file sharing is regarded as a normal practice by most digital natives,  it seemed a bit unproportional to put a teenager into jail just because he downloaded the latest Lilly Allen single without paying for it.

It was French Prime Minister Nikolas Sarkozy,  who came up with a proposal to simply deprive the digital “wrongdoers” of the attribute they all take for granted: their internet connection. For this purpose, a special agency “Hadopi” was created in France, in order to disconnect illegal file sharers without a judicial decision.

Until now the adoption of this law on an European scale was legally problematic. The reason for that were the paneuropean aspirations to include internet connecitivity to the basic human rights of which no human being can be deprived of (or at least not without a court ruling).  A special Ammendment to EUs Telecom package was drafted for this purpose. A week ago however, the European Parliament dropped the amendment,  which would have made it hard for countries to cut off pirates without court authority.

So it was left to the single member states to decide whtether they can deprive illegal file sharers of their internet connection with or without a court ruling.  And now Great Britain is preparing to follow France’s example, as Peter Mandelson, UK’s business Minister and  former EU trade commissioner, intends to adopt the  British version of the Hadopi bill  by April next year. Unlike France however, the British government will not establish a separate internet police authority like HADOPI, bu plans on delegating this competence to allround media watchdog Ofcom.

British civil rights groups are already protesting against the implementation of the harsh measure.

For further information: EUobserver


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