Feeds

Eurocrats, MEPs clash on telecoms reform to flush out pirates

Cutting off is hard to do

Security for virtualized datacentres

The European Parliament and its member states are reportedly on a “collision course” over tackling online piracy, after the two parties failed to agree on a final sticking point in a massive reform of the telecoms industry.

As a result final adoption has been pushed back until May at the earliest, according to Reuters.

It had been broadly agreed by MEPs and EU member state ambassadors that allowing internet service providers to cut off a copyright infringer’s service should be granted official approval from “a competent legal authority.”

However, some MEPs want such a provision to be included in the law itself, while Eurocrats insist such a move should be placed simply as guidelines in the report’s “legislative preamble”, that doesn’t form part of the legal text.

Members of the European Parliament industry committee passed an amendment yesterday to the telecoms bills requiring that web cut-offs could only be imposed after a decision by judicial authorities.

The committee voted overwhelmingly in support of placing the amendment within the law, rather than simply as a prelude to it, with votes 40 to four in favour.

"This is the major sticking point. It is clear member states won't agree to this going into the body of the text," an EU diplomat told Reuters last night.

"It would be a shame if the whole reform was held back just because of something which was not in the original proposal."

Although Commissioner Vivien Reding’s telecoms reform bill, which covers infrastructure rather than content, has been widely accepted by both parliament and EU member states, MEPs have previously expressed concern about some of the small print.

In September last year members of the European parliament backed a similar amendment that intended to end France’s “three strikes law”, in which copyright violators would have their internet access cut-off for up to a year if they failed to stop pirating content. Some Eurocrats had described such a practice as unjustly harsh.

Last month French legislators rejected the 'Hadopi' bill which would terminate the internet connections of copyright infringers. Assembly members rejected the measure by 21-15 in a poorly attended vote, a week after the lower house passed the measure.

The latest battle of the telecoms reform legislature comes just days after four co-founders of The Pirate Bay were convicted in a Swedish court of copyright offences. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Shades of Mannesmann: Vodafone should buy T-Mobile US
Biting the bullet would let Blighty-based biz flip the bird at AT&T
Net neutrality fans' joy as '2.3 million email' flood hits US Congress
FCC invites opinions in CSV format, after Slowdown day 'success'
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.