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Archive for October, 2011

Malmström Commission proposal

Article 21 Blocking access to websites containing child
pornography
1. Member States shall take the necessary measures to obtain the blocking of access by Internet users in their territory to Internet pages containing or disseminating child pornography. The blocking of access shall be subject to adequate safeguards, in particular to ensure that the blocking is limited to what is necessary, that users are informed of the reason for the blocking and that content providers, as far as possible, are informed of the possibility of challenging it.
2. Without prejudice to the above, Member States shall take the necessary measures to obtain the removal of internet pages containing or disseminating child pornography.

Angelili Europarl/Council compromise:

Article 21 Measures against websites containing or disseminating child pornography

1. Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure the prompt removal of webpages containing or disseminating child pornography hosted in their territory and to endeavour to obtain the removal of such pages hosted outside of their territory.
2. Member States may take measures to block access to webpages containing or disseminating child pornography towards the Internet users in their territory. These measures must be set by transparent procedures and provide adequate safeguards, in particular to ensure that the restriction is limited to what is necessary and proportionate, and that users are informed of the reason for the restriction. These safeguards shall also include the possibility of judicial redress.

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ACTA discussion heats up

Quite an alarmist tone, F. Pellegrini on ACTA (Oct 20, 2011):

“Le traité ACTA, dont la négociation s’est effectuée dans l’opacité la plus totale, en secret des citoyens comme des parlementaires des pays signataires, vise à criminaliser toute atteinte supposée à la « propriété intellectuelle », ainsi qu’à durcir considérablement les sanctions civiles afférentes. Écrit à l’initiative de représentants des lobbies juridiques, qui auront tout à gagner de l’inflation des litiges
quel qu’en soit le prix pour l’économie, l’innovation et les libertés fondamentales, il est l’ultime reflet d’une vision dépassée du développement économique. Nous synthétisons ici les problèmes les plus flagrants justifiant son rejet par les parlementaires de tous pays, en nous focalisant plus particulièrement sur l’Union européenne.”

Meanwhile there is still some struggle about the delivery of the Europarl legal opinions, and it seems unclear to observers what DEVE would do. This week there was a dinner meeting of the Kangeroo Group. Velasco-Martins of the Commission claimed they could properly respond to any criticism and asked member states to be more specific. Given the track record of the Commission in the case, the legal loopholes and a missing criminal acquis their chuzpe is astonishing. The Commission largly builds its confidence that the Treaty is legally permissable on the TRIPS agreement which was concluded by Member States prior to all the relevant EU Treaties reforms, and with a competence reservation by the Union.

Ante Wessels reports the final negotiator notes are finally made available. A remarkable victory of the Dutch analyst which should not be an issue in the first place, given the legal requirements. Notably, these are just “final” notes. All of them have to be made available to enable legal interpretations of the Treaty.

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Francois Gurry made headlines with his suggestions the world would be a better place if the web had been patented. Gurry chairs the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva, a UN body which administers international IPR agreements and is responsible for relaying international patent applications. I am unsure the member states of WIPO would like to endorse his suggestion.

But let’s be fair to the UN diplomat. Boing-Boing links the video stream of the session. Gurry had been challenged by the panel views from Lynn St Amour (Internet Society) and Rolf Heuer (CERN). They claimed the web as an example of disruptive innovation, innovation from basic research that was not patented and not expected. Heuer added a provocative notion it was developed around the corner of Gurry’s Geneva UN institution WIPO. Boing Boing:

After the head of CERN and the CEO of the Internet Society spoke about how important it was that the Web’s underlying technology hadn’t been patented, Francis Gurry, the Director General of the UN’s World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), took the mic to object.

What panelist Gurry said may be a result of frustration and perception it was necessary to add more “balance”. The report presented, Globalinnovationindex is freely downloadable. The first foreword is by COE of Alcatel-Lucent. Title: The World Needs Open Innovation.

These days smart phone markets and html5 deliberations at W3C illustrate how difficult it gets in a patent carpet to innovate. Under the looming financial and debt crisis commercial risk reduction is gaining more and more attention.

Disclaimer: The author observed WIPO negotiations for a German NGO.

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