[ANSOL-geral] [IP-Enforce] Consumers Rally at EU Today Against Dangerous IP Enforcement Directive

Rui Miguel Seabra rms 1407.org
Segunda-Feira, 8 de Março de 2004 - 10:17:58 WET

IP Justice Media Release ~ 8 March 2004

Consumers Rally at EU Today Against Dangerous IP Enforcement Directive
Artists Claim Law Will Not Help Them and Will Harm Consumers

Consumers, artists, and representatives of civil liberties groups from
across Europe will join together today in Strasbourg, France to
demonstrate against the controversial European Union Intellectual
Property Rights Enforcement Directive.

The proposed directive is scheduled for debate and a final vote in the
European Parliament tomorrow, 9 March, and threatens to become EU law
two days later.

The enforcement directive has been widely criticized for its lack of
balance and over-broad scope, since it treats individuals who engage in
unintentional non-commercial infringements the same as if they were
major commercial counterfeiters.

Sponsored by a broad coalition of consumer groups, today's rally takes
place outside the EU Parliament in Strasbourg between 4:30-6:30pm as
MEPs enter the building for the evening's debate.  Rally organizers
include members of the Campaign for an Open Digital Environment (CODE),
including the European Digital Rights Initiative (EDRi), the Foundation
for Information Policy Research (FIPR), the Foundation for a Free
Information Infrastructure (FFII), IP Justice and others.

Consumer groups aim to convince MEPs to either reject the bloated
directive or to vote for amendments that would reduce it's danger to
ordinary consumers for non-commercial infringements.

"The proposed directive would allow recording industry executives to
privately invade the homes of P2P file-sharers in order to gather
evidence for civil prosecutions," said Robin Gross, Executive Director
of IP Justice, an international civil liberties organization that
promotes balanced intellectual property laws.

Popular artists have spoken out against this directive and it's backers'
claim that it protects creators:

"Prosecuting fans who share music files in order to prevent piracy is
like outlawing sex to prevent pregnancy," said Michael Franti, leader of
the acclaimed hip-hop band Spearhead.  "I do not support the spirit of
this legislation because it does more to punish fans than it does to
help artists and labels adjust to the expansive future of the electronic
revolution.  Fans, labels and artists alike are going to need to make
changes in the way we buy, sell and market music, but the draconian
nature of these laws is more of an attack on civil liberties than it is
a solution to the changing times we are living in."

"The EU Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive has nothing
to do with protecting the interest of artists, or at least the
overwhelming majority of us," stated Italian rock/folk musician Alberto
Cottica.  "Rather, it seems like an effective tool to protect major
recording companies, and it was these 'majors,' not artists, lobbying
for it," added Cottica, a member of the band Fiamma Fumana and
previously with the Modena City Ramblers, an Italian recording group who
has sold over 350,000 albums world-wide.

First introduced in January 2003 by the EU Commission, the proposed EU
IP Rights Enforcement Directive was placed on a fast-track approval
process by French MEP and the directive's Rapporteur Janelly Fourtou.
Fourtou is married to the CEO of one of the worldÂ’s largest music
companies, Vivendi-Universal and will directly profit from this
proposal's adoption.  Fourtou has pushed for its adoption through a
rarely used "First Reading" emergency procedure, rather than permit it
to be fully debated in the usual "Second Reading" procedure.

"As an artist, I am vehemently opposed to the European Union
Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive," exclaimed John
Perry Barlow, song writer for the Grateful Dead and co-founder of the
Electronic Frontier Foundation.  "Before imposing this directive, I hope
the European Union will stop to consider who really benefits from it. If
it is intended that artists and creators be compensated, if it is
intended that culture be enriched, and that the right both to speak and
to hear will be preserved, then this directive should never become
European law," added the lyricist who wrote over a quarter of the songs
for the Grateful Dead, the most popular touring band in the US.

"The primary rationale for enacting the enforcement directive is
supposed to be the reduction of distortions in the EU Single Internal
Market by reducing disparities between national laws," declared MEP
Marco Cappato, who has tabled 5 amendments to the directive in order to
protect consumers from its excesses.  "However, this rationale does not
apply to unintentional or non-commercial scale acts of infringement.
Given the differences in Member States' copyright and related right
laws, and trademark laws, there are significant differences as to which
acts constitute infringement under different national laws.  For
instance, when consumers create an MP3 copy of an audio CD that they
have purchased and burn it on to a CD-ROM for personal use in their
cars, this may be infringement in one Member State, but not in another.
Furthermore, small businesses that in good faith use software that is
later alleged to infringe copyright should not be targeted in the same
way as commercial counterfeiters.  Accordingly, it is appropriate to
harmonise enforcement only at the level of intentional commercial
infringement, since it is the only standard that is common across Member
States, and is the relevant focus for removal of distortions within the
Internal Market," explained MEP Cappato of the Italian Radical party.

Immediately after the plenary debate on the directive and just before
its final vote on 9 March from 11:30-12:00, CODE coalition members will
hold a press conference at the EU Press Facility in Strasbourg together
with Cappato and other MEPs who support narrowing the directive's scope
to commercial infringements.

More Information:

CODE Rally Info:

Campaign for an Open Digital Environment (CODE):

Text of Proposed EU IP Rights Enforcement Directive:

Alberto Cottica Statement:

Michael Franti Statement:

John Perry Barlow Statement:

Word doc of all 3 Artist Statements:

IP Justice's Top 8 Reasons to Reject the EU IP Rights Enforcement

MEP Marco Cappato Declaration:

FIPR/Cappato Amendments:

Media Contacts:

    IP Justice/CODE: Robin Gross
    robin  ipjustice.org
    phone: +1 415 553 6261

    FFII: James Heald
    j.heald  ffii.org.uk
    phone +44 14 83 57 51 74
    mobile +44 77 89 10 75 39

    FIPR: Ian Brown
    ian  fipr.org
    mobile +44 79 70 16 45 26

    EDRi: Andreas Dietl
    brussels  edri.org
    phone +32 2 660 47 81
    mobile +32 498 34 56 86

    Italian Law Professor Giovanni Ziccardi
    gio  ziccardi.org
    Phone: +39 340 79 66 516

IP Justice is an international civil liberties organization that
promotes balanced intellectual property laws. IP Justice defends
consumer rights to use digital media worldwide and is a non-profit
organization based in San Francisco. IP Justice was founded in 2002 by
Robin Gross, who serves as its Executive Director. To learn more about
IP Justice, visit the website at http://www.ipjustice.org.
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| but it is very important that you do it -- Gandhi
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