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EU Poised to Attack P2P File-Sharers 49

Posted by timothy
from the all-fronts-engaged dept.
Robin Gross of IP Justice writes "The EU is about to vote on a controversial piece of legislation that targets P2P file-sharing and other non-commercial infringements. The EU Intellectual Property Rights Directive creates a 'nuclear weapons' of law enforcement tools for intellectual property holders. It combines the most extreme enforcement provisions found throughout Europe and imposes them collectively onto all of Europe, for example England's Anton Pillar orders that permit recording industry executives to raid and ransack the homes of alleged users of file-sharing software or it's Mareva injunctions that freeze a defendant's bank accounts without a hearing. The vote in the EU plenary will likely be March 11, 2004 - watch the CODE site for developments."
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EU Poised to Attack P2P File-Sharers

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @04:20AM (#8302661)

    for example England's Anton Pillar orders that permit recording industry executives to raid and ransack the homes of alleged users of file-sharing software or it's Mareva injunctions that freeze a defendant's bank accounts without a hearing.

    Whew, thank goodness I live in America, LAND OF THE FREE, where our mighty Constitution and Bill of Rights protects us from this kind of unchecked government abuse and corporate favoritism! Silly Europeans!

    (No seriously, we did have a constitution, I saw it once.)

    • (No seriously, we did have a constitution, I saw it once.)

      Its still around, though you have to go hunting through sewage after John and George used it to wipe their collective asses.
      • by trezor (555230)

        Fsck your holy constitution, we used to have freedom in Europa.

        Now that golden era seems to be fading.

        Strange thing... No really! "Suffering" artists forced to live lifes of "only semi-luxery" *pun intended* seem to take away more freedom and legal protection from people worldwide these days, than anything else. "War on terror" included.

        I'm afraid of a corporative appocalyptic future these days...............

        • by ReaperOfSouls (523060) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @07:07AM (#8303211) Homepage
          Fsck your holy constitution, we used to have freedom in Europa.

          Hmmm odd. That was what the comment was refering to...At a point in the not to distant past our "holy constitution" was the stick that was used to maintain some level of freedom, here in the states.

          Strange thing... No really! "Suffering" artists forced to live lifes of "only semi-luxery" *pun intended* seem to take away more freedom and legal protection from people worldwide these days, than anything else. "War on terror" included.

          I am no fan of any of the RIAA(subsitute local version). My personal take is the if they cannot adapt to the changing world, let them die. The fact that this type of legislation goes well and above what we in the states currently are dealing with, I feel for you. If you are really opposed, put your money were your text is...Contribute to action groups in your locality that are opposed to such power grabs. I can say my self here, I contribute to the ACLU, EFF, along with various other defence funds as they pop up.

          I am completely dismayed at our current presidential canidates, on one hand we have the menace to the free world, Bush, and the human weather vane, Kerry. Its obvious that Bush is a criminal and most of his administration should be thrown in jail. Kerry on the other hand has taken more special interest money then any senator in congress...Gee what a great selection. I have no doubt in the next four years things are not going to get better unless the little folks become a power block.

          "War on terror" included.

          The "War on terror" is nothing more then a political football, used to keep people afraid and in line. Its currently being used as a smoke screen for the internationally illegal action in the middle east. The fact that Bush and his cronies have held the folks in Guentanemo for nearly two years with zero due process is sickening...You are correct, the "War on Terror" is nothing but a war on feedom...

          I'm afraid of a corporative appocalyptic future these days...............

          Afraid of corperations!?! They have nothing on governments.
            • The "War on terror" is nothing more then a political football, used to keep people afraid and in line.

            Thats why I used quotes when I referred to the "War on terror". I also believe it's balgoney, but alot of nasty things are justified by it. Thus, worthy a writeup in my last comment.

            Even if it was a real war on terror, it still be as doomed as the war on drugs. It's kinda like trying to cure the syndromes, and not going for the underlying decease.

            • by ReaperOfSouls (523060) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @07:40AM (#8303311) Homepage
              Even if it was a real war on terror, it still be as doomed as the war on drugs.

              Nothing can be that doomed...:-)

              Terrorism isn't really something both parties willingly recieve or want; where as in most cases drugs are.

              It's kinda like trying to cure the syndromes, and not going for the underlying decease.

              Or in the case of drugs, going after something that is not in some cases a desease. Marajana has been proven to have viable and in some cases superior medicinal value then some pharma drugs. The real war on drugs is all about pharma companies making sure their profit margins aren't affected at the cost of sick people. Also its pretty sickening that in the US, more then 50% of imates in our prisons are there on drug convictions, most for mere possesion.
        • "Fsck your holy constitution, we used to have freedom in Europa."

          How many American soldiers lost their lives in WW 1 and WW2 to protect/return that freedom you speak of?
          • Well... How many Europeans died in WW1/2, how many Russians? I'm not sure. I'm not even going to go for a full bodycount here, because that's really not the real issue here at all.

            In my fsck-that statement, I was reffering to that printed words mean nothing. It's the actual freedom that counts.

            • In my fsck-that statement, I was reffering to that printed words mean nothing. It's the actual freedom that counts.

              How so? There are countries where you would not be allowed to write the above statement. Is that freedom? Are you truely free if you are not allowed to print your thoughts? In some countries censorship extends to the level that you would not even be allowed to write the sentence you just wrote. Living on such a country might change your view on whether or not freedom of speech is a part of

              • I think you may have missed the point being made, which is that a written document saying you have certain rights is not what is important, it is that you do (or do not) actually have those rights which is important. If the printed words are ignored, they may as well not exist, and you can have the freedoms without haveing the printed words saying you have them.

                For example, a law saying "An authorisation under subsection (1) or (2) [for police to use special ant-terrorism powers] may be given only if the
          • check out this [erols.com]
            scrolling down we get this list,

            The country-by-country medians for military personnel killed in the war are:

            * USSR: 10.0M
            * Germany: 3.5M
            * China: 2.05M
            * Japan: 1.5M
            * USA: 0.4M
            * Romania: 0.3M
            * Yugoslavia: 0.3M
            * UK: 0.28M
            * Italy: 0.23M
            * France: 0.21M
            * Hungary: 0.14M
            * Poland: 0.125M
            * TOTAL: 19.0M

            looks like we all owe stalin a big fat thank you.
        • Fsck your holy constitution, we used to have freedom in Europa.

          Was that before or after the Lucifer detonation?

          ALL THESE MOONS ARE YOURS... EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.

      • Have the Beatles ever apologized for that particular incident?
    • by Mork29 (682855) <{lim.ymra.su} {ta} {kcinley.htiek}> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @09:07AM (#8303684) Journal
      Ok, the constitution was a great idea once. It didn't entirely work though. Slavery was legal under it. We had to add stuff in to make that illegal. It was a great idea, and a framework, but I don't think it was quite detailed enough. I think it was more of a great and grand idea thought up by our fore-fathers, and we were supposed to uphold the ideal of the constitution, not "interpret the wording" and all of that fun stuff. It's an idea, and it's an idea that's been perverted for the past 200 years or so.
      • Many of the founding fathers wished to outlaw slavery, but they knew they'd never get a constitution with that. It'd be kind of like today if you tried to put a "ban abortion" plank in the constitution (please don't draw inferences from this.) If that was tried, it would never happen. They had to sacrifice a limb to save the body, and they did. I give them more credit for that than strict adherence to a futile goal. At the time, everyone was very aware the Constitution had limitations. One of the outcomes o
        • by ReaperOfSouls (523060) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @03:42PM (#8307863) Homepage
          While I do agree with most of what you wrote, there is one place where I deviate.

          judicial fiat, which is probably the biggest threat our constitution has.

          If you look at our past, rarely has the legislature, lead strongly on the case of civil rights for all. Judicial fiat, gained us many things that our mostly self serving representives were too afaid to stand up for. The addoption of the idea of "Separation of church and state", while originally put forth by Thomas Jefferson, was addopted early on. During the 60's "separate but not equal" doctrine was adopted through judial fiat. More currently, the outlawing of Texas's anti-sodomy laws was done by judial fiat.

          IMHO as long as our legislature is beholden to fear of reprisal, real positive change on behalf of minority groups will just not happen if it were not for the judial branch.
          • It's power is also what makes it the most dangerous, in my opinion. It's been used for a lot of good, but its wide open to rampant abuse. It's actually abused far more frequently and severely at the state level, I'd say. I'm thinking specifically in cases where courts are handing down rulings on things that aren't even court cases. That's just abusing authority.

            While not exactly referring to judicial fiat, things like mandatory sentencing legislation are in direct response to courts just doing whatever the
            • I'm thinking specifically in cases where courts are handing down rulings on things that aren't even court cases.

              I'd be curious to hear what cases you're thinking of. As far as I know that would not merely be an abuse of authority, it would be a non-existant authority.

              possibly the most powerful branch

              An interesting argument can be made for any of the three branches. One of the major limitations placed on the judicial branch is that it's only power is to rule on genuine contoversies they are brought to
            • It's power is also what makes it the most dangerous, in my opinion.

              I would disagree with the most dangerous. Generally they cannot take action on something that has not been submitted to them. The executive branch can issue executive orders without the vetting of either the Judiary or the Legislature.

              It's been used for a lot of good, but its wide open to rampant abuse.

              It definately could be abused, but on the whole, the job of Supreme Court Justice is one of the most vetted in all of public servic
  • Innocent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Andy Smith (55346) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @04:23AM (#8302666) Homepage
    Check my posting history to see how ANTI-piracy I am but...

    Innocent until proven guilty is a fundamental requirement of justice.

    Any law that assumes guilt can play no part in the provision of justice to all. Justice is not solely about punishing the guilty, it is as much about NOT punishing the innocent.
    • Re:Innocent (Score:5, Interesting)

      by trezor (555230) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @06:06AM (#8303035) Homepage
      • Innocent until proven guilty is a fundamental requirement of justice.

      Oh.. In case you missed it, that is totally irellevant. You see, you are facing the recording industry here, not any agancy of legal investigation.

      That they now seem to be given even more powers than these agencies, is however quite disturbing.

      Now, I'll have to flee Europa as well.

    • Re:Innocent (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ichimunki (194887)
      Check my posting history to see that I don't approve of copyright law in the first place but...

      Innocent until proven guilty is not at issue here. The write-up is totally misleading. Things like Anton Pillar orders are not license to "ransack" they are there to assist in finding infringing material. The orders cannot be issued without a court approval and there are oversight measures in place to ensure that things are done properly.

      As far as I can tell this would be completely legal in the U.S., where
  • by kompiluj (677438) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @04:41AM (#8302746)
    When I saw in Lessig's blog what presidential candidate Mr Kerry has to say about enforcing IP rights I really shuddered.
    Look at: Lessig blog entry [lessig.org] and Kerry about technology [johnkerry.com]
  • Does it mean that I have to shred my gtk-gnutella and dcgui before my country becomes part of EU? Now I don't see any positive sides of EU.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @05:18AM (#8302878) Journal
    There is a lot of EU laws like this that get proposed and never are passed. Even fewer that ever get adopted by the individual countries.

    The EU is even more extreme in its introduced laws then the US because of the far greater number of political parties. Fortunally we also got far more parties that will therefore be opposed to the more extreme proposals. Not like the US were at times one or the other party is supposed to be in control.

    So yes we should be worried about this proposal but if democracy still works then it will fail as with similar proposals before. Europe may not get much done but they have succeeded so far in getting a lot of things not done. Including people not getting sentenced because the european of human rights overturns national laws that slipped through. And given its track record so far that court would never hold up a case based on this. Long live the lawyers eh.

    • Worried yes, but it isn't as bad as the poster made it sound.

      Quoting the article:

      According to reports of EU negotiations, the directive will no longer attempt to exceed its jurisdiction by creating criminal law sanctions (Article 20) and the right of information (Article 9) will be limited to "appropriate court cases" to ensure that a case has been filed before personal information is forcibly disclosed. Together with an exclusion of (Article 21's) ban on technical devices, these changes would mark an

    • by GerritHoll (70088) <gerrit@nl.linux.org> on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @07:18AM (#8303234) Homepage
      The EU is even more extreme in its introduced laws then the US because of the far greater number of political parties.

      This is bound to become much, much worse in the coming years. There may be weird parties in the EP (European Parliament) already, but with middle and north-eastern europe getting into the EU soon, it is very likely that extremely conservative, extremely royalist and stalinist parties will join the European Parliament. I can already see an extremely-communist party from Poland or similar wanting to ban Microsoft from Europe altogether (which would not be such a bad idea after all ;-)

      • For Polish government, communism is the root of all evil. I didn't heard of any Polish communist party, so "an extremely-communist party from Poland" surely will not join the Europarl. The idea of "banning Microsoft" also will not come from Poland - our government is a bunch of stupid Microsoft-lovers, that don't see (or don't know of?) any alternative and wastes A LOT of public money for Microsoft products (and Poland isn't a rich country).

        Anyway, Polish politicians surely ARE bunch of assholes, that care
        • Congrats, you have proven that I lack any knowledge ;-)

          It seems the czechs do have [electionworld.org] a communist party, but I don't know their views. The same is true for Slovakia [electionworld.org]. To be honest, I've always thought all (ex-)communist countries had communist parties, and a pendulum democracy, but apparantly they don't. But I shudder to have someone like Simeon II [electionworld.org] having power over my legislation - but Bulgaria is only joining in a few years anyhow.

          Rating: -1, offtopic

          • Well, after some googling I found KPP [neostrada.pl] ("Communist Party of Poland"), but I never heard about them before - they never were in the parliament, their election campaign must have been quiet, if they had any. Even Samoobrona ("Self-defense"), a "farmer's party", is in parliament now, and their leader, Andrzej Lepper, is widely known (mainly for his stupidity). But communists? In post-communist Poland communists never were a strong force.
    • Complacency (Score:5, Insightful)

      by metamatic (202216) on Tuesday February 17, 2004 @11:11AM (#8304666) Homepage Journal

      There is a lot of EU laws like this that get proposed and never are passed. Even fewer that ever get adopted by the individual countries.

      You know, that's exactly what people told me when I was campaigning against GATT and the formation of the WTO.

      It's also exactly what people said when the even-more-extreme EU version of the DMCA was passed.

      Guess what? Both pieces of legislation were adopted wholesale by the UK government [patent.gov.uk]; one by a Conservative government, the other by the "opposing" Labour government.

      There are always plenty of complacent fools who sit around and say "Oh, it's just some EU law, it'll never actually happen." They were wrong then, they're wrong now.

  • If any of you "american patriots" would know a thing about
    how EU works and even read a few lines from the article
    pointed out you would see that it will only be a directive
    not a law itself.

    In pure English said like that : your country problaly(,
    we think and hope,) should make a law that somehow enforces
    the idea of the directive.

    Don't jump into conclusions too quickly, the EU has far
    more important problems with economy and extending itself
    than doing anything about the P2P software.

    I live in a country tha
  • EU != Europe (Score:1, Insightful)

    by ffub (322605)

    The EU Intellectual Property Rights Directive creates a 'nuclear weapons' of law enforcement tools for intellectual property holders. It combines the most extreme enforcement provisions found throughout Europe and imposes them collectively onto all of Europe

    Or maybe it just applies them to the EU?

What this country needs is a good five cent microcomputer.

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