April 7, 2008 | By Danny O'Brien

EU Politicians Strike Back Against Three Strikes

Last time we wrote about the EU's Bono Report on the Cultural Industries, it was
to href="http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2007/12/music-industry-europe-filter-pressure">warn
of a rightsholders' hijack. Lobbying groups like href="http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/effeurope/ifpi_filtering_memo.pdf">IFPI
were encouraging amendments that would give a European Union stamp of approval to ISP
filtering content, blocking sites and cutting off Net users at the demand of
the entertainment industry.

Now the tables have turned - and the same report has become a strong demonstration of the
deep discontent in the heart of Brussels with how far the entertainment industry wants
to impose its policies on the European Internet.

On Wednesday, the Bono report goes to a final parliamentary vote. The
pro-blocking amendments are gone, thanks to your calls and protests. In their
place, a new amendment has been proposed by young Swedish MEP Christofer Fjellner and the former Prime Minister of France, Michel Rocard, href="http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sce/server/internet/amend_motions_texts/sce_amend_motions_texts_main_02.jsp?ref=A6-0063/2008">condemning
any measure taken by the EU or nation states that:

"[conflict] with civil
liberties and human rights and with the principles of proportionality,
effectiveness and dissuasiveness, such as the interruption of Internet

Among the signatories to this strong statement are the original author of the report, Guy
Bono, and representatives from all the political parties in the Swedish government.

As Karl Sigfrid, MP in Sweden's national parliament, href="http://sigfridinenglish.wordpress.com/2008/04/06/sweden-rejects-sarkozys-war-on-file-sharing/">notes
on his blog, this is a sharp rebuke against IFPI's demands that Net users
be cut off on the orders of rightsholders — and current French President
Sarkozy's plans
to do just that. It's early days, but the Bono Report fight has
the shown that the EU can listen to more than just the rightsholders in this

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