Singular abuse of freedom of information

Those requesting access to documents from the European Commission have to fulfil a new requirement: They must submit a postal address. The Commission justifies this restriction of the freedom of information by claiming it’s necessary to prevent abusive requests from people using fake identities.

I formally asked the Commission half a year ago how many […]

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»Intellectual property rights are not human rights«, UN special rapporteur tells European Parliament

© UNESCO / Isabel de Paula

This is the speech Farida Shaheed, UN special rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, held in front of the EP Legal Affairs Committee on May 6. (Headlines and formatting added for readability.)

Ladies and gentlemen, (and others!)

I am very pleased and honoured to take the […]

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European Commission fails to deliver on Digital Single Market promises

I have serious concerns with the Digital Single Market strategy presented by the European Commission today:

Simply introducing ‘roaming for Netflix’ will not end the discriminatory practice of geoblocking.

When people are turned away on the internet today because ‘this video is not available in your country’, the works they are trying to access are often […]

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EU Commission’s patchy and timid plans fall far short of breaking down national borders online

National borders on the web are here to stay: The Commission’s draft strategy falls far short of establishing a digital single market in Europe – this is my assessment of the draft digital single market strategy which was leaked by Politico yesterday.

The ambition to ‘break down national silos‘ in the EU’s copyright framework has given way to timid […]

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European culture is not confined to national borders – let’s not use copyright to force it to be

I gave this speech in front of members of the French Sénat in Paris on April 2nd. Thank you to Senator Morin-Desailly for the invitation!

Mesdames et Messieurs les Senateurs et Senatrices,

I am the European Parliament’s rapporteur for the evaluation of the 2001 directive on the harmonisation of certain […]

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European Commission reveals first details of copyright reform

Deep in my heart, I hate geoblocking Andrus Ansip

Commission Vice President Ansip yesterday announced that the Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy includes the harmonisation of copyright exceptions, notably for libraries, text & data mining and for people with disabilities.

He also clearly stated that geoblocking for the enforcement of copyright must be […]

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Net neutrality is a “Taliban-like issue”, says Europe’s top digital policymaker

Speaking at an event by the German Ministry of Finance on March 5, EU Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger had this to say on the topic of net neutrality:

Net neutrality: Here we’ve got, particularly in Germany, Taliban-like developments. We have the Internet community, the Pirates on the move, it’s all about enforcing perfect uniformity. […]

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This video is not available in your country: Watch MEPs defend national borders on the Internet

“Geoblocking is essential to protect European cultural diversity”: This was the argument repeatedly put forth in three different European Parliament committees last week.

On the agenda: My copyright evaluation report, in which I argue that we need an update as well as further harmonization of EU copyright rules to meet today’s demand for cross-border cultural […]

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Copyright update: Creators, what is your opinion?

The EU will make a proposal for copyright reform this year. On behalf of the European Parliament, I am currently working on an evaluation of the current EU rules. The stakeholders whose voices are loudest in the debate are the rightholders – the voices of creators themselves are heard much less.

Do the plans of the collecting societies really […]

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Not this again! Europe mustn’t backtrack on its support of encryption and rejection of surveillance

Today we know: After the tragic events of September 11th 2001, the U.S. put into place – in the name of security – a set of secret policies that sacrificed the very values they were supposedly defending. These measures, ranging from global mass surveillance all the way to the torture of prisoners, were enforced with the avid support […]

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