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European Union Tech Policy

I have been logging EU policy since 2008. The information in these blog posts is deep background on the policy battles of the 2020s. What happens now, rests on what went before.

It's often easy to forget the history of policy, as we get embroiled in the latest lobbying scam or arguments between different sets of interests. It all seems new, and so urgent and important. In fact, many of the battles are re-runs of earlier ones. We've seen before how these things get resolved. We also see the mistakes of the previous legislation, as well as the successes.

What the European Union does in tech policy matters on a global scale. It has led the world with its legislation on privacy (GDPR). It is now hoping to repeat that with new laws to regulate Internet platforms. In that regard, the jury is still out.

As a guide to my somewhat eclectic headings, the sub-section IPRED discusses the IPR enforcement directive and other IP or copyright initiatives. The sub-section on Internet Threats looks at any EU policy initiatives other than copyright which imply Internet blocking. The sub-section on Internet Freedoms has a focus on rights and freedoms and the European Convention on Human Rights.

If you are interested in EU policy for IP, you may like my book The Closing of the Net which discusses it in the light of influencing factors by States and industry stakeholders.

If you are interested in copyright policy, you may like my previous books A Copyright Masquerade: How Corporate Lobbying Threatens Online Freedoms and The Copyright Enforcement Enigma - Internet Politics and the 'Telecoms Package'

European Commissioner Michel Barnier is to send a new copyright law to the European Parliament next month. The law is aimed at regulating the music collecting societies. It will be followed in September by a proposal on enforcement. The timetable was revealed by Barnier's deputy chef de cabinet, Kerstin Jorna, at a conference organised by the German collecting society, GEMA. What is curious is the Commission's optimism about getting these two initiatives adopted by sometime next year.

Read more: Barnier dreams of copyright consensus by 2013

The Commmissioner for Information Society, Neelie Kroes, has today announced that the European Union will spend money on developing software tools to help political activists in countries such as Syria, to circumvent surveillance technology. At the same time, the Commission is working on 'self-regulation' of the European Internet, where ISPs will be asked to prevent the very same circumventions for the benefit of, among others, the copyright industries. Upholder of democracy or bureaucratic hypocrisy? It could be both, but it is odd that the Commission's choice of adviser is Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. He is the rich German aristocrat, and former CSU politician, who was found to have plagiarised chunks of his PhD thesis.

Read more: EU 'No-disconnect' policy: freedom or fiasco?

Copyright term extension directive sneaked through the Council - 70 years is now law

An 18-month deadlock over music copyright in the EU has been released today. The issue concerns the term of copyright for music and specifically for sound recordings. A directive to extend the term from the current maximum of 50 years has been languishing in the bowels of Justus Lipsius building, as the large Member States with big copyright interests

Read more: EU Council deadlock on music copyright released

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About Iptegrity

Iptegrity.com is the website of Dr Monica Horten. I am an  independent policy advisor: online safety, technology and human rights. In April 2024, I was appointed as an independent expert on the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on online safety and empowerment of content creators and users. I am a published author, and post-doctoral scholar. I hold a PhD from the University of Westminster, and a DipM from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I cover the UK and EU. I'm a former tech journalist, and an experienced panelist and Chair. My media credits include the BBC, iNews, Times, Guardian and Politico.

Iptegrity.com is made available free of charge for non-commercial use. Please link back and attribute Dr Monica Horten.  Contact me to use any of my content for commercial purposes.  

The politics of copyright

A Copyright Masquerade - How corporate lobbying threatens online freedoms

'timely and provocative' Entertainment Law Review