On the 11th July 2011 the European Commission posted the responses to a public consultation on Europe’s anti-piracy directive IPRED. With this a huge gap has been created between two sides – copyright holders on one hand, and ISPs, academics and citizens on the other. The latter said that the measures taken by IPRED threaten basic human rights and suffocate innovation, TorrentFreak reported.
As we all noticed in the past few years debatable (to say the least) anti-piracy solutions have been proposed in the EU and outside of it. IPRED (IPR Enforcement Directive) also falls into this category by proposing measures that affect internet’s freedom and transform ISPs into cops.
The chance to take a stand against IPRED has been given to various stakeholders and EU citizens earlier this year; the results were published on the 11th of this month and a total of 380 responses were received, half of them belonging to individuals.
As the summary posted by the European Commission shows, two rival parties have been formed – copyright holders on one hand and citizens, ISPs and academics on the other. The first calls for harsher rules regarding copyright-infringement and file-sharing. However, the second party is claiming that these measures should not apply for various reasons.
For example, ISPs complain that stricter rules could gravely affect innovation. They also agree with citizens, consumer protection organizations and academics upon the issues of violating basic human rights, which IPRED is successfully doing.
“The overwhelming majority of individual citizens, consumer protection organizations and academics strongly argued against any further (over)regulation of IPR infringements, especially in the context of the online world. Filtering of content and monitoring traffic on the internet were perceived as threats to fundamental rights or even censorship and therefore clearly rejected,” the European Commission writes.
Moreover, most of the respondents argued that the entertainment industry itself might be one of piracy’s catalysts for not offering legal content.
“Many stakeholders who opposed amending the current IPR Enforcement Directive, including ISPs, telecommunication operators and a majority of individual contributors, viewed the lack of available and attractive licit offer as one of the main causes for online piracy. They considered that increasing such service offers would constitute a feasible alternative to imposing more detailed enforcement measures.”
Many voices even proposed for legalizing file-sharing as it showed, throughout time, that it can help the free exchange of information.
“In their contributions, most individual citizens called for removing copyright protection against file-sharing, arguing that the free exchange of information would help spread culture as well as increase creativity without having detrimental effect on industry and society as a whole; such free exchange should therefore be supported rather than considered as infringing copyright law,” the European Commission writes.
Let’s just hope that this time the public’s response will count for something.