Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pirate Party success in EU elections in Sweden

Chris Edwards article Sweden's Pirate party sails to success in European elections is in this morning's Guardian.

I've emailed Chris about this separately but the final quote attributed to me wasn’t entirely accurate. I can’t recall my exact words but what I was trying to say when we spoke – and I apologise to Chris and his readers if I wasn’t entirely clear - was that if people started to get cut off the Net for allegedly infringing copyright and if it started to affect thousands then it would get noticed; and because people now depend on the internet for everything from education and entertainment to employment, there might be a significant reaction.

For the record, from my perspective it is highly unlikely we will ever get to the stage where tens of thousands of people get thrown off the net for alleged copyright infringement, certainly not in the UK. Lord Carter is threatening include provisions in his final draft of his Digital Britain report to "do something" about peer to peer infringement but the detail is pretty vague so far and in the UK we're nowhere near just one person getting permanently excluded from the Net for such activity.

Update: Even in France it's looking like that possibility might be a step further away than we thought, as according to Ars Technica, the French Constitutional Council has struck down the 3 strikes law:
"The French Constitutional Council has ripped into the new Création et Internet law which would disconnect repeat online copyright infringers, calling the basic premise unconstitutional. "Innocent until proven guilty" remains a central principle of French law, and it cannot be bypassed simply by creating a new nonjudicial authority."
Update 2: The Council of Europe has reportedly again declared access to the Internet to be a fundamental right.

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