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Date: Jeu 30 jan 2003  03:45:40 PM Europe/Paris
Subject: EDRi-gram, l'information europeenne sur les droits et libertes sur Internet
Bonjour à tous, IRIS a le plaisir d'annoncer la parution de la lettre électronique européenne EDRi-gram, lettre d'information dédiée aux droits de l'homme et aux libertés publiques sur Internet en Europe. EDRi-gram est produite par les membres de la fédération européenne à but non lucratif European Digital Rights (EDRi), fondée en juin 2002 par 10 associations couvrant 7 pays d'Europe. IRIS est membre fondateur d'EDRi, et siège au bureau de cette fédération. Cette lettre électronique bimensuelle est consacrée aux questions de libertés, de droits et de réglementation sur Internet en Europe. Au-delà des frontières actuelles de l'Union européenne, EDRi s'intéresse de près à l'ensemble des développements liés à Internet dans tous les pays d'Europe. Afin de vous donner une idée de l'intérêt de cette lettre, nous en publions aujourd'hui le numéro 1 dans son intégralité. La lettre est gratuite et est éditée en Anglais. Au sommaire de ce premier numéro : 1. Présentation de la lettre 2. Transposition de la Directive européenne sur le copyright (EUCD) 3. Des membres du Parlement européen s'unissent contre la rétention obligatoire des données 4. La législation en préparation sur les brevets logiciels menace l'innovation 5. Nouvelles du Royaume Uni : projet de carte d'identité obligatoire 6. Action contre la censure gouvernementale en Allemagne 7. Lectures conseillées 8. Évènements à noter 9. À propos d'EDRi-gram Toute personne désirant s'abonner pour recevoir directement les prochaines éditions d'EDRi-gram peut le faire : - par l'interface web à : - par courrier électronique à : (sujet du message : "subscribe") Un courrier vous sera alors adressé demandant confirmation de l'abonnement. Adresse de cette lettre d'IRIS sur le web: =================== EDRI-gram bi-weekly newsletter about digital civil rights in Europe Number 1, 29 January 2003 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CONTENTS: 1. Introduction 2. Implementing the European Copyright Directive 3. Rally members European Parliament against mandatory data-retention 4. New patent law on software threatens innovation 5. Update from the United Kingdom: Identity Card 6. Action against governmental censorship in Germany 7. Recommended reading 8. Agenda 9. About ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1. INTRODUCTION This is the first EDRI-gram, a newsletter about freedom, rights and rules in the information society in Europe. EDRI-gram is produced by members of European Digital Rights and will appear every 2 weeks. European Digital Rights (EDRi) is a not-for-profit association, currently made up of 10 different privacy and civil rights organizations from 7 European countries. EDRi takes an active interest in developments in the EU accession countries and wants to share knowledge and awareness through the EDRI-grams. In general, all contributions, suggestions for content or agenda-tips are most welcome. Please e-mail your ideas to . 2. IMPLEMENTING THE EUROPEAN COPYRIGHT DIRECTIVE One month after the implementation deadline of the European Copyright Directive, only 2 of the 15 member-countries have implemented the law. All over Europe, scientists, legal experts, civil rights and open source groups are warning about possible negative effects on free speech, innovation and academic research. In many countries, civil rights groups joined forces with open software promotors and wrote comments and implementation suggestions. Civil rights advocates in Austria and Finland have organised fruitful seminars. Public awareness was raised through petitions in Denmark and Germany, while in France money is collected to afford professional legal backing throughout the implementation process. The European Copyright Directive (EUCD), adopted in 2001, strives to harmonise the copyright regime in Europe and adapt the protection of creative works to the digital age. Article 6 of the directive is the most important, and most debated article. It forbids the circumvention of copy protection systems. The Copyright Directive was published the 22nd of May 2001, after years of difficult negotiations in Brussels. The road to a new copyright directive started with the signing of two new treaties by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in December 1996. National implementation is hardly any easier. So far, only Denmark and Greece have implemented the directive (2001/29/EC), in their existing legislation. Draft legislation was presented to parliament in Austria, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands and the UK. In the remaining 8 member-countries, proposals have not yet been made public. In Portugal, parliament is excluded from this legislation process. Article 6 of the EUCD puts a ban on acts of circumvention, as well as a ban on the distribution of tools and technologies used for circumvention. The main reason for the Europe broad resistance against the directive is the fact that there is no reference to existing limitations of copyright, such as the right to make a private copy. Nor is the protection explicitly limited to copyright. Thus the entertainment industry is enabled to dictate usage far beyond the scope of any copyright regulation. In practice, this already resulted in copyright protected CD's that cannot be played on car stereo's or computers and in region-coded DVD's that don't work on European players. Finally, even though the introduction to the directive specifically mentions that the protection should not hinder research into cryptography, it is not mentioned in the law itself. Civil rights groups point at the situation in the USA, where some researchers refrain from publishing cryptographic research since the introduction of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in 1998. Copyright law is replaced with technology, the campaign group writes, and the problem with technology is that it is not the right tool for protecting copyright. A piece of software is completely unable to determine fair use, whether the person that wants to quote a part of a work is infringing copyright or if it is within the bounds of 'fair use'. Furthermore, the EUCD stifles competition in the software market. The only legal way to create a tool for playing or accessing material in a specific protected format is by signing a licence agreement with the creators of the format. This means that the company that creates a digital format has complete control over how the players should behave, and also control over who should be allowed to create players for that format. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) just published an evaluation of the effects of the anti-circumvention provisions in the DMCA. According to the EFF, section 1201 of the Act -chills free expression and scientific research; -jeopardizes fair use and -impedes competition and innovation. An evaluation report about the Copyright Directive will be produced by the European Commission on 22 december 2004. More reading: EU Directive 2001/29/EC in English!celexplus!prod!CELEXnumdoc& numdoc=32001L0029&lg=EN Why the EUCD is Bad - by EUCD - Copyright extensions that harm - by the Free Software Foundation Europe EFF evaluation of the DMCA Overview of EUCD implementation status through the Belgian Association Electronique Libre 3. RALLY MEMBERS EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AGAINST MANDATORY DATA RETENTION 38 Members of the European Parliament from 7 different political groups have united in their resistance against mandatory data retention. Initiated by Marco Cappato, Italian Radical and former Rapporteur on privacy in the electronic communications, last week the MEP's presented a strongly worded recommendation to the European Council. Even though the new European Privacy Directive leaves room for national legislation on data retention, the MEP's reject the current Council-plans for a binding framework Decision. A questionnaire that was sent out to all member-countries about current practice and wishes concerning mandatory data retention showed all in favour of a harmonised regime, with the sole exception of Germany and Austria, and some hesitance in the Netherlands, that rather wait for Council harmonisation under pending EU computer crime legislation. Further developments are secretly discussed in the Council on Justice and Home Affairs. Only the provisional conclusions from the Danish Presidency have been made public, suggesting further discussion with the telecommunications industry is necessary. With the urgent call, Cappato hopes to reaffirm the principle 'that general retention of traffic and location data concerning all communications and electronic transactions by all citizens for the sole purpose of providing law enforcement authorities with material for investigations would seriously risk to undermine the very democracy it claims to defend from its enemy.' Among the signatories are 4 former shadow rapporteurs on privacy in the electronic communications, Christian Von B?tticher (EPP), Elena Ornella Paciotti (PSE), Sarah Ludford (ELDR), Alima Boumediene-Thiery (Greens) and the Coordinator of the GUE in the LIBE Committee, Giuseppe Di Lello. More reading: MEP's recommendation par=3049 Answers to questionnaire on traffic data retention (Council, 20 November 2002) Provisional conclusions from the Danish Presidency (in PDF) Privacy-directive, 2002/58/EC (in PDF) lex/pri/en/oj/dat/2002/l_201/l_20120020731en00370047.pdf 4. NEW PATENT LAW ON SOFTWARE THREATENS INNOVATION Current European patent law does not allow for patents on software, much to the dismay of large IT-companies like IBM, Intel and Cisco. In February 2002, The European Commission published a draft patent law directive that will be dealt with in a co-decision procedure with the European Parliament. The proposed text clearly reflects the strong differences in opinion, but fails to reconcile them. The new law does allow for software patents, but not in all cases. Traditionally, innovations can only be patented if they are technical inventions. Therefore, the definition of 'technical' is essential. Under the proposed new law, all ideas are treated as inventions, but will only be awarded a patent if they are not obvious. The invention must contain a 'technical contribution' to make it non-obvious. In the USA, patent law also allows for patents on business methods (like the Amazon One-Click case), on health and education methods. In spite of the reassuring press release by the European Commission, many open source advocates fear this will also be the case in Europe, since novelty or industrial applicability are no longer required. Overall, the initiative seems to legitimise the current practice. Because current patent law does allow for software patents if they form a structural part of a device, the European Patent Office has already granted 30.000 patents on computer-implementable rules of organisation and calculation (programs for computers). Since 1999, open source advocates, companies and NGO's have joined forces in the Eurolinux alliance, warning about damage to innovation and competition, and loss of freedom of expression. Furthermore, they argue, software patents can easily be used to bar citizens from developing their own forms of communication. Most software is a creative recombination of existing abstract rules (algorithms). Granting patents on some of those rules will cause problems for many developers, especially small ones. Large companies can easily afford the legal fees to register patents, and the legal fees to seek compensation from smaller companies using 'their' algorithms. Back in July 2000, the renowned American law professor Lawrence Lessig warned about the lack of any economic proof of the benefits of patent law in what he called Europe's 'me-too' patent law. Quite to the contrary, software patents have actually harmed investment in software research and development, according to a 1999 study by technologist James Besson and Harvard economist Eric Maskin. Lessig recommends this study as a powerful model to show why in this type of industry - where innovation is sequential and complementary - patent protection will slow innovation, not speed it. The proposal is currently under discussion in the parliamentary committee on Legal Affairs and Internal Market. Lobbyists crowd in front of the door of rapporteur Arlene McCarthy from the UK labour party. Opinions will also be given by Elly Plooij-van Gorsel from the Dutch liberal party on behalf of the committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy and by Michel Rocard from the French socialist party on behalf of the committee on Culture, Youth, Education, Media and Sport. McCarthy is expected to present her report on 18 March. More reading: Draft software patent law Excellent overview of issues in English, French and German through the german FFII, including a 'European Software Patent Horror Galery' Eurolinux Alliance Petition against software patents (in 11 languages) Europe's 'me-too' patent law by Lawrence Lessig true 5. UPDATE: UNITED KINGDOM (contribution by Matthew Postgate, FIPR) On January 31st consultation in the United Kingdom ends on plans for a national 'Entitlement' card, widely perceived to be an identity card. A six month consultation on the initiative was launched by the Government in July last year. Civil rights groups have demanded to abandon the scheme in the wake of criticisms including invasion of privacy, the risk of abuse of a centralised repository of identity information, cost and an extremely low key consultation process. Co-ordinated action amongst several UK based groups including, Privacy International, and the Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR) has led to a surge of responses opposing the scheme. A website allowing the public to contact their elected representative directly has collected more than twice as many responses than the government has received through traditional channels. In a first for the UK, a voicemail system has also been used that converts voice messages and sends them to the Home Office via email. The UK Government has confirmed it will regard these as legitimate responses to the consultation. More reading: The official consultation page HTML version of the consultation document Privacy International's response Submit a response via 6. ACTION AGAINST GOVERNMENTAL CENSORSHIP IN GERMANY EDRI-member FITUG (Forderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft) launched an urgent public campaign against government censorship of websites. A year ago, the district government of Dusseldorf county in Germany passed orders to more than 80 internet providers to block access from their users to some foreign websites. Providers and civil rights groups united in protest against the directive, but lost 3 out of 4 court cases, confirming immediate enforceability of the orders. Government initiatives to censor websites date back to the mid nineties, but seemed to have been dropped from 2000 onwards as a very ineffective approach. The renewed German efforts at censorship are in sharp contrast with the unanimous declaration of the European parliament against the use of "blocking" as a way of regulating content on the Internet. In a vote held on 11 April 2002, 460 MEP's were in favour, 0 against and 3 abstentions. In their adoption of the report on the protection of minors and human dignity, parliament expresses concern 'that recent decisions or strategies to block access to certain websites may result in the fragmentation of Internet access or the denial of access to legitimate content and therefore is not an effective European solution for combating illegal and harmful Internet content'. FITUG writes: 'Information legally and widely available in the country of origin is decreed to be made invisible throughout Germany. This reminds us of a very bad experience in Germany's not so glorious past when Germans were not allowed to listen to foreign radio stations like BBC London.' More reading: FITUG statement 7. RECOMMENDED READING The Human Rights Network in Moscow has just released a very useful online report about online privacy in Russia. According to the introduction 'Fundamental human rights and freedoms - freedom of speech, freedom of information, privacy - are apparently unprotected on the Net. While Russian Internet is growing these rights and freedoms suffer from frequent and widespread invasion.' 8. AGENDA 4 February 2003 Brussels, Belgium - European Commission Public Hearing Public hearing on Commission's proposals on barriers to the development of the Information Society through open platforms in digital television and 3G mobile communications. index_en.htm 6 February 2003 Oxford, UK - The Politics of Code: Shaping the Future of the Next Internet A one day public conference organised by the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy, University of Oxford. Amongst the speakers Lawrence Lessig and Esther Dyson, discussing the key choices that need to be made on privacy, security, access, openness and control in the design of Internet technology and Internet Governance. 17-28 February 2003 Geneva, Switzerland - Second Preparatory Meeting on the World Summit Second preparatory meeting for the World Summit on the Information Society to be held in Geneva from December 10-12 2003. 27-28 February 2003 Luxembourg, Luxembourg - EC workshops 'Safer Internet' 27:Quality labels for websites - alternative approaches to content rating 28:SIFKaL workshop - Legal and pedagogical aspects of a Safer Internet 10-12 March 2003 Malmo, Sweden - ASEM summit on Globalisation and ICT Private conference about the role of government, private sector and civil society in Europe and Asia. The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal process of dialogue and cooperation between the fifteen EU Member States, the European Commission and ten Asian countries; Brunei, P.R. China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Programme: 1-4 April 2003 New York, USA - CFP 2003 Edition number 13 of the renowned yearly CFP conference (Computer, Freedom, Privacy) will be held in New York. Early subscribers receive a 100 dollar discount (before March 5 admittance is 585 USD, or 125 USD for students). 9. ABOUT EDRI-gram is a bi-weekly newsletter from European Digital Rights, an association of privacy and civil rights organisations in Europe. Currently EDRI has 10 members from 7 European countries. EDRI takes an active interest in developments in the EU accession countries and wants to share knowledge and awareness through the EDRI-grams. In general, all contributions, suggestions for content or agenda-tips are most welcome. Please e-mail your contributions to the editor, Sjoera Nas, . Information about EDRI and its members: Subscription Information subscribe/unsubscribe web interface subscribe by email To: Subject: subscribe unsubscribe by email To: Subject: unsubscribe You will receive an automated email asking to confirm your request. _______________________________________________ EDRi-news mailing list ===================== -- Comité de rédaction de la lettre d'IRIS - Contact:


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(dernière mise à jour le 30/01/2003) -