DISCUSSION ON THE REVIEW OF THE « TELECOM PACKAGE » BY THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (March 2008)
Adopted in 2002 and entered into force in 2003, the current legal telecommunications framework with its five directives and its decision relating to spectrum, aims at developing electronic communications. In a context of emerging services, European regulation has not provided until today any measure aiming at ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights in electronic communications. However, copyright infringements occur every day on the Web, preventing the development of legal offers and seriously damaging the European creation. While distribution of copyright protected content extensively supports the development of communications and electronic services, telecommunication operators and Internet services providers still hide behind the broad liability exemptions of the Electronic Commerce Directive and the strong personal data protection guaranteed by the “Privacy” Directive in order to avoid any proactive action against piracy on electronic networks.
The third revision of the “Telecommunications Package” thus is an opportunity to correct this flaw in the European framework and to clearly indicate the European political will to fight against infringements of intellectual property rights on the Internet. In this fight, everyone’s cooperation is needed and in particular the one of the telecommunication operators and Internet services providers, behind which infringers are hiding.
The Commission has presented on November 13th, 2007 two proposals of directives aiming, for the first one to modify the “Framework”, “Access” and “Authorisations” Directives, and for the second one to amend Directives relating to Universal Service and Protection of Personal Data and Privacy. Moreover, the Commission has presented a regulation aiming at creating a European Electronic Communications Market Authority.
The representatives of the creative community have intervened before the adoption of the proposals for directives by the College of Commissioners in order to stress the necessity to take profit of the revision of the “Telecom Package” to introduce provisions that would insure a better respect of authors’ rights on digital networks.
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