October 22, 2010

Filip Kaczmarek asked the Commission about a digital impact

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Parliamentary questions 2 July 2010 P-5214/2010 Question for written answer to the Commission  Rule 117 Filip Kaczmarek (PPE)

Subject: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement — ACTA

Many people feel that provisions contained in the Anti‑Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) make telecom operators liable for copyright infringements committed by customers using their networks.

In the Commission’s view, does this mean that, in practice, operators will be required to remove Internet access from customers whom they suspect of copyright infringement – without proper judicial review of such actions – in order not to incur penalties?

Could this also lead to Internet traffic being filtered in order to put a stop to practices such as P2P file sharing?

Does it consider the introduction of ACTA provisions concerning the Internet to be in full accordance with the acquis communautaire, in particular, the Charter of Fundamental Rights?

24 August 2010 P-5214/2010 Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

Regarding the responsibility and duties of Internet service providers (ISPs) such as telecommunications operators, the European Union’s position in ACTA is fully in line with the relevant EU acquis as interpreted by the Court of Justice in relation to the liability of telecommunications operators for infringement of intellectual property rights(1). In particular, the EU’s position is consistent with the provisions of the Copyright in the Information Society Directive(2) including Article 8 thereof, the E-commerce Directive(3), including Articles 12 to 15, on the liability of ISPs), the Enforcement of IPR Directive(4); the Data Protection Directives(5); and with the provisions of the regulatory framework for electronic communications as amended in 2009 with the Telecom Reform package.

Consequently, the Commission can assure the Honourable Member that the EU’s position is that ACTA should not create new requirements for telecommunication operators, such as the obligation to remove Internet access from customers without judicial process or the obligation to monitor the information they transmit.

The Commission will ensure that the compliance of ACTA with the EU acquis will also include the respect for the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
(1) Promusicae Case C‑275/06.
(2) Directive 2001/29/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society, OJ L 167, 22.6.2001.
(3) Directive 2000/31/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the internal market , OJ L 178, 17.7.2000.
(4) Directive 2004/48/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, OJ L 157, 30.4.2004.
(5) Directive 95/46 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, and Directive 2002/58 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on privacy and electronic communications), OJ L 201, 31.7.2002.