Acting on July 4th, the European Parliament rejected a set of content restrictions and privacy invasions largely lcreated and fostered by so-called Big Content — basically the movie, broadcast, and pop music industries.
The Los Angeles Times reports…
In a victory trumpeted by Internet freedom groups, the European Parliament soundly rejected an international agreement to combat piracy Wednesday after protests against the pact swept Europe. The vote reportedly came down to just 39 ballots in favor, 478 against and 165 abstentions.
While the legislation was backed by “old media” interests in the entertainment industry who have seen an erosion of the legislatively stacked deck that’s helped glue them into a position of cultural gatekeeper, a wide range of ‘new media’ interests and free speech advocates opposed the measure.
Free speech groups complained that the pact could infringe on privacy and push Internet providers to police what people share online with few safeguards for their rights, drawing little distinction between people who use pirated files for their own use and those who profited from them.
While old line media interests promote the measure as a much-needy anti-privacy remedy, the implications of the law would have extended far beyond the entertainment industy, as the Times noted:
Doctors Without Borders and Oxfam argued that measures meant to stop counterfeiting would hurt access to generic medicines by allowing border officials to detain or destroy goods that allegedly infringe on copyrights without court oversight. Disputes over medicine names or packaging that have nothing to do with health threats are common, Doctors Without Borders argued.