For the fifth time in a year the European Parliament has spoken out against tougher anti-piracy legislation that would allow alleged file-sharers to be disconnected from the Internet, based on evidence provided by anti-piracy lobby groups. Instead, they chose to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of Internet users.
In a vote earlier today, 407 Members of Parliament voted in favor of the amendment (138/46) while only 57 were opposed. After a bureaucratic pinball game with several votes on the same text, the amendment of the Telecoms package is now likely to be signed into law.
This is a strong message from Europe in favor of the individual rights of Internet users and against the widely opposed HADOPI law that French President Nicolas Sarkozy hopes to pass in the near future. In April it was mistakenly voted out by the French Parliament, but this is not likely to happen twice.
The entertainment industry, including Sarkozy’s wife, has has been lobbying for tougher anti-piracy legislation for years and despite the recently adopted amendment, France can not be forced to throw their “three-strikes” law overboard. Sarkozy himself put a lot of effort into ditching the amendment, as head of the European Council he already went against the democratic vote by rejecting it.
Nevertheless, the amendment was not adopted after a few months of delay. This is a step in the right direction, and it clearly goes against Sweden’s IPRED and France’s HADOPI laws. Let’s hope this will at least prevent other member states of the EU following the lead of these two countries.