Deadly Copyright Repression Threatens EU. Act Now!

Strasbourg, Sept. 20th 2010 - A resolution of the European Parliament calling for more repression of file sharing will be voted upon on Wednesday. European conservatives, led by a pro-sarkozy rapporteur and helped by a diversion from the liberal group, are pushing for the adoption of the Gallo report. If they succeed, blind repression and private copyright police of the Net will become the official position of the European Parliament. Our fundamental freedoms are at stake. In just 5 minutes, you can help rejecting it.

Private copyright police
(CC) BySa La Quadrature du Net
(derived from Mai 68 poster)

The Gallo report, named after its French sarkozyst rapporteur, Marielle Gallo, is a non-legislative text dictated by the entertainment industry lobbies in their crusade against online file sharing. Based on bogus evidence1, it calls for disproportionate repression that could lead to severe consequences for fundamental freedoms.

If adopted, the Gallo report will open the door for the European Commission to come up with new repressive legislation imposing criminal sanctions. It will also open the door to private copyright police of the Net, also encouraged by the ACTA agreement2, whereby Internet service providers and entertainment industries would be allowed to circumvent the due process of law by deciding between themselves what an infringement is and how to sanction it. Hidden behind the benign name of "cooperation" between right holders and ISPs, what lies ahead in the Gallo report is de facto censorship, automatic sanctions, and a generalized surveillance of the Net. They would impact freedom of expression, harm privacy, bypass the judicial authority, and turn the presumption of innocence into a fiction. The diversionary ALDE resolution drafted by entertainment publishing lobby puppet3 Toine Manders serves no other purpose than to take votes away from the true alternative resolution drafted by the S&D, Green and MEPs of several other groups.

"The adoption of the Gallo report would pave the way to dangerous and unacceptable repressive policies. Allowing private actors to police and render justice by themselves is a blatant denial of the fundamental right to a fair trial and should not be encouraged by any elected representative. Members of the European Parliament must be reminded of the numerous past attacks on fundamental freedoms of citizens online, when they reacted by defending EU values rather than giving up on them4. Citizens are watching." declares Jérémie Zimmermann, co-founder and spokesperson of citizen advocacy group La Quadrature du Net.

All EU citizens are invited to contact all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and advise them to reject the original Gallo report (as well as the very similar alternative resolution by the ALDE group). Instead, they should be advised to adopt the alternative resolution by the S&D, Greens and other Members, much more balanced and open-ended, calling for alternatives to repression.