European Parliament rejects IPR as an internal security risk
This article is also available in:
Deutsch: EP lehnt Durchsetzung von Urheberrechten im Rahmen der EU-Sicherheitst...
With a crushing majority of 503 in favour to 55 against and 56 abstentions, the European Parliament yesterday rejected the inclusion of the protection of intellectual property rights as a key element in the protection of Europe's internal security.
In a piece of what the Commission appears to have believed to be a piece of masterful political syllogism, it explained in its Internal Security Strategy (adopted at the end of 2010) that dangerous counterfeit goods are a threat for human health. These counterfeiting offences are infringements of intellectual property rights (IPR). “Piracy” is also an infringement of intellectual proprety rights. Consequently, the fight against “counterfeiting and piracy” must be included in the EU's Internal Security Strategy.
This is part of the wider strategy, as seen in ACTA, to treat all IPR as if it were the same, with dangerous medicines being considered as important as unauthorised downloading and vice versa. The obvious problem, as has become obvious in the ACTA, is that treating serious and trivial infringements as if they were of equal importance will inevitably result in either the serious infringement being treated as if it were trivial or vice versa.
The European Parliament, however, far more sensitive now to the questionable approach of the European Commission to intellectual property rights as a result of the ACTA discussions, recognised this crude attempt to push its so far unsuccessful approach to an even higher level of hysteria. Whatever else one can say about downloading a song without authorisation, the number of deaths that it is likely to cause is, we believe, comparatively low.
The final text agreed by the European Parliament on this point was: “notes, however, that it does not appear fully justified or appropriate to take action in the field of the enforcement of intellectual property rights – a matter which is part of a specific in-depth debate – within the framework of the ISS;”
The adopted Resolution also pointedly describes the broader lack of evidence for EU security measures, arguing in favour of an EU-wide analysis of threats “on the basis of a more transparent and robust methodology for threat assessment and relying on comprehensive contributions from the Member States.”
European Parliament resolution of 22 May 2012 on the European Union's Internal Security Strategy ((2010)2308 (INI))
EDRi report on the Commission proposal (1.12.2010)
Communication: The EU Internal Security Strategy in Action: Five steps
towards a more secure Europe (22.11.2010)
You wouldn't steal a car...
(Contribution by Joe McNamee - EDRi)