European Parliament condemns “3 strikes” approach

This morning, the European Parliament has voted to condemn member state plans to disconnect suspected illicit filesharers from the internet. In a fairly narrow vote, MEPs adopted an amendment to the so-called Bono Report on the Cultural Industries, which

“Calls on the Commission and the Member States to recognise that the Internet is a vast platform for cultural expression, access to knowledge, and democratic participation in European creativity, bringing generations together through the information society; calls on the Commission and the Member States, therefore, to avoid adopting measures conflicting with civil liberties and human rights and with the principles of proportionality, effectiveness and dissuasiveness, such as the interruption of Internet access.”

The report is not legally binding, but it does signifiy resistance among MEPs to measures currently being implemented in France to disconnect suspected illicit filesharers. This is especially relevant as France will take over the European presidency in July, and many fear that President Sarkozy would use the opportunity to push the so-called “Oliviennes” strategy Europe-wide.

The UK government will consult UK citizens on their plans to tackle illicit filesharing this Spring. We’ve already blogged about ORG’s objections to UK proposals here. In short, and as the European Parliament have recognised today, they are disproportionate, they lack consumer safeguards and they won’t stop illicit filesharing.