No Three Strikes rule, says EC

A consultation meeting took place today in Brussels, to inform various  so called “stakeholders” about the nefarious goals of ACTA and the nebulous discussions, which have so far been shrouded in secrecy and are only accessible if you’re a US corporation or a member of the European Commission.

Luc-Pierre Devigne, Head of Intellectual Property and Procurement at Directorate-General for Trade presented the status quo to participants. According to a report at 
Heise, his presentation, which can be seen here, was apparently blasted by attendees for using figures from the methodologically questionable BASCAP/Tera-study. 

The BASCAP/Tera-study “Building a digital economy: The importance of saving jobs in the EU’s creative industries” came into play last week. It was penned by French industry consultants Tera consultants for the International Chamber of Commerce and  sent to Members of the European Parliament in an effort to influence sentiment. 

According to the study, piracy could lead to an economic impact of approximately €240 billion and one million less jobs in the EU by 2015. However, the figures and findings are highly questionable. 

The Social Science Research Council (SSRC), which itself is conducting a very large, multi-year study of software, film and music piracy, issued a statement which all but 
blasted both methodology and figures of the BASCAP/Tera-study. This statement can be found here.

Apart from using incorrect figures, Devigne went on to state that ACTA would not include a Three Strike rule, nor lead to a change of ISPs liability. ACTA is only concerned with enforcement. Furthermore, criminal sanctions would only be imposed on infringements on a commercial scale.

As reported on Saturday, a current definition of what infringements on a commercial scale are is said to include “significant willful copyright or related rights infringements that have no direct or indirect motivation of financial gain”. Or put simply, sharing mixtapes for free would be an offense – depending on what “significant” will be.

French NGO Le Quadrature du Net today also claims that a “holy war in (sic) taking place in the European Parliament. Members of the Parliament are being flooded with false figures and statistics from the entertainment industries’ intensive lobbying”. Especially French instutions were putting pressure on MEPs to get in line with the position of the French government.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has been taking an astonishingly stern position in regards to so-called piracy. As a matter of fact, his position could be seen to be self-contracting, as his policies are influenced in parts by his wife’s record manager, Patrick Zelnik. Zelnik had the spiffing idea of imposing a tax on online ad revenues in order to subsidise French newspapers and publishing houses.