Joho the Blogeuropean commission Archives - Joho the Blog

October 23, 2009

Three strikes and you’re European, or, How to Lose a Generation with One Single Law

BoingBoing reports boingnantly on the miserable enthusiasm of the (unelected, heavily-lobbied) European Commission for making it illegal to provide families with an Internet connection if any member is accused of having violated copyright three times.

Take a look at your hard drive and tell me for sure that a judge reviewing the charges in a 1-2 minute traffic-court style proceeding would not find you unworthy of a European Internet connection. Three Flickr photos you passed around because they were amusing? Three newspaper articles you downloaded and attached to emails you sent to friends? Three recipes you enjoyed and shared with your family? Three attachments friends sent you that you didn’t ask for but didn’t bother deleting because you didn’t even realize they were copyrighted? Three extended quotes from medical information sites sent to an ailing relative?

And, by the way, downloading copyrighted material is not necessarily a violation of copyright. Fair use creates exemptions that are based on factors other than mere possession.

This rule has nothing to do with advancing our arts, sciences, education, government, or economy. So, if the EC passes two more stupid/insane/corrupt (your choice) laws, can we disconnect them from governance? Please?