Internet Industry calls for open negotiations on Internet Policy

In February, EuroISPA joined forces with nine industry associations in a joint letter to the Ambassadors of Finland and Tunisia, jointly leading a key UN negotiation New York. The letter calls on the UN General Assembly to ensure that the process for reviewing the progress in implementing the international community’s policy framework for information technology takes place with all stakeholders around the table.

The industry letter also suggests that World Summit on the Information Society’s ten year review (WSIS+10) timelines and goals can be fully aligned with the concurrent review of the UN’s eight Millennium Development Goals “to ensure that the WSIS goals and accompanying measurable targets are fully connected to the outcomes of the MDG review process.”

The signatories underscored the need for “concrete, measurable targets” in pursuing the objective of a people-centred networked future and a “bottom-up-driven review process” for WSIS+10 that invites broad stakeholder involvement from governments, private sector groups, civil society and multilateral institutions.

The letter has been signed by ASUT, CCIA, EDiMA, EITESAL, EurolSPA, i2Coalition, ITIC, IDEA, and SIIA.

EuroISPA joins Industry coalition on copyright

On 4 March, EuroISPA joined a broad coalition of stakeholders representing the European Internet and electronic communications  industry, which is comprised of Internet Services Providers (ISPs), national and pan-European fixed and mobile telecoms operators, and cable companies. The coalition statement  advocates for a “progressive regulatory framework for copyright, one that fosters investment and the provision of innovative services and also provides appropriate protection mechanisms”.

Signatories  of the statement include Cable Europe, ECTA, ETNO, EuroISPA, GSMA and CCIA.

You can find here the full Coalition Statement on copyright

Commission issues Communication on Internet Governance

On 11 February, the European Commission issued a Communication on Internet Policy and Governance: Europe’s role in shaping the future of Internet Governance. The proposal calls for more transparent, accountable and inclusive governance. The paper focuses on specific areas and sets actions that will be assessed in a progress report in 2015:

1. Concrete actions:

  • Establishment of a clear timeline for the globalisation of ICANN and the “IANA functions”
  • A strengthening of the global IGF
  • Launching an online platform for creating transparency on internet policies, the Global Internet Policy Observatory
  • A review of conflicts between national laws or jurisdictions that will suggest possible remedies

2. Commitment to improve the transparency, accountability and inclusiveness of the multi-stakeholder processes and those who participate in these processes
3. A commitment to create a set of principles of Internet governance to safeguard the open and unfragmented nature of the Internet
4. A commitment to globalise key decision-making (for example the coordination of domain names and IP addresses) to safeguard the stability, security and resilience of the Internet.

Find full Communication here.

Commission extends copyright consutlation deadline

The European Commission extended by one month the deadline of its public consultation on the review of the EU copyright rules. Answers are now accepted until 5 March.

The main objective of the consultation, launched in December last year, is to gather input from all stakeholders on the review of the EU copyright rules.

You can find further information on the Commission’s page, here.

EuroISPA elects new Officers

On 3 December, during the last General Meeting, EuroISPA Council elected its new board. EuroISPA’s new Officers will start to represent the interests of Internet service providers across Europe immediately.

Oliver J. Süme, who served as Vice-President of EuroISPA since 2009, was elected as President of EuroISPA. Oliver  is also Vice-Chairman of the German Internet Industry Association (eco):

“I am looking forward to my duties and will advocate for the interests of the European ISPs in Brussels and at the international level. The infrastructure operated by the ISPs is fundamental for European industry and citizens. It can only continue to be operated stable and secure in a free Internet and on the basis of a reliable legal framework. The performance of the ISPs is guarantees the future capabilities of the information society and the digital market.”

Oliver will follow Malcolm Hutty as President of EuroISPA. Malcolm, who has performed his duties as President since December 2008, said on the occasion of his retirement:

“The Internet industry is making an enormous contribution to economic development and productivity, as well as improving people’s lives on a day-to-day basis. It has been an honour to serve as President of the industry’s European association, and a pleasure to leave it for Oliver to proceed “.

Bart -Jan Van Dijk has been elected as Vice-President of EuroISPA. Bart-Jan is the Official representative of the Belgian Internet Service Providers Association, ISPA Belgium to EuroISPA.

Innocenzo Genna has been re-appointed EuroISPA’s Treasurer. Innocenzo is the director of AIIP, the Italian ISP association, with specific responsibilities on European policy.

The EuroISPA members welcome the election and are looking forward to working with the new Officers for the year to come.

C4C Coalition contributes to the UK Intellectual Property Office’s call for views on Copyright in Europe

In October 2013, the Copyright for Creativity (‘C4C’) Coalition contributed to the UK Intellectual Property Office’s call for views on Copyright in Europe. Created in 2010, C4C is a broad-based coalition that seeks an informed debate on how copyright can more effectively promote innovation, access, and creativity.

The signatories of the C4C declaration believe copyright should be made more flexible to take into account changes to modes of accessing information, business practices, educational needs and of safeguarding cultural heritage since the 2001 Information Society Directive. Particularly, the C4C contribution calls for:

  • a clear need to lead the debate around copyright by an evidence-based approach
  • any review of the copyright framework to be driven by the objective of encouraging and rewarding creativity, innovation and research
  • a uniform copyright regime all over Europe
  • alternatives to licensing to be explored, particularly exceptions and limitations.


Industry concerns regarding the Market Surveillance and Product Safety Regulation

On October 2nd, EuroISPA joint forces with CCIA, EDIMa, EDRi, EEA and EMOTA to express concerns regarding the developments in the legislative process surrounding the Regulation on Market Surveillance and Product Safety. EuroISPA urges European institutions, and particularly the European Parliament,  not to distort the scope and intention of the proposals with far-reaching amendments that would negatively affect online commerce.

EuroISPA calls to keep the scope of the legislation limited to products safety. Extend the scope to cover also intellectual property would undermine legal certainty and put an excessive burden on businesses, particularly SMEs.

A number of amendments tabled also undermine the principle of technology neutrality and would burden Internet intermediaries with inappropriate obligations of general monitoring, in contravention of European law, the Charter of Human Rights and rulings from the European Court of Justice.

Audiovisual convergence: Commission extends the deadline of consultation

The European Commission extended the deadline of the public consultation on the Green Paper “Preparing for a Fully Converged Audiovisual World: Growth, Creation and Values”

The public consultation has been launched to open a public discussion on the implications of the ongoing transformation of the audiovisual media landscape, characterised by a steady increase in the convergence of media services and the way in which these services are consumed and delivered.

Due to the large amount of requests for an extension and in order to ensure the broadest possible consultation, the Commission accepts the contributions until the end of September 2013.

You can find the Commission’s announcement here.

Industry joint statement on the Directive on Collective Rights Management

The digital industry has collaborated to provide a collective voice on the proposed Directive on Collective Rights Management ahead of the vote in the lead committee (Legal Affairs Committee, JURI).

Brussels, July 2013 the digital industry (represented by the European Digital Media Association (EDiMA), DIGITALEUROPE, BITKOM, EuroISPA, the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA), the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), and Mixcloud) has collaborated to provide a collective voice on the proposed Directive on Collective Rights Management. The proposed Directive aims to establish important principles to ensure that collecting societies efficiently administer the rights and represent the interests of their members and should help improve the efficiency of the licensing process as well as promote new services for the benefit of European consumers, creators, and cultural diversity.

The industry group’s joint statement emphasized key principles and criteria which should be enhanced and maintained in the course of amendment considerations including:

  • ensuring repertoire transparency;
  • removing obstacles to the Digital Single Market;
  • enabling commercial flexibility in negotiations for digital music services;
  • ensuring operational transparency of Collective Management Organisations;
  • guaranteeing workable reporting processes.

Signatories of this joint statement include:


EuroISPA calls for the retention of funding of the Safer Internet Programme

In the context of the proposal for a regulation of the Parliament and of the Council on guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks, EuroISPA has sent a letter to the Members of the ITRE committee to draw their attention to the importance of maintaining the Safer Internet Programme’s funding for hotlines.

Currently, the European Parliament has to vote through amendments to the proposal for a regulation of the Parliament and of the Council on guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks. It is essential that this package includes allocated funds to support INHOPE Network Co-Ordination along with hotlines within each member state.

As all our members have developed notice and take-down procedures in order to remove illegal content at source, and some of them also operate “hotlines” funded by the European Commission mainly to fight against child pornography, we feel very concerned about the future of the Safer Internet Programme under the Connecting Europe Facility.

The hotlines’ role is crucial in receiving, processing and assessing anonymous reports of alleged child sexual abuse material and in cooperating closely with law enforcement to apprehend pedophiles.

The main objective of hotlines is the fast removal of child sexual abuse material at source. The strength of the INHOPE network comes from the number of members over Europe and rest of the World (44 members in 38 countries) ability to act instantaneously to obtain the take-down of an illegal content forwarded by another hotline.

As a result of the successful operation of hotlines, according to the latest report from INHOPE, they have handled even more reports in 2012 (+25{326604f503d13f2b703ea6d6d6f2aff95b8843509e3b22769667493fe00ca42d}), than the previous year.   Moreover, almost 90{326604f503d13f2b703ea6d6d6f2aff95b8843509e3b22769667493fe00ca42d} of illegal content is removed between one week, and 60{326604f503d13f2b703ea6d6d6f2aff95b8843509e3b22769667493fe00ca42d} within 72 hours.

If hotlines are deprived of anything less than adequate and full European funding allocated under the Connecting Europe Facility, their work would be definitively disrupted. Furthermore, the concrete application of several European texts , would be definitively undermined. In particular, the notice and take-down procedures, constantly promoted by European institutions for several years, and improved thanks to the cooperation between hotlines, Law Enforcement and ISPs to speed up  removal of content, will lose any efficiency.

Europe should be aware that for several hotlines the EU funds are the only source of income, without which they would disappear in the medium term. Nor can it be expected that, in a period of economic crisis, hotlines could be financed exclusively through private donations.