Douwe Osinga's Blog: There's something rotten in Brussels

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

On account of not having a tv, I don't catch the Dutch 8 o'clock news everyday (I do view it on the Internet, just not everyday). And I also admit I don't read my newspaper completely everyday. However, I don't think this can account for the fact that I completely seemed to have missed the national uproar about the upcoming EU Directive about Intellectual Property. Actually, I think there hasn't been an uproar. But there should have been one.

What's going on? The EU IP Enforcement Derictive is document that describes what IP law is going to be in Europe. It is like the dreaded American DMCA, only worse. For an interesting analysis see ZDNet UK or our cynical friends at NTK. In my opinion, IP law has been used to protect vested interest to much in the past. The new EU thing will make it worse. It will extend IP protection to manufactured goods. Manipulating your printer to work with general purpose cartridges would be illegal. Playing DVDs from a different region? same thing. Read the articles and weep.

This is a direct assault on the freedom of consumers. It will allow companies to close their products against tinkering and the use for other purposes. It will allow companies to close markets and overcharge consumers. This can't be what the single market project is for. The EU parlement votes about it on 11 september, so it is not too late. So, visit the website, find your representative and let him/her know what you think.