New EU battle over copyright rules in sight

The European Commission will reopen the ‘Pandora’s box’ of online copyright protection with a new legislative initiative on e-commerce, after attempts to filter Web traffic failed during negotiations over the telecoms package.The Commission will launch a new consultation on 26 February to identify shortfalls in existing rules governing e-commerce, including a possible monitoring role to be assumed by Internet service providers (ISPs), such as BT or Belgacom.The current directive does not foresee obligations for network managers to control Web traffic. But national authorities can oblige them to release stored information “in order to detect and prevent certain types of illegal activity”.

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