7 May 2009

No three-strikes out – EU Parliament rejects Sarkozy’s plan


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Berkman strikephoto © 2006 Michael Glasgow | more info (via: Wylio)

Do you rememeber Mr Sarkozy’s “three-strikes and you are out plan to fight file-sharers?

The intention of the french presidency was to use the reform of the EU telecommunications regulatory framework to insert provisions restricting the internet access of users engaged in copyright infringement. The plan aimed to primarily fight the use of P2P file-sharing platforms. Fortunately for file-sharers, because the plan is unlikely to be realized as the EU Parliament amended an informal agreement previously reached with the EU Council.

I personally have an understanding for the entertainment industry’s attepmts to achieve protection for its content in the digital era. It is also true that the internet constitutes an obstacle regarding the detection of and the law enforcemenet against copyright infringers. The internet service providers thus appear to be the convinient victim as they can barely run and/or hide.

On the other hand the entertainment industry must acknowledge that many users, due to several reasons, are more than limited in their efforts to lawfully access content. The infinging one remains then the only possibility they have in today’s entertainment coined society. That is why these users neither understand nor support the measures undertaken by the industry.

In my view, the industry should reconsider its current business models for content dissemination and attept to create new ones. This could be the path leading to reconcilliation with the users, not the “three-strikes” model.

29 January 2009

Good news for bulgarian mobile network subscribers


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The European Commission (EC) has submitted a letter to the Bulgarian telecoms regulator, the Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) ordering it to to take action to further reduce mobile termination rate.
“Termination rates” are what mobile operators charge each other and are due when a call originated by a subscriber within the network of one operator is to be connected to a subscriber of another operator’s network.

Not surprisingly, with 15.09 eurocent/minute mobile termination rates in Bulgaria were the highest in the EU in 2008 (EU average: 8.7 eurocent/minute).
The EC also asks CRC not to discriminate when setting the level of termination rates between fixed and mobile networks and to apply similar termination rates for mobile calls originating from other mobile and fixed networks.

In its draft measure, the CRC set a target to achieve mobile termination rates at a level of 7.6 eurocents/minute (for peak traffic) in 2010. However, according to the European Regulators Group, which brings together the EU’s 27 national telecoms regulators, this level is already undercut by many Member States such as Cyprus (2.01 eurocents/minute), Sweden (4.55 eurocents), Finland (5.29 eurocents), Austria (6 eurocents), Slovenia (6.38 eurocents), Romania (6.78 eurocents) and France (6.85 eurocents) as of today.

So, thank you EU, for this expected decrease of rates which, I beleive, would never have come by virtue of the national regulator being actually in charge to further competition and subscriber protection.