Council Of Europe: Access To Internet Is A Fundamental Right

Council Of Europe: Access To Internet Is A Fundamental Right

Legislation like the new French law allowing an administrative body to cut internet access of alleged copyright violators therefore raises questions of proportionality. Experts at the Council expected in fact that the so-called French HADOPI law, which cuts internet access for three-time suspected IP rights infringers, eventually will arrive at the European Court of Human Rights, explained Kleijssen.

The text of the Ministers’ Reykjavik resolution is more cautious and reaffirms the “importance of copyright.” But it notes nevertheless that “a people-centred approach requires that individuals are allowed to exercise their right to free expression and information and use new communication services to participate in social, political, cultural and economic life and to do so without infringing the human dignity or the rights of others.”

Access to the information on the internet is placed high in all parts of the resolution. Ministers even signed a sentence that “universal access to the internet should be developed as part of member states’ provision of public services.” A universal service obligation for internet access might well clash with a cut of internet access as under HADOPI.

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