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Internet access not 'fundamental right', says EU
05.11.09 | Catherine Neilan
Proposals to cut off persistent illegal file sharers from the internet have moved a step closer, after European parliament ruled against making access a "fundamental right", the Financial Times reports.
Law makers in Brussels have agreed to drop the amendment, which was aimed at countering "three-strikes" laws, such as the one put forward by Lord Mandelson last week, which are aimed at protecting copyrighted content from being pirated. Other European countries are understood to also want to implement this tactic.
An amendment had been voted through in May, which insisted that internet disconnection could only go ahead with the approval of a judicial authority rather than an administrative body.
But member states dropped the proposal, questioning parliament's authority to dictate national judicial arrangements.
The final details are expected to be resolved in negotiations between parliament, the European Commission and member states.
The FT had seen drafts of a text, which it said "point to much weaker language on internet users' rights". However, it could be weeks before a final text is adopted.
The legal value of the parliament's stance against "three strikes" laws had been in question from the start, and few observers had expected its proposed law to be adopted by member states. But the parliament's involvement gave succour to activists who are looking to prevent such laws from spreading across Europe.