European Parliament removing streams in 30 minutes


The European Parliament is considering a draft resolution requiring internet services to download pirated sports streams within 30 minutes.

The bill also includes a proposal that allows copyright holders to act as credible complainants. According to Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer, the plan is dangerous as it could cause mass deletions.

In recent years, the European Commission has proposed and adopted various legislative changes to combat piracy.

For example the copyright directive that approved last year, as well as law on digital services, which was officially unveiled last December.

These laws will have a significant impact on the way online services respond to allegations of copyright infringement.

Next week, the European Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs will vote on a draft which goes one step further. This proposal is supposed to be adapted to deal with pirate sports streams, which seem to be a thorn in the side of major sports leagues.

According to the draft, prepared by the rapporteur Angel Dzhambazki, the organizers of sporting events face significant challenges in the digital environment due to piracy. To address this issue, online services should download any infringing content as soon as possible, within minutes of the start of a sporting event.

In particular, this means that the current legislation needs to be updated in order to "states that illegal content should be removed immediately upon receipt of the notice and no later than 30 minutes after the start of the event".

According to some EU lawmakers, this proposal does not seem to be moving forward and several compromise amendments have been negotiated to make it more concrete. This includes the use of "trusted sources" who may act on behalf of copyright holders.

These removals could be sent to streaming services such as YouTube, but may also target standalone hosting providers. A similar system already exists in the UK, where sports streams can be removed in real time, with court approval.

The EU proposal does not necessarily require any judicial supervision. This is something that sports organizers will welcome, but it also opens the door to exaggeration, something that also happens occasionally in the UK.

The proposed resolution is not welcomed by all Members of Parliament. Patrick Breyer, MEP of the Pirate Party, says he and his members in the Green Group will vote against it.

"This text is as if it has been dictated by lobbyists in the rights industry, and threatens fundamental digital rights," Breyer said.

"The requirement to delete content in 30 minutes is less than the predicted terrorist content removal reaction."

"Allowing private interest groups with a personal interest to remove content without judicial review will result in excessive foreclosure of legal content." Breyer adds.


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