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European Commission addressing online IP breaches

Written by Mekael Rahman on 12 January 2018

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Five European Commissioners recently had a meeting in Brussels with representatives of tech companies to address the issue pertaining to the publishing of illegal online content. The sub-topics of discussion comprised, but were not limited to breaches of IP rights e.g. piracy.

The European Commission was represented by Andrus Ansip of Estonia (Vice-president of the Commission), and Commissioners Elżbieta Bieńkowska (Poland), Věra Jourová (Czech Republic), Dimitris Avramopoulos (Greece), Mariya Gabriel (Bulgaria) and Julian King (UK). The tech companies and their representatives however, have not been named.

The Commissioners issued a joint statement pushing for a collective response regarding illegal online activity, deeming it a serious threat. The European Commission has also commented on the markedly increased amount of resources that has been put aside to deal with the removal of such content. In the joint statement, they stated that “[t]his is starting to achieve results…[h]owever, even if tens of thousands of pieces of illegal content have been taken down, there are still hundreds of thousands more out there.”

It is therefore imperative that online platforms continue to amplify their attempts at swiftly and exhaustively throttling prohibited cyber activity. The key is attaining a closer relationship, resulting in better cooperation between the tech companies and the relevant national and enforcement agencies. In their joint statement, the Commissioners concluded that they “will continue to promote cooperation with social media companies to detect and remove terrorist and other illegal content online, and if necessary, propose legislation to complement the existing regulatory framework.”

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