The European Union wishes to legalise the retention of data from telecoms operators and ISPs for the period of one year. We are told that the retention of data will allow governments to conduct counter-terrorist campaigns more successfully and prevent other serious crimes. The retained data could be used in these investigations.
The Creative and Media Business Alliance have lobbied the European Parliament to extend the provisions of the proposed Directive. Data would be used for investigations into copyright infringement and, if other new laws come to pass, infringements of intellectual property.
But the Creative and Media Business Alliance (CMBA), a group of media companies including EMI, SonyBMG and TimeWarner, has lobbied the EU to allow this data to be used to investigate all crimes, not just serious offences such as terrorism.
Opponents have claimed that if this demand was granted, then — combined with the upcoming IPRED2 legislation which could create Europe-wide criminal offences for intellectual property infringement — the entertainment industry would be able to pursue prosecutions against suspected copyright-infringers through the criminal court entirely at the cost of the taxpayer.
Whilst intellectual property is always a tricky and contested subject, the music media is treading that famous path of fighting disruptive technology by lobbying for a secure monopoly. Only Europe is stupid enough to let them.