It has been well known for a while that the advocates of stronger enforcement of intellectual property “rights” are pushing forward. The effect is widespread surveillance of communication of the Internet as well as other communication channels throughout the European Union.
On a national level, the corporate owners of movie and music rights have gained increased power. The country of Sweden, the home of the world [in]famous The Pirate Bay, is an example of this; here the EU directive has been passed in its “local” form, which allows copyright organizations protecting Hollywood corporations’ privilege to gain court orders to get personal information of suspected file sharers. With this information they can contact the file sharer and demand that they stop what they are doing, and otherwise sue them using whatever information they have collected through that person’s ISP. Such power is not even granted the police, who need much more than vague suspicion to monitor people’s communication.
More recently, a law is proposed in Italy that requires Internet users to apply for and receive authorization from the Communications Ministry to upload video to Internet sites. The authorization required to upload your homemade video to YouTube is basically the same as what is required by television broadcasters.
The same type of law is rumored to soon be proposed in the French parliament as well. It is likely this issue will be raised on the super-national level as well with France and Italy calling for a European Union directive.