Centre for Internet & Society

The seventh session of the World Intellectual Property Organization's Advisory Committee on Enforcement is being held in Geneva on November 30 and December 1, 2011. Pranesh Prakash responded to a presentation by Prof. Pierre Sirinelli of the École de droit de la Sorbonne, Université Paris 1 on 'The French Charter on the Fight against Cyber-Counterfeiting of December 16, 2009' with this comment.


Thank you, Chair.  I speak on behalf of the Centre for Internet and Society.  First, I would like to congratulate you on your re-election.

And I would like to congratulate Prof. Sirenelli on his excellent presentation.

I would like to flag a few points, though:

  1. One of the benefits of normal laws, as opposed to the soft/plastic laws, which he champions, is that normal laws are bound by procedures established by law, due process requirements, and principles of natural justice.  Unfortunately, the soft/plastic laws, which in essence are private agreements, are not.
  2. The report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Expression and Opinion made it clear in his report to the UN Human Rights Council that the Internet is now an intergral part of citizens exercising their right of freedom of speech under national constitutions and under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  That report highlights that many initiatives on copyright infringement, including that of the French government with HADOPI and the UK, actually contravene the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  3. The right of privacy is also flagged by many as something that will have to be compromised if such private enforcement of copyright is encouraged.

I'd like to know Prof. Sirinelli's views on these three issues: due process, right of freedom of speech, and the right to privacy.

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