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Eu Says Isps Not Censors

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Martin Burns

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User since: 26 Apr 1999

Articles written: 143

The European Commission ruled that service providers will not have to act as Internet content censors.

The EC rejected amendments put forward in May, to be introduced into the European Parliament's ecommerce directive, to increase the legal liability of ISPs.

It said the original proposals - which makes an ISP responsible for site content only if it's been given notification of offending or defamatory material - went far enough and increasing the liability would hinder ecommerce development in Europe.

However, the ISP industry is still not in the clear. The directive is yet to go before the council of ministers and member states, which could reverse the commission's decision.

The council of ministers is expected to come to a final agreement before the end of the year. However, due to the complexities within the electronic commerce directive, industry observers believe it will be well into next year before a final draft, approved by all parties, can be drawn up.

On a side-note, in contrast to the Australian proposals, the Commission believes that central blacklisting of content by proxy servers is "inconceivable for Europe as it would severely interfere with the freedom of the individual and its political traditions."

Martin Burns has been doing this stuff since Netscape 1.0 days. Starting with the communication ends that online media support, he moved back through design, HTML and server-side code. Then he got into running the whole show. These days he's working for these people as a Project Manager, and still thinks (nearly 6 years on) it's a hell of a lot better than working for a dot-com. In his Copious Free Time™, he helps out running a Cloth Nappies online store.

Amongst his favourite things is ZopeDrupal, which he uses to run his personal site. He's starting to (re)gain a sneaking regard for ECMAscript since the arrival of unobtrusive scripting.

He's been a member of since the very early days, a board member, a president, a writer and even contributed a modest amount of template code for the current site. Above all, he likes to do things because it knowingly chooses to do so, rather than randomly stumbling into them. He's also one of the boys and girls who beervolts in the UK, although the arrival of small children in his life have knocked the frequency for 6.

Most likely to ask: Why would a client pay you to do that?

Least likely to ask: Why isn't that navigation frame in Flash?

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