This article is also available in:
Deutsch: [Belgischer Senat streicht repressive Teile des 3-Strikes-Entwurfs |]

The Belgium version of the French Hadopi three strikes law was significantly
changed by the Commission of Finance and Economical Affairs (COMFINECO) of
the Belgium Senate during a hearing organised on 11 May 2011 on copyright
and Internet.

The proposal, initially submitted in 2010 and re-tabled at the beginning of
2011, was amended by the removal of a series of articles which actually
referred to the three strikes system.

NURPA (the Net Users’ Rights Protection Association) warns that the proposed
law, although amputated, still raises certain concerns and
draws the attention especially to article 12 which “requires the settling of
agreement between private actors and allows the limitation of the Internet
user’s freedom of usage”. The article stipulates that the agreement signed
with the ISPs “determines the limits and conditions under which a user that
has access to a public online communication service can use it to exchange
works protected by copyright or related right(s).”

Inspired also by the French Hadopi law, the proposed Belgium law introduces
the creation of a Council for the protection of copyright on the Internet
that would have as its main task to establish a list of legal offers. It is
not clear which criteria will be used to determine what offers will be legal
and which will be the means to keep such a list updated and complete.
“Instead of seeing the Internet as an opportunity to reduce the number of
intermediaries between the public and the artists, the text only continues
to place the copyright collective societies in the centre of the revenue
perception. There are innovating initiatives and a freedom of artistic
distribution that should be encouraged rather than playing in the hands of
the private societies” stated Daniel Faucon, spokesperson for NURPA.

Two contradictory opinions also marked the COMFINECO hearing, one according
to which the service providers would incite to illegal downloading and
therefore should be made responsible and a second one that is closer to
net neutrality, meaning that the service providers should not be held
accountable for the content exchanged on the Internet.

The Belgium HADOPI amputated in its repressive part (only in French,

The Belgium Hadopi is buried, but filtering is not (only in French,

EDRi-gram: Four strikes law returns to Belgium (9.05.2011)