European Commission Preparing to Release Technology Regulation Plans
The European Commission will release its technology policy communication on May 25, and depending on exactly what's in the document, it could have significant impact on digital business communications between the United States and the European Union.
According to James Waterworth, Europe vice president of the Computer and Communication Industry Association, the EC's plans include new policies on Telecoms, audio-video media services, copyright issues, electronic privacy and demands for what some in Europe call a "Level Playing Field."
Waterworth told reporters in a morning press conference on May 24 that he has seen the draft documents that will be released the next day. However, he also said that it will take about two years and likely much compromise before they become formal regulations and three years after that to take effect.
Waterworth also said that EC Vice President Andrus Ansip has said that the EC will not try to force the technology sector into a one-size-fits-all regulation. Instead, the regulations will be tailored to individual industries.
NEWS ANALYSIS: The European Union's executive branch is fighting competing demands for openness and protectionism as it tries to cope with the challenges of technology.
There are two areas where there will be significant international impact, Waterworth said. One is in the area of copyrights, where there is an existing treaty on the use of intellectual property in the form of the Bern Convention. He said that some of the proposed changes could potentially put the EU in breach of that convention, but he also said that he didn't think the EC would intentionally create such a conflict.