In a November 28, 2008 press release, French Minister of Culture and Communication Christine Albanel proudly declared that all Member States of the European Union have agreed to remove Amendment 138 (known as the “Bono Amendment”) from the Telecoms Package.
According to a press release describing the event, during a revision of the Telecoms Package, all 27 European telecommunications ministers agreed to remove Amendment 138, adopted September 24 by the European Parliament under the initiative of French socialist MP Guy Bono. According to Minister Albanel, “this is another piece of good news this week for the defense of creators and the sharing of their work over the Internet.” The press release goes on to say that on November 20, “the 27 culture and audiovisual ministers unanimously adopted the findings of the French presidency to encourage prevention of and the fight against piracy, particularly through the implementation of progressive, non-judicial mechanisms based on education.”
The French Ministry of Culture and Communications adds that Minister Albanel wishes to indicate that “Amendment 138, which was based on very general principles, added nothing to existing rights.” The press release goes on to state that “the Minister categorically denies the interpretation of lobbyists opposing the defense of creative rights, who have claimed that this amendment was a legal obstacle to France’s implementation of a preventative and gradual struggle against piracy described in the Creation and Internet Bill.”
“Nevertheless, the imprecise terms used in the amendment allowed for several interpretations, making the amendment a source of confusion that could hinder the proper democratic debate expected by French citizens and Europeans on the issue of piracy.”
According to the Minister, “because of Amendment 138, the defense of liberty—to which the Creation and Internet Bill poses no threat—served as a bunker in a rear guard struggle fought to the detriment of cultural artists and industries representing hundreds of thousands of jobs in our country. Things are now clear, and the enemies of creators will have to fight out in the open.”