Finland kills EUCD – for now

Helsinki 31 January 2003
Press release
For immediate release
Electronic Frontier Finland – EFFI ry

The Finnish parliament returns the national copyright law proposal
back to the ministry, which originally drafted it. The proposal was
based on the European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD), the European
counterpart to United States DMCA. While the deadline for directive
implementation was December 22nd 2002, it has so far been implemented
in only two states, Denmark and Greece.

Electronic Frontier Finland has been the local, vocal voice to
criticize the copy protection circumvention ban and other
controversial issues of the proposal. After a parliamentary hearing
today, the chair of the hearing committee announced that because of
heavy criticism it is not possible to accept the law as it stands. Mr
Jyrki Katainen, member of the parliament committee and vice chairman
of the Conservative Party, confirmed to EFFI that the main reason for
this very rare dismissal was the extreme unclearness of the law. An
unclear law with criminal sanctions of up to two years in prison (from
e.g. copy protection circumvention) would have formed a serious risk
to unintended citizens. Mr. Katainen was also worried that the law
would have harmed the Finnish competitiveness as an information
society. “The proposal was simply overreaching”, he said.

“Of course, this is good news for us. While the ministry drafters
weren’t really interested to hear us, the parliament had a different
tone” comments Mikko Välimäki, EFFI’s chairman. He continues:
“Actually EFFI was the only organization – among big corporation like
Nokia and large media industry lobby groups – who got two chances to
comment the proposal at the parliament.” Välimäki points out that EFFI
is not anymore alone in its fight in Finland. For example, the
official Finnish consumer protection agency made an announcement
criticizing CD-copy protections back in December after EFFI’s public
campaign and today also testified against copy protections.

EFFI’s vice-chairman Ville Oksanen notes: “We have of course always
the risk that the next proposal, whenever it comes, is even more
pro-content industry. Luckily, it’s only theoretical because it’s now
clear the parliament won’t take the content industry’s argument “more
protection is always better” for granted anymore. More likely, we
expect, and certainly hope, the next proposal to look more like a very
minimum implementation of the directive with maximum fair-use

Välimäki concludes: “Today I got the feeling we can really make a
difference if we just want to”

More information:
EFFI’s pages on the Finnish copyright law reform (mainly in Finnish)

Mikko Välimäki
Chairman, Electronic Frontier Finland ry

+358 50 5980498

Ville Oksanen
Vice Chairman, Electronic Frontier Finland ry

+358 40 5368583

Electronic Frontier Finland – EFFI ry was founded in 2001 to
defend active users and citizens of the Finnish society in the
electronic frontier. EFFI influences legislative proposals
concerning e.g. personal privacy, freedom of speech and fair use
in copyright law. We make statements, press releases and
participate actively in actual public policy and legal discussions.
EFFI has been featured in the national media including TV,
radio and leading newspapers. EFFI also works in close cooperation
with organizations sharing the same goals and values in the Europe,
United States and elsewhere. EFFI is a founding member of the European Digital Rights and a member of
Global Internet Liberty
. More information from EFFI’s home pages: