Europe Says It Won’t Adopt ‘Bad’ Digital Policy Like SOPA

Don’t expect the European Commission to introduce its own version of America’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes, who, in a previous life as antitrust commissioner, fined Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) billions of euros, used her Twitter stream to deride what she calls “bad” legislation”…

Europe is not just sitting back and letting piracy happen. It has its own measures in the same policy area…

As well as measures contained in an e-commerce directive, one of its key pieces of legislation, the Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRED), passed in 2004, controversially gave copyright holders greater powers to obtain alleged freeloaders’ details through the courts. IPRED’s implementation in Sweden was said by some to have helped boost legal music downloading.

One of Kroes’ current key policy planks is creating a “single market for digital content” across Europe’s 27 separate states. Her view is that payment processing and content licensing are too complex, too territorial and include too many supply fees. She wants to drive down fees and drive up legal digital consumption on a pan-continental basis.

SOPA proposals include stopping payment vendors and ad networks from doing business with sites that facilitate copyright infringement, forcing search engines not to link to transgressors and compelling ISPs to block access to offending sites.