After the controversy surrounding the appointment of Maria Martin Prat as head of the Copyright Unit at DG Markt, there has been less attention to another personnel change. Alvydas Stancikas, former head of Unit D3 on Enforcement, has headed off for other pastures to be replaced by Jean Bergevin. Tillman Lueder, incidentally, has been moved to the financial services directorate as head of unit for Asset Management. What a rum place the Commission is; staff who spend time years getting to grips with technical fields then get summarily redeployed in a totally different area – very logical!
Bergevin is an economist by background and was one of the main designers of the ECommerce Directive, and most recently head of unit E2, focused on services and including areas such as gambling and gaming.
His appointment suggests two things to me. Firstly it is perhaps welcome to have someone with the tools to think, if inclined, about intellectual property in a wider economic context as opposed to treating it as a good in itself (a problem especially with the lawyers). Secondly, as someone with significant experience in the design and management of directives, and specifically the ECommerce directive, his arrival may mean that they are going to get serious about IPRED 2, not least as it will have a an interface with the provisions limiting liability for ‘Information Society Service Providers’ set out in the aforementioned directive. You can read his take on intermediary liability here.
On June 7th in Brussels there will be a public hearing on “Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of intellectual property rights: Challenges posed by the digital environment”, where there is scheduled to be a presentation by Unit D3, so we will soon get an idea of the flavour which Bergevin will bring to the debate.
His former unit also handled the 2010 consultation on the E-Commerce Directive which was criticised for its resistance to incorporating the views of NGO and user groups around the broader questions at stake in filtering and monitoring of online services.
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