EU digital commissioner asks for feedback on Megaupload take-down

Commissioner Kroes also tweets about evils of SOPA

Europe's Commissioner in charge of the digital agenda has asked the public what it thinks about the shutdown of file-sharing site Megaupload by U.S. authorities.

Posting on Twitter on Friday, Neelie Kroes directed readers to post their opinions on the European Commission's digital agenda Facebook page.

Most respondents were outraged at the U.S. Justice Department's actions. The main concern is that U.S. authorities had overstepped their jurisdiction. The website's co-founders were arrested in New Zealand and the site is based in Hong Kong. On www.facebook.com/DigitalAgenda, commentators were critical of the music and entertainment industry, saying that it is attempted to prevent the free flow of information.

Meanwhile, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have written to the U.S. Congress to complain about the proposed SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) bills being debated in the U.S. Congress.

"SOPA and PROTECT IP will create tensions across the Atlantic in a time where we need to work more closely together," says the letter, which is signed by 15 MEPs "We ask you to vote against SOPA and PROTECT IP and to work with us on effective laws, which enable a fair remuneration of artists and creators online, without violating fundamental rights or fragmenting the free and open internet as we know it."

Meanwhile, Commissioner Kroes has not responded publically to comments on the Facebook Digital Agenda page, but did say on her Twitter feed that she was "glad the tide is turning on SOPA" describing the U.S. antipiracy act as "bad legislation."

"Speeding is illegal too: but you don't put speed bumps on the motorway," she added.

Last year Kroes indicated that she thought copyright laws are too strict and on Friday added the "Internet regulation must be effective, proportionate, preserve benefits of open net."

Follow Jennifer on Twitter at @BrusselsGeek or email tips and comments to jennifer_baker@idg.com.

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Jennifer Baker

IDG News Service
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