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As part of their rise to power in the 1930s, German National Socialists like Hitler and Heydrich bought into—and publicly proclaimed—the myth of the "stab in the back." Under this view, the patriotic German army could have won World War I, had it not been stabbed in the back by internal traitors (read: Jews and Communists). It helped preserve dignity and patriotism at a time when both were hard to come by in Germany, shifting the blame for Germany's fortunes onto minority scapegoats and raising the spectre of internal traitors.So powerful was the idea (and its consequences) that the German term for it, "dolchstoss," has entered English (and still comes up repeatedly today). So when a leading European digital rights group describes a just-adopted, non-legislative European Parliament resolution on dealing with intellectual property as "a stab in the back of citizens' freedoms," we were naturally intrigued. This must be one helmet-wearing, Czech-annexing, goose-stepping resolution!The internal traitor envisioned here is a French MEP, Marielle Gallo, the "rapporteur" who lead the drafting of a resolution regarding piracy. The "Gallo report," as the document is known, was drafted earlier this year, passed the JURI legal affairs committee over the summer, and today came up for a full plenary vote in Parliament. Despite the best efforts of opposition groups, the resolution passed 328-245.Jérémie Zimmermann of La Quadrature du Net led the charge against the report, calling it "an illustration of the will of the entertainment industry to try to impose private copyright police and justice of the Net." And it might be. Or not. The Gallo report is a pretty vague document that calls on ISPs and others to use "additional non-legislative measures" to address copyright infringement online. Zimmermann sees this as a move to privatize copyright infringement and take cases away from the judiciary—a gutting of the rule of law.This is possible, but the text (which has no legislative force) speaks only in the most general of generalities. In fact, looking at the example of France, the country's constitutional council has already blocked an implementation of an anti-P2P law without judicial involvement. The European Parliament has also voted, on more than one occasion, against just such privately enforced "three strikes" laws, and it has demanded transparency and accountability on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. It seems quite unlikely that some sort of draconian new punishment regime could soon gain Europe's imprimatur without any recourse to the judicial system and without a presumption of innocence.In fact, the resolution spends more time talking about the need for rightsholders to offer better access to legal content. The resolution demands that music and movie companies "make it easier for European consumers to buy legally offered content, so as to increase legal downloading in the EU." And it demands that Europe tear down the walls that require iTunes to set up different stores in different countries, for instance.And rightsholders can't go on a fishing expedition once they get their hands on someone's hard drive in a court case. The resolution calls for a new law making clear that consumers "are not required to demonstrate the legitimacy" of their digital content, but that "it should be up to interested parties to prove any violations of rules under the protection of intellectual property rights."The resolution does call on the European Commission to draft legislation on IP enforcement, and this is where real scrutiny will need to happen. Given Parliament's resistance to "three strikes" legislation, though, tough new measures without judicial involvement will be a hard sell. As for "voluntary" ISP action, the examples of the US, UK, and France also show that ISPs aren't about to engage in widespread blocking of websites without being forced to do so.All bets are off, though, if rightsholders can use a favored tactic and convince ISPs or government officials that online infringement is as harmful and horrific as child porn—something that ISPs do block voluntarily in many parts of the world.