A large creature with no spine and questionable hair has been discovered in the European Commission.

Jose Manuel Barroso, commission president, this week ran scared of French PM and silly orange person Dominique de Villepin and withdrew plans to reform the patchwork of national copyright levies imposed on digital music players.

The tech industry, understandably, was not best chuffed and came out all guns blazing, accusing the commission of 'capitulation' to France's Mr Creosote, who sent a letter to Barroso last month 'encouraging' him to reconsider the publication of the anticipated new recommendations.

A commission spokesman told journalists to take industry's blustering 'with a pinch of salt.'

A tad rich, we thought...

























Why, Oh Mr head EC spoke Johannes Laitenberger, should we believe the commission claim that the withdrawal of the copyright plans had nothing to do with the sudden arrival of a French Letter on Barroso's doorstep?

It's the only high profile quasi legislative initiative poor internal market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy has taken on at all, and that with some gusto. Barroso himself has even been heard chuntering its merits and promising publication before the end of the year.

To pull an initiative that is basically ready, so soon before the timetabled date of publication, is rare in itself. To offer such a limp reason for such an astonishing u-turn only raises suspicions - it leaves Barroso looking like a patsy who has gagged one of his own chums because one of the big boys told him to while administering a chinese burn during breaktime.

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