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Greece, Denmark (and no-one else) make EC copyright deadline

Slow coach to European DMCA

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The deadline for implementing new European laws on copyright protection passed on Sunday (December 22) with just two countries signing up.

The European Union's controversial Copyright Directive (AKA Europe's DMCA) made it onto the statute books of only Greece and Denmark in time, according to wire reports.

It's best to see this as a delay -rather than a derailment - of the controversial measures, fiercely advocated by the film and music industry. The software industry, most notably the Business Software Alliance (BSA), has also lobbied hard for the introduction of the directive as an important means to fight piracy. It's unhappy that new-piracy fighting laws have failed to materialise by Christmas.

For campaigners, such as the Campaign for Digital Rights, the non-appearance of local laws is a welcome seasonal fillip.

The CDR argues the directive will stymie legitimate free uses of copyright material enshrined in international copyright law. Some opponents also express concern that the measures could impede open source development efforts too.

The EU Copyright Directive is a done deal, but there's some flexibility in implementing voluntary opt-outs. For example whether breaking copyright protection will be criminalised (c.f. the ElcomSoft case) depends on the implementation and enforcement in each member state of the EU. ®

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