Feeds

MEPs wave through IP rights enforcement

Hunting season opens in two years

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The European Parliament has passed the IP Rights Enforcement Directive, unchanged from its mid February draft.

It includes none of the amendments proposed by civil liberties and consumer rights groups, and sets the scene for a European version of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The directive will become EU law in two days, and member states have two years to draft and pass legislation based on its framework.

The announcement on the European Parliament's website refers to a "compromise agreement" with the Council, and says that the directive's full force need not be applied to individuals copying music files for their own use.

Although this sounds promising, the key phrase is: "need not be". Robin Gross, director of IP Justice, a US-based campaigning group, says there is no justification for such as statement.

"The scope of the directive, laid out in plain English in Article 2, remains unchanged," she says. This means file-sharers remain the same in the eyes of this law as large scale commercial pirates.

She also argues that references to a compromise are extremely misleading. In fact, the "compromise" is an earlier agreement between Parliament and the Council of Ministers, says Gross. The original draft had called for criminal sanctions. This was dropped by Janelly Fourtou, the MEP responsible for the directive, to get the bill passed before the European elections on 13 June. Her husband is the CEO of Vivendi Universal.

Gross continues: "Madame Fourtou, the Rapporteur who has been ramming this directive through the process, will personally be enriched by through her family ties to (one of the) world's largest entertainment companies, which (could) now use these new enforcement procedures to harrass and extort consumers for non-commercial and other minor infringements."

Her concerns about Fourtou were echoed during the debate. UK Scottish National Party MEP Sir Neil MacCormick, who sits on the JURI committtee, it was inappropriate for Fourtou to be pushing this bill through, because she stood to gain so much personally from its passing.

Some 330 MEPs voted in favour of the bill and 151 against, with 39 abstentions, so the bill will become law.

A statement on the European Parliament's website said the directive will help to combat counterfeiting and piracy in the single market, a problem which affects software, toys, CDs and even pharmaceuticals.

According to IP Justice, it also means European civil liberties and consumer rights have taken a serious knock, and file-sharers are on borrowed time. ®

Related stories

Kill the EU IP Rights Enforcement Bill!
EC IP enforcement 'threatens more SCO-style attacks'

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.