Feeds

EU moots criminal penalties for IP infringement

Tables new directive

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

The European Union is proposing new criminal penalties for counterfeiting and piracy in the region. Yesterday, the Commission adopted proposals for a new directive that would "align national criminal law", it said, and would make it easier for countries to cooperate in investigating and prosecuting counterfeiting and piracy operations.

According to an EU statement if an intellectual property is infringed on "a commercial scale", then criminal penalties must apply. It is not clear from what we have seen so far whether there are limits in the other direction: that is whether non-commercial infringers are classified differently, and so protected from the fullest extent of criminal prosecution.

The Commission argues that counterfeiting and piracy are so lucrative, and carry such light penalties relative to other forms of trafficking, that they are attracting investment from criminal organisations.

It says the directive is being aimed particularly at organised counterfeiters and faked goods that are dangerous to public health and safety, with minimum prison terms of four years being mandated for these offenses. Individual countries will have the option to impose harsher terms when the directive is translated into national law.

However, the proposal does apply to all types of intellectual property rights, so music downloads and software fall well within its scope.

Franco Frattini, vice president of the European Commission responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security, said that aligning European criminal laws on counterfeiting "forms a basic platform underpinning our joint efforts to eradicate these phenomena which are undermining the economy". ®

Related stories

Dutch file-swapper case collapses
US reveals intellectual property blacklist
Counterfeit optical disks hit the UK channel

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.