Feeds

EU moots criminal penalties for IP infringement

Tables new directive

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
Ex–Apple CEO John Sculley: Ousting Steve Jobs 'was a mistake'
Twenty-nine years later, post-Pepsi exec has flat-forehead moment
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.