Feeds

EU Parliament votes today on new IP laws

Will downloaders go to jail?

The Power of One Infographic

Updated The European Parliament's committee for legal affairs meets today to vote on proposals for criminal penalties to be imposed on those who infringe intellectual property (IP) rights.

The vote today will determine whether or not a person who downloads a single unlicensed track of music could be sent to jail.

The scope of the directive has been the subject of much debate, with an array of amendments being tabled to either limit or broaden the remit of the proposed legislation. The level of penalties set out has also caused division between groups of MEPs.

For example, while the proposal refers to all kinds of IP rights, some MEPs want patents specifically excluded from the directive, arguing that most European states have sufficient civil remedies for such infringements.

Others go even further and argue that the directive should be restricted to cover only copyright and trademark violations, leaving aside database rights, geographical indications, and trade names.

The more liberal MEPs have also called for copies made for personal use to be specifically excluded. Those calling for harsher penalties for infringers, including Dutch MEP Toine Manders, say they want personal copies included in the directive, up to and including downloaded files.

Manders and his supporters also want penalties for infringement to include the seizure and destruction of all counterfeit material, and all equipment used to carry out the infringement. ®

Update: The vote has been postponed until February 26. The delay was requested by the EPP group, to give them time to get their new MEPs (post mid-terms) up to speed on the issues.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.