Feeds

EU Parliament votes today on new IP laws

Will downloaders go to jail?

The essential guide to IT transformation

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.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
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.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.