Feeds

EC leaves personal use out of criminal IP laws

Goes after 'incitement' instead

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Criminal sanctions for copyright infringement moved a step closer to reality in Europe this week, as the European Commission's committee for legal affairs voted to pass a draft of a directive affectionally known as IPRED 2.

The directive, being herded through the legislative process by socialist MEP Nicola Zingaretti, is actually titled Criminal measures aimed at ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

The directive has been drafted to clamp down on purveyors and purchasers of fake goods - handbags, medicines and so on. Critics argue that, as with much European legislation, early drafts have been clumsily drafted, and will end up criminalising ordinary people for non-commercial copyright infringements.

Arguments over the definition of what constitutes "commercial scale" infringement have been drawn out and complicated. Eventually, the committee agreed to leave copying for personal use uncriminalised. It states that to be criminal an infringement must be "a deliberate and conscious infringement of the intellectual property right for the purpose of obtaining commercial advantage".

Lobby groups for rights holders are unsurprisingly unhappy with this clause. But the Business Software Alliance says it is also unhappy with the "incitement to infringe" clause. This might give Microsoft's execuitives pause for thought.

In a rare case of the two bodies agreeing, analysts at the FFII (Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure) argue that this clause will hamper innovation in Europe.

In a press statement, the group warns: "This could result in software providers being held liable if their software does not actively prevent copyright and database right violations by its users."

In a letter to the Members of the European Parliament, the FFII wrote that the Legal Affairs Committee draft report for the Criminal Measures IPR Directive is, "despite several delays, not ready for adoption".

Patents have been excluded, but so-called utility models - unexamined patents - have been left in.

Sanctions for deliberate, commercial scale infringement, will include fines of up to €300,000, confiscation of equipment used in the infringement, and even imprisonment. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
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.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.