Feeds

EC leaves personal use out of criminal IP laws

Goes after 'incitement' instead

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
China hopes home-grown OS will oust Microsoft
Doesn't much like Apple or Google, either
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?