New Euro IP law promises artists torpedoes to sink pirates

Commissioner wants to stop biz making cash off others' slog

A revised EU anti-piracy laws will provide content creators with "solid legal certainty" when developing new ways for consumers to legitimately access their works, an EU Commissioner working on the legislation has said.

Michel Barnier said that plans to revise the EU's Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive (IPRE Directive) will be unveiled by the European Commission "by the end of 2012". Barnier, the EU Commissioner for the Internal Market and Services, said the revised laws will allow for swift punishment of copyright infringers.

Last May the European Commission announced that it would review the IP Rights Enforcement Directive this spring. The current laws do not adequately combat online infringement of IP rights, the Commission had said at the time.

"Through its revision of the Enforcement Directive, the Commission will ensure that operators that solicit copyright infringements by individuals and derive profit from this are rapidly identified and sanctioned by the courts in the Member States," Barnier said in a statement.

"We must inhibit businesses from making money on the back of rights-holders in order to allow for sustainable business models to develop their legal offers on the internet," he said.

"My overall objective is to make sure that new online business models can emerge in Europe with a solid legal certainty for providers and consumers. We want to enable creators to offer their works over the internet and protect them against the theft of their works," the Commissioner said.

Barnier said that the Commission plans to unveil proposals for a new licensing framework this spring. The plans "will facilitate licensing of music and other works by establishing a level playing field in the single market for collective management of rights," he said.

Last summer the Commission launched a consultation looking for views on a new copyright licensing system in the EU. It had previously said a system could be setup whereby copyright holders make their works available for cross-border licensing in return for payment through one centralised database.

The Commission's consultation asked for views on how to achieve a legal basis for any new licensing system. Rights-holders were asked whether they would support moves to harmonise EU copyright laws and whether they would approve a system whereby copyright protection could be obtained through a single licence applicable across the EU.

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