EC "Roadmap" for review of the IPR Enforcement Directive

By EDRi · February 15, 2012

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Deutsch: [Roadmap der Kommission für die Überprüfung der Urheberrechtsrichtlinie |]

The European Commission recently published a “roadmap” to the review of the
Directive on Intellectual Property Enforcement (2004/48/EC). As it is
becoming traditional, the Commission neatly mixes up all kinds of
infringements, from dangerous fake medicines to illegal downloads and seeks
a “one size fits all” solution. In addition, the previously published
implementation report graphically describes the breakdown in the credibility
and perceived legitimacy of copyright in the digital environment (referring,
for example, to “ubiquitous” infringements).

Faced with the unquestionable failure (hence the calls for a review) of the
existing “one size fits” all legal framework and the seemingly obvious need
to reform the legal framework for copyright, the approach is to plough
forward with increased enforcement, as well as increased involvement of the
private sector in practical law enforcement. A non-committal statement that
“measures aimed at promoting the legal offer” is made but not expanded upon.

Interestingly, the “road map” explains that the current Directive’s
definition of “commercial scale” needs to be clarified, in order to ensure
that individual consumers are not targeted. This is quite significant,
because the definition is significantly narrower than the one in the
Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). This raises a fundamental
question – how can the EU be so confident that ACTA’s definition of
“commercial scale” will not lead to disproportionate criminalisation of
end-users, when it believes that a more precise definition risks leading to
disproportionate measures against citizens in civil law?

It is also somewhat surprising to note that no problem has been identified
regarding the provision of personal data by Internet intermediaries –
despite the widespread of abuse of both process and data, particularly in
the UK and Germany. The focus instead is on developing the tools for
obtaining “evidence” from intermediaries.

It must be pointed out, of course, that much of what is in the IPR
Enforcement Directive is proposed in ACTA. As a result, as long as the
European Commission harbours hopes of being able to ratify that agreement,
it will consider itself to be prevented from making or even considering any
significant changes or improvements to this Directive.

Roadmap on IPRED (01.2012)


IPR Enforcement Directive Implementation Report (22.12.2010)

(Contribution by Joe McNamee – EDRi)