199 amendments on IP enforcement directive

By EDRi · October 22, 2003

Last Monday, the European Parliament’s Judicial Affairs Committee (JURI)
should have discussed its Report on the Enforcement of Intellectual
Property Rights. But the agenda was so overcrowded that the Rapporteur,
French MEP Janelly Fourtou, could only make some introductory remarks
before the session was over.

Overwhelmed by the large number of 199 amendments the Parliament’s
translation service failed to present translations into all of the EU’s
eleven official languages, leaving Parliamentarians with nothing more than
English, Greek and Danish versions of the 159 page document, which were
presented only hours before the discussion was going to take place.

Mrs. Fourtou, who would like to see the report become applicable law
before the Enlargement of the Union and EU-wide Parliamentary elections
next summer, had to announce that the initial schedule was going to be

Mrs. Fourtou has been under attack from a large number of her Parliament
colleagues, even from within her own Conservative Group. She is criticised
for introducing a set of amendments criminalising even small-scale file
sharers – and for her defence of an article in the draft directive that
constitutes a violation of the EU’s rules of procedure.

Article 20 of the draft directive deals with criminal law provisions for
infringements of intellectual property rights. Some of the sanctions
foreseen pre-empt a possible decision by a Court of Justice on whether
such an infringement has taken place at all, and therefore constitutes
so-called substantive law. In the EU’s complicated lawmaking process,
which foresees different procedures for different fields of competence,
creating substantive criminal law is still an intergovernmental competence
and can not take place under the co-decision procedure.

4 of the amendments aim at deleting Article 20, but Mrs. Fourtou and
Commission officials alike are not willing to even discuss this. The
initial discussion of the Report will now, as it seems, take place either
on Tuesday, November 4th – the date initially foreseen for the vote in the
Committee – or on November 6. The vote in the Committee would then take
place either on November 26 or the following day, which would mean the
vote in Plenary would have to take place in the week following December

EU Commission: Proposal for a Directive on measures and procedures to
ensure the enforcement of intellectual property rights [COM (2003) 46]

Janelly Fourtou’s Draft Report on this Directive

199 Amendments to the Fourtou Report

Law Professors criticise IPR Enforcement Directive

(Contribution by Andreas Dietl, consultant on EU privacy issues)