MEP pressures for criminalizing copyright infringements

By EDRi · February 27, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

Nicola Zingaretti, Socialist Member of the European Parliament (MEP) asked
the EU member states to speed up the plan to criminalise copyright
infringement that was first proposed in 2005 and agreed upon in 2007. The
implementation of the EU Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive
(IPRED2) creating new rules on copyright protection would require the Member
States to pass laws that would penalise the infringement of intellectual
property rights.

At the beginning of February, Nicola Zingaretti, who was in charge of the
adoption of the new rules and a supporter of IPRED2, sent a letter to the
European Council asking member states to take “urgent action” to address the
“increasingly systematic violation of copyright by some Internet users” and
to “provide a timeframe for discussion” of the directive which has in view
the criminalisation of offences ranging from illegal downloading to the sale
of counterfeit medicines.

The new directive would criminalise illegal downloading but only if done
with a commercial purpose or with a commercial profit. Zingaretti wanted to
emphasize that: “It is about punishing mafia-style criminals, not about
jailing kids who download music from the internet.”

The matter has dragged for two years now as there has been certain
reluctance and opposition from several member states. The original
Commission proposal has been greatly criticized, being considered as
disproportional and failing to make adequate distinctions between legal
activities and commercial piracy enterprises and even common activities of
ordinary individuals. IPRED2 draft was amended by the European Parliament
but even so, it has raised concerns as key concepts and definitions are left
unacceptably vague. One reason of concern was the fact that a European
Parliament adopted amendment was not included in the final text that was
passed by the Parliament in April 2007.

Ante Wessels, an analyst of the Foundation for a Free Information
Infrastructure stated: “We have always warned that the definitions in this
criminal law are badly drafted. And indeed, now the directive has passed
parliament, the Rapporteur admits that the law is actually much broader than
he has always claimed it is. (…) The Commission proposal is
disproportional and the European Parliament left key concepts and
definitions unacceptably vague. On top of that, democratic procedure is
violated by leaving out an adopted amendment.”

EU Parliament demands action on criminal IP penalties (21.02.2008)

EU states urged to adopt tougher copyright protection rules (20.02.2008)

Parliamentary questions – Written Question by Nicola Zingaretti (PSE) to the
Council Subject: Criminal measures to enforce intellectual property rights

EP Rapporteur wants to crack down on internet users (19.02.2008)

EDRi-gram: IPRED2 voted in first reading by the European Parliament