But late modifications keep it from being the “European DMCA”:
- Under the law, counterfeiters could face civil penalties, but proposals for criminal sanctions were dropped.
Before the vote, critics said the law was flawed as it applied the same penalties to both professional counterfeiters and consumers.
But a late amendment limited them to organised counterfeiters and not people downloading music at home.
The final vote on the EU Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive took place in the European Parliament on 9 March. The directive was passed by 330 votes to 151.
The law was drawn up to target professional pirates, criminals and counterfeiters who make copies of goods such as football shirts or CDs.
During the debates, the directive was widened to cover any infringement of intellectual property.
The directive allows companies to raid homes, seize property and ask courts to freeze bank accounts to protect trademarks or intellectual property they believe are being abused or stolen.
….The European law was shepherded through the European Parliament by MEP Janelly Fourtou, wife of Jean-Rene Fourtou who is boss of media giant Vivendi Universal.
But late amendments added to the law limited who intellectual property owners could take action against and what penalties they could apply.
One amendment said action should not be taken against consumers who download music “in good faith” for their own use.
Proposals to jail counterfeiters were also dropped from the act.
….EU ministers are expected to sign off on the new rules against counterfeiting by the end of the week.
Member states would then have 18 months to implement their own versions of the directive. [BBC]
Go after the professionals, leave the file sharers alone. I am pleased the EU made the distinction, unlike the RIAA.