EU to propose new piracy laws

May 2006

Film, television, record labels

The European Commission is to recommend common European sanctions against counterfeiting and piracy of goods, including custody provisions of at least four years in prison and fines between E100,000 and (£70,000) and E300,000 (£210,000). Other possible measures are the confiscation or destruction of the objects, and a permanent or temporary ban on offenders from engaging in commercial activities. The seizure of counterfeited goods at the borders of the European Union increased by 1,000 percent between 1998 and 2004, with 103 million counterfeited and pirated items seized in 2004, Commission figures show. The EU says that different penalties in the 25 EU countries make it difficult to combat counterfeiting and piracy effectively. The draft legislation deals only with sanctions for infringements as physical product and does not cover the downloading of music via the Internet for private use.

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