[Fsfe-ie] Re: Enforcement Directive "Intellectual Property"

teresahackett at eircom.net teresahackett at eircom.net
Thu Jul 14 18:20:40 CEST 2005

Hi Mel,

If this was what the directive was about, I would agree with you! The
original Commission proposal for IPRED 1 was targeted at commercial
piracy and counterfeiting, fake handbags, that sort of thing. The
Parliament widened the scope of the directive to include *all*
infringements, including minor and unintentional infringements.

As a "compromise", criminal sanctions were removed. The commercial
counterfeiters must have been laughing. But everyone knew that
introducing criminal sanctions under the co-decision legislative
procedure was dodgy and would probably be thrown out by the ECJ (there's
case law on this). So the dossier was handed to Justice and Home Affairs
to introduce criminal sanctions in the "correct" way. That's the new
proposal aka IPRED 2.

So now we have the worst of both worlds. Criminal sanctions for all
infringements (it's a bit more nuanced, but that's the general picture).

Here's the text:
Proposal for a directive and framework decision COM(2005)276(12.07.2005)

Here's what IFSO said about IPRED 1:

What does the proposed Directive mean?

     * Individual users of peer-to-peer software would face sanctions.
     * The reverse engineering of software products in order to produce
competing, compatible products would be subject to sanctions. This would
greatly affect the free software movement and the growing use of open
source software.
     * Competition and legitimate trade would be stifled by making it
impossible for small companies to produce goods compatible with products
such as Sony PlayStation or Microsoft Windows without paying a licence
fee. It would have severe implications for choice, competition and the
monopoly position of the dominant players.
     * ISPs could face limitless injunctions, equipment seizures and
requests for damages. They could also be ordered to disclose customer
names, block content or undertake surveillance.
     * Intermediaries, such as universities, would be required to police
their networks as they could be held liable for content distributed over
their networks.
     * Book readers for the blind could become illegal because they
circumvent copy protection by changing the format.


> * First off, we all want to see the back of counterfeit or dangerous products.
> * Secondly, if subversive or criminal groups are profiting from this, they need
> to be deterred.
> * Thirdly, theft of property of any kind is wrong.  *** See below ***
> * FOSS coding is not theft, or criminal, or a health and safety issue!
> If someone has a URL for what's proposed, please post it.  I wanted to say this
> much before educating myself properly, because our target audience are equally
> unversed.
> Mel

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