INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: 35 MEPs TABLE AMENDMENTS TO PROTECT
USERS' PRIVACY, AND FOR PROPORTIONALITY OF COPYRIGHT SANCTIONS AND FAIR
ADMINISTRATIVE AND LEGAL PROCEDURES.
Marco Cappato, Radical
MEP, tabled 5
amendments on the proposal for a directive on measures and
procedures to ensure the enforcement of intellectual property rights
(Fourtou Report), with the backing of the Radical MEPs and signatories
collected among the Green, ELDR, EPP, UEN and GUE Groups.
The five amendments are
aimed to protect individual privacy, limit the harmonisation of the
enforcement of property rights only at the level of commercial-scale
infringement and eliminate legal tools that are not recognised in many
Declaration of Marco
"The primary rationale for enacting the enforcement directive is
supposed to be the reduction of distortions in the EU Single Internal
Market by reducing disparities between national laws. However,
this rationale does not apply to unintentional or non-commercial scale
acts of infringement. Given the differences in Member States'
copyright and related right laws, and trademark laws, there are
significant differences as to which acts constitute infringement under
different national laws. For instance, when consumers create an
MP3 copy of an audio CD that they have purchased and burn it on to a
CD-ROM for personal use in their cars, this may be infringement in one
Member State, but not in another. Furthermore, small businesses
that in good faith use software that is later alleged to infringe
copyright should not be targeted in the same way as commercial
counterfeiters. Accordingly, it is appropriate and proper to
harmonise enforcement only at the level of intentional commercial
infringement, since it is the only standard that is common across
Member States, and is the relevant focus for removal of distortions
within the Internal Market.
The directive lacks balance and proportionality since average consumers
face the same treatment as major commercial counterfeiters for minor
infringements with no commercial impact."
The amendments also aim at better protecting all affected parties' due
process and privacy rights by limiting pretrial judicial applications
to cases of commercial infringement. Without this limitation
there would be a substantial risk that such applications would be used
as means of harrassing individuals on a large scale, rather than as the
proper preliminaries to a substantial civil case.
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